Pedestrians are 15 times more likely than vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash. Consequently, traffic accidents kill more than 4,700 pedestrians each year.
CAUSES OF PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, which means drivers must stop their vehicles and wait until pedestrians are safely across the street. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-91. Even outside of crosswalks, drivers have a responsibility to watch out for pedestrians. If drivers speed through intersections, drive while distracted or under the influence of alcohol, or fail to yield to pedestrians, they can be held accountable for the injuries they cause.
While the accident report is the first thing we look at, it isn’t the last. We try to track down witnesses who may have seen what happened in the road. We knock on businesses’ doors to talk with employees who may have seen the incident. We’ll ask business owners to preserve surveillance footage from cameras outside their establishments. We leave no stone unturned as we investigate what happened to our clients.
RIGHTS OF PEDESTRIANS
Because pedestrians are vulnerable, there are some specific rights granted to all pedestrians in Georgia. The law requires that drivers watch out for pedestrians and exercise “due care” to avoid them—even outside of crosswalks. Further, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians using a crosswalk, and pedestrians have the right-of-way on sidewalks.
INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
If you are hit by a vehicle, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden of paying accident-related medical expenses. The driver’s insurance policy should cover you. If the other driver does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance, you may be able to recover from your own auto insurance if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (“UM coverage”). Keep in mind that if you do have UM coverage, you should make your insurance carrier aware of the accident as soon as possible. Be careful not to give a recorded statement; simply notify your insurance of the accident and set up a claim.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, we can’t take your pain away. What we can do is build a plan and determine the best way to recover for your losses. Our attorneys can help you get a fair settlement from an insurance company or prepare a strong case to present to a jury. In Georgia, you usually have a maximum of two years to file a personal injury case. If you miss the deadline, you don’t get another chance to file. That’s why it is important that once you consult with a lawyer quickly.