Protecting Your Rights After a Pedestrian Accident in Atlanta

pedestrian accidents can have severe consequences

Pedestrian accidents can be devastating, resulting in severe injuries and even fatalities, because of the little amount of protection a pedestrian has. If you were involved in such an accident, understanding your rights and the next steps you should take to receive compensation for your damages is crucial.

Let’s take a look at the laws keeping pedestrians safe in Georgia, as well as how an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer can help you take the next steps towards damage recovery and healing if you were hit and injured by a vehicle.

Understanding Pedestrian Laws in Atlanta, Georgia

In Atlanta, as in the rest of Georgia, pedestrians have the right of way at marked crosswalks and intersections. Georgia’s laws provide protection for pedestrians.

Right of Way in Crosswalks (§ 40-6-91)

Drivers are required to stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway when the pedestrian is on the same half of the roadway as the vehicle or when the pedestrian is approaching within one lane of their half.

However, pedestrians should not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield. If a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk to allow a pedestrian to cross, other drivers should not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

Crossing Roadway Elsewhere Than at Crosswalk (§ 40-6-92)

Pedestrians must yield the right of way to all vehicles unless they have already safely entered the roadway. Pedestrians should use provided tunnels or overhead crossings, or yield to vehicles if they choose to use the roadway.

Pedestrians should only cross at marked crosswalks between adjacent intersections with traffic-control signals. Crossing outside of a crosswalk, often referred to as “jaywalking,” is legal as long as pedestrians yield to traffic. Pedestrians should not cross intersections diagonally unless authorized by traffic-control devices.

Pedestrian Control Signals (§ 40-6-22)

Pedestrians may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the “WALK” signal, and drivers must stop for them. Pedestrians should not start to cross the roadway on a “DON’T WALK” signal, but those who have started crossing on the “WALK” signal should proceed to the sidewalk or safety island.

The flashing “Don’t Walk” signal means “don’t start crossing” for pedestrians, and does not give turning drivers the right of way on green.

pedestrians can suffer life-changing injuries after being hit by a car

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

A recent study by Propel ATL revealed that pedestrian deaths are on the rise in Atlanta. Of the over 35,000 vehicle accidents that occurred in Atlanta in 2022, 548 of these accidents involved pedestrians either walking, biking, or rolling.

A total of 38 pedestrians have died as a result of these incidents, representing an alarming increase of over 50% since 2020. About 63% of fatal pedestrian accidents occur on roads without any sidewalks, emphasizing the important role sidewalks provide in keeping pedestrians safe.

Pedestrian fatalities usually happen at night with 84% of these accidents occurring in night time. A quarter of these incidents happened on Georgia’s roads without any streetlights, again emphasizing the importance of infrastructure in keeping pedestrians safe.

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to take the following steps:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. It is important to get checked out by a medical professional. Medical records will also be valuable evidence should the need for a trial arise.
  2. Report the Accident: Contact the local police department to report the accident. They will create an official accident report, which can be crucial for your case.
  3. Gather Evidence: If possible, take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any damage to the vehicle involved. Try to get contact information from any witnesses in order to have their statements recorded.
  4. Contact a Lawyer: It’s advisable to contact a lawyer who specializes in pedestrian accidents. At Weinstein Law we can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.

Statute of Limitations

In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. This means you have two years to file a lawsuit. If you fail to do so within this timeframe, you may lose your right to seek compensation.

Types of Compensation

Victims of pedestrian accidents can seek various types of damages, including:

  1. Medical Expenses: This includes expenses for hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, medication, and any future medical expenses as a result of the accident.
  2. Lost Wages: You will be entitled to claim the wages you would have received while you are unable to work. This also includes reduced earning capacity if you’re unable to return to your previous job.
  3. Pain and Suffering: These are non-economic damages meant to compensate for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  4. Loss of Enjoyment of Life: You will be entitled to compensation if the accident caused you to not live your life in the same manner in which you have done before. Loss of enjoyment refers to a person not being able to participate in activities or hobbies they previously could have done.

Contact an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Attorney Right Away

Pedestrian accidents can have serious consequences, but knowing your rights and the legal options available to you can make a significant difference in the aftermath. If you’re a victim of a pedestrian accident, remember to seek medical attention, report the accident, gather evidence, and contact an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer at the Weinstein Law Firm to protect your rights and interests.

You can reach us at 770-HELP-NOW.

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