Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Understanding your legal rights is essential after you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in Atlanta, GA. If you were involved in an accident, then you may have the right to seek compensation while you fight to maximize recovery in your pedestrian accident case.
Traveling in high-traffic metropolitan areas like Atlanta puts you at greater risk for accident or injury. Although each commuting method brings risk, traveling overall can be quite risky the more people are involved. In a metro area like Atlanta, pedestrians get caught in the crossfire when it comes to pedestrian accidents and accident compensation.
Atlanta relies heavily on cars. The automobile traffic could be one of several reasons why it’s the area with the highest fatality rates for males, Hispanics, and several age demographic groups, including those in the 15-34 and 35-54 age groups.
Atlanta also wasn’t designed with pedestrians in mind. The city’s poor sidewalks and mediocre public transportation system mean that it’s frustrating to get around and often dangerous for pedestrians. This has lead to several incidents and accidents involving pedestrians.
Your Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney can review the details of your motor vehicle accident, analyze the severity of your injuries, and investigate who’s liable for your accident. At Henningsen Injury Attorneys, P.C., we offer a free consultation to discuss your pedestrian accident, so give our Atlanta personal injury law firm a call to schedule yours today.
Georgia Pedestrian Accident Data
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that the number of motor vehicle traffic-related deaths has declined but the number of pedestrian deaths has increased. The number of pedestrian accidents in Atlanta has increased by 60% over the last five years.
Nationally, the number of pedestrian fatalities has increased but all other types of traffic fatalities are on the decline. According to the CDC, 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2017, which is about one death every 88 minutes. If someone you love has been injured or killed in pedestrian accent, speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney and discuss recovering financial compensation for your injuries.
Pedestrian accidents are very common. There are more than 110,000 pedestrian accidents in the United States every year, resulting in approximately 59,000 pedestrians being injured and more than 5,000 deaths.
More than three-fourths of all pedestrian accidents occur in bigger metropolitan areas like Atlanta. More than two-thirds of all pedestrian accidents happen in normal weather.
Georgia is in the top 5 among states with the most pedestrian deaths including California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona. These states account for nearly 50% of the pedestrian deaths occurring nationally. If you have suffered pedestrian injuries or your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident in one of the above states, then you may be entitled to a personal injury claim.
Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Injury Causes
About 75% of fatal accidents involving pedestrians occur at night and more than half (60%) occur on local streets and state highways, as opposed to interstate or county roads. Each state provides regulations on how pedestrians may legally use crosswalks and roads. Improperly using those roads or crosswalks could lead to a personal injury lawsuit if you’re found liable for an injury accident.
Alcohol is another culprit for both pedestrians and drivers. Specifically, 32% of pedestrians and 17% of drivers had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of at least 0.08 at the time of the accident. Many motor vehicle collisions and pedestrian fatalities occur as a result of alcohol consumption.
Keep in mind that jaywalking is not illegal in Georgia. However, both drivers and pedestrians are required to be careful while sharing the road. This means that pedestrians must yield the right of way and drivers should always be prepared for potential pedestrians.
While there are many different causes of pedestrian accidents, the following are some of the most common:
- Unmarked crosswalks
- Left-hand turns
- Use of electronic devices by the pedestrian or driver
- Distracted driving
- Quiet electric vehicles
Your pedestrian accident may have been caused by alcohol. An estimated 48% of pedestrian deaths involve alcohol use by the driver or pedestrian. A professional accident lawyer can support you if you suffer from pedestrian accident injuries.
Common Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Catastrophic injuries and wrongful death have occurred as the result of pedestrian accidents in Atlanta. These accidents can be very serious and oftentimes result in significant medical costs, substantial time spent in rehabilitative therapy, and even lifelong nursing care.
Pedestrians can endure several bodily injuries because of accidents, including the following:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Herniated discs
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
These injuries can lead to months of rehabilitation, lost wages, expensive medical bills, and loss of enjoyment of life. If you’ve suffered significant injuries, then you could be eligible for maximum compensation. Speak with an accident lawyer now to discuss your pedestrian accident claim.
It’s also imperative to be aware of your surroundings whenever walking or standing near a highway. For example, some victims have a pedestrian accident on the highway while standing near their vehicle after a car accident or while changing a flat tire.
Many Atlanta pedestrian accident injuries occur after the initial collision. More than 50% of injuries occur after the initial contact, like when the victim makes contact with the ground or other objects.
Negligence and Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits
If you are injured by a driver while walking in Georgia, you may be able to file a claim. However, if you want your lawsuit to be successful, you must prove that the other party involved acted negligently. Negligence means the other party failed to take reasonable care in minimizing the risk of injury to others and this negligent behavior caused your injury.
If a driver fails to yield at a crosswalk or runs a red light, this would be considered “negligence per se.” Meaning that the law presumes the driver was negligent without any further evidence because they broke the law; the police report filed at the accident scene will reflect this.
Drivers are expected to “exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.” Drivers are also expected to use their horns to provide warnings when necessary. Finally, when observing children, people who are drunk, confused, or incapacitated, drivers are expected to exercise proper precautions.
Pedestrians are defined in the state of Georgia as “any person afoot,” and includes people walking, running, or jogging. Pedestrians are expected to yield the right of way when lights aren’t present and exercise caution.
Pedestrians are allowed to cross the street on a green light within a marked or unmarked crosswalk, however, if the light is green but the “do not walk” signal is displayed, the pedestrian should not start crossing the street.
Even though, as a general rule, pedestrians have the right of way within a crosswalk, this is not factual in every case. Pedestrians are further instructed under Georgia law not to walk or run in front of the path of a vehicle when the car is so close that “it is impractical for the driver to yield.”
Crosswalks exist at the corners of each block, whether they are marked or not. If a pedestrian crosses the road away from the corner, unless it is marked, it is not a crosswalk. When pedestrians are crossing in such a fashion, they do not have the right of way. Rather, pedestrians must yield to vehicles in this situation.
If a pedestrian chooses to cross the roadway instead of using a pedestrian tunnel or an overhead crossing designated for them, the pedestrian similarly does not have the right of way and is expected to yield to traffic.
If there are traffic lights at adjacent intersections, pedestrians are not allowed to cross the road, except at the traffic lights. Unless there is a traffic light specifically allowing it, pedestrians are not allowed to cross an intersection diagonally.
When a person is impaired, or under the influence to the extent they become a hazard to other travelers, then they should not be on a roadway or the shoulder of the road whether they are walking or remaining still.
On-foot travelers are required to use the sidewalk if one is available unless using the sidewalk “presents an imminent threat of bodily injury.” If there is no sidewalk but a shoulder is available, walkers are expected to use the shoulder as far away from the roadway as is practicable.
If there is no sidewalk and no shoulder, pedestrians are expected to remain as far away from the road as possible. Additionally, when there is no sidewalk and no shoulder, pedestrians are expected to walk on the left side of the road.
Neither pedestrians nor drivers are allowed to cross over a railway crossing after the signal has been given not to cross. Similarly, neither pedestrians nor drivers are permitted to remain on or enter a bridge after the bridge operation signal has been given. Pedestrians and drivers should yield to emergency vehicles.
Causation in an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Case
Negligent behavior alone is not enough to win pedestrian accident cases. You, the victim, are charged with the burden to prove that the behavior of the negligent driver caused your injury. An accident lawyer at Henningsen Injury Attorneys can help you file your pedestrian accident claim and represent you as your pedestrian accident lawyer in court if your case goes to trial.
At Henningsen Injury Attorneys, our experienced Atlanta personal injury attorneys will carefully investigate the circumstances surrounding your pedestrian accident. If you were struck by a car, we’ll do everything we can to gather the evidence that’s necessary to get you the money you deserve. Give us a quick call today to schedule a time to discuss your injury claim in more detail.
Shared Responsibility In an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident
Sometimes, both the driver and the pedestrian share fault for an accident. However, in Georgia, the pedestrian could still be successful in a lawsuit against the driver. The plaintiff could recover damages so long as they are not more than 50% at fault.
Allocating fault in a negligence case is not always easy, but everything comes down to the reasonableness of each individual’s actions under the circumstances and whether or not they adhered to their duty of care.
So, for example, if you were wearing dark clothes while jogging at night, then those actions could be deemed unreasonable behavior for failure to follow adequate safety precautions. In this case, your damages may be reduced based on your degree of fault.
If your Georgia pedestrian accident involves more than two people at fault, it’s best to discuss your unique situation with a qualified Atlanta personal injury attorney. A pedestrian accident lawyer will have the experience necessary to help you understand what damages you may be entitled to.
Georgia Pedestrian Accident Damages
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident in Georgia, you could be entitled to financial compensation. This compensation is referred to as damages and there are a few different types that you can be awarded in a lawsuit.
The first type of damage is economic damage. Economic damages are clear cut, have an objective monetary amount, and include medical expenses such as hospital bills, physical therapy, and medications. Economic damages also cover destroyed property and lost wages during periods where you were unable to work due to the injury.
Non-economic damages are the damages that aren’t so easy to measure. These amounts would be for pain and suffering caused by the accident. Calculating these awards is much more subjective and looks at factors such as the distress caused by the injury and loss of enjoyment of life. A pedestrian accident lawyer can assist you in recovering the non-economic damages you are entitled to.
If a loved one dies in a pedestrian accident, the spouse and/or minor children can bring a fatal pedestrian accident lawsuit against the driver. The damages awarded in wrongful death cases can be for lost wages and other benefits the victim would have earned.
There are also amounts for loss of care and companionship. These would be the intangible benefits of losing a loved one. Finally, a family member may also be able to recover money for medical expenses related to the injury and funeral/burial costs.
Contact Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
A car accident involving motor vehicles can lead to injuries like broken bones, spinal cord injuries, catastrophic injuries, and death. Although we typically think of drivers and passengers, pedestrians also share the roadways and can be involved in traffic accidents.
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, many assume that the driver was the one at fault but this isn’t always the case. If you are the injured party, working with an insurance company to get the damages you are entitled to can be difficult, especially if that individual has liability insurance and not full coverage.
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, contact an experienced Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer today for a free consultation. We deal with insurance companies all the time and will work tirelessly to negotiate the settlement you deserve.
There is a two-year deadline statute of limitations on personal injury cases in Georgia. If you don’t file your claim within two years, then it could be denied, so don’t delay reaching out to our law firm. Contact an experienced Atlanta injury lawyer even if you believe the deadline has passed, because exemptions may apply.