Not even walking is safe anymore on the crowded streets of Fulton County and especially in Roswell, the seventh most populous city in Georgia. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety estimates on their website that up to 15% of the persons who incur injuries or die in traffic accidents are pedestrians. This means that between 900 and 1,000 Fulton County residents end up needing the assistance of a pedestrian accident lawyer near Roswell every year.
Under Georgia laws, just like the drivers and passengers of the cars involved in traffic collisions, pedestrians too can seek compensation for the injuries and property damage they incur. The safest and easiest way to do this in Roswell, GA, is with the help of a local pedestrian accident attorney.
Those who choose to wait before calling an injury firm near Roswell should at least gather as much information as possible about the laws applicable to their case and identify the party at fault for their accident.
Georgia Laws Covering Pedestrian Accidents
Several Georgia laws may apply to a pedestrian accident, depending on the circumstances in which the accident occurred. A Roswell pedestrian accident lawyer will know exactly which law applies to which circumstances, but those who have not contacted one yet may find the following information useful.
Pedestrian Roadway Accidents
Pedestrians will usually have a hard time obtaining compensation if they incurred their injuries or property damage while crossing the roadway anywhere else than on the crosswalk, especially if they do not benefit from the assistance of a pedestrian accident attorney.
According to Georgia Code section § 40-6-92, pedestrians crossing the street outside the crosswalks areas, especially in the vicinity of pedestrian tunnels or crossings, have an obligation to yield priority to all vehicles. They should never cross the road between adjacent intersections that have functional traffic control signals outside the marked crosswalk areas. If they did, they should immediately get in touch with a pedestrian accident attorney.
Their ability to obtain compensation after violating the stipulations of this code section will most likely depend on the experience and commitment of their pedestrian accident lawyer. As the latter may explain, Georgia laws embrace the concept of shared liability.
According to it, the pedestrian or their car accident lawyer will have to prove that the driver was more at fault than the pedestrian they hit. This could happen if the driver were intoxicated, speeding, texting while driving, or hit the pedestrian intentionally.
Pedestrian Crosswalk Accidents
Georgia Code Section § 40-6-91 stipulates that drivers must yield priority to pedestrians crossing the road on designated marked areas. They should not squeeze by or cut the pedestrians’ way. According to the same section, pedestrians should not run or get into a car’s path suddenly.
Those who are unsure who was at fault for their accident can easily find out by revealing the details of their case to a pedestrian accident lawyer. In general, if a pedestrian was already on the crosswalk when the car hit them, the driver’s liability should be easy to prove.
It is important to note that, for accidents occurring on crosswalks, Code Section § 40-6-22 prevails over Code Section § 40-6-91. As a pedestrian wreck lawyer may explain, this means that pedestrians should only cross the street on the crosswalk when the traffic signals in place allow it.
If the traffic lights displayed were in “Do not walk” mode and the pedestrian crossed the street, they are the only ones responsible for the consequences of their actions, and perhaps not even the best pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to help them.
But the pedestrian and the driver that hit them are not the only ones who can share liability for an accident. As any Roswell pedestrian accident attorney may confirm, cars that obstruct the driver or the pedestrian’s visibility may make their drivers liable for the accident as well, if they violate Code Section § 40-6-203. This section prohibits parking vehicles in specific places or within minimum distances from various points on the road, in this case on crosswalks or within less than 20 feet from crosswalks.
Accidents in Which a Car Emerged from an Alley, Driveway, or Private Road
When the accident occurs on the sidewalk, after a car emerges from an alley, a private road, or a driveway, Roswell pedestrian accident lawyers know that the driver is most likely at fault for the accident. According to Code Section § 40-6-144, in these situations, pedestrians have the right of way.
Of course, there could be contributing factors, like the pedestrian jumping in front of the car suddenly, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not using the sidewalk, or being outside the driver’s visibility range. All these details should be subject to a discussion with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer.
At The Weinstein Firm, our pedestrian accident lawyers evaluate the cases brought to their attention taking into account not only the stipulations of the above laws but also the circumstances in which the accident took place. This way, they can give their clients a clear overview of their chances of obtaining compensation, and what obtaining that compensation would entail.
A Roswell pedestrian accident lawyer will often begin their evaluation with the main cause of the accident. In Roswell, and all throughout Fulton County, pedestrian accidents have one or more of the common causes reviewed below.
Common Causes of Roswell Pedestrian Accidents
Failure to Yield Priority
Most pedestrian accidents in Fulton County occur because one party fails to yield right of way to the other one. In order to determine the party at fault, a Roswell pedestrian accident attorney will want to know:
Where the accident took place (on the roadway, on a crosswalk, or the sidewalk, or at the intersection with an alley, private road, or driveway)
Whether there were any traffic lights functioning in the area and what they indicated
Whether any parked vehicle or some other object may have blocked the visibility of the parties or covered the traffic signals.
These details will help the pedestrian wreck lawyer assess who should have yielded right of way to whom, and who is at fault for the accident.
Drugs or Alcohol Impairment
While the Governor’s Office of Traffic Safety estimates that alcohol is the main cause of 26% of the traffic collisions registered in Georgia, it is can also impair pedestrians. It is not uncommon to find out that the pedestrian injured or killed in an accident had fallen on the roadway or crossed the street while the “Don’t walk” signals were on because they were too drunk to notice them.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will always pay attention to the test results meant to show the blood alcohol concentration or the presence of drugs in the system of the parties involved in the accident. Such evidence could make or break their case.
It is the main cause of 19% of the traffic collisions occurring every year throughout the state, and a factor any pedestrian accident lawyer will take into account. Associated with bad weather or heavy traffic, high speed can often threaten pedestrian lives.
To prove speeding, a Roswell pedestrian accident lawyer may look for witnesses, video cameras covering the accident area, and even experts who can calculate speed based on impact force, brake marks, and other case details.
Smartphones seem to be today traffic participants’ worst enemies. While they bring a wide number of conveniences to their fingertips, they also divert their attention from the road. Although Georgia laws only prohibit texting while driving, a single second when the driver takes their eyes off the road to make or receive a call or check some social media notification can be fatal to a pedestrian, and any Roswell pedestrian accident lawyer knows it.
At the same time, many pedestrians focus on their smartphones while walking to keep in touch with their contacts, listen to music, or use some app they have installed, and never pay attention to the road, the traffic signals, or anything else happening around them.
The fact that one of the parties involved in the accident was using their smartphone can represent valuable information for an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. How they use that information will depend on the case circumstances, but it will surely be in the best interest of their client.
Identifying the cause of an accident basically means identifying the party at fault. Details regarding any of the above causes could be enough to prove shared liability and strengthen or weaken a case. That is why, any pedestrian wreck lawyer in Roswell will expect complete honesty from their client, even when that means for the latter admitting they broke the law or made mistakes.
Every detail counts and can influence the compensation one can receive, and the steps the pedestrian accident attorney needs to take in order to justify the compensation claim. Depending on accident circumstances and consequences, a compensation claim can cover any or all of the following types of damages.
Types of Damages a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Roswell May Obtain for Their Client
- Property damage – If the pedestrian involved in an accident was wearing a diamond ring, an expensive watch, or designer clothes, the compensation claim may cover those as well. It may also cover smartphones, cameras, and any other assets the pedestrian may have had on them and got damaged or lost during the accident.
- Medical care – From hospital bills to private consultations, drugs invoices, and medical devices and procedures, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer should be able to include them all in the compensation claim. Of course, whether or not they get compensated will depend on the evidence available and whether the costs are justified or not.
- Home care and disability adjustments – Many victims require months or years of home treatment and rehabilitation to fully recover after an accident, and many never do. When that happens, their pedestrian accident attorney should be able to include the costs of their home care, wheelchair, and any home adjustments necessary in the compensation claim.
- Pain and suffering – When the accident results in severe, life-changing injuries that involve acute or chronic pain and cause a lot of suffering, the victim deserves compensation, and it is up to their pedestrian wreck lawyer to obtain it.
- Lost wages and earning capacity – Many accident victims find themselves unable to work for weeks or even months, or remain disabled and lose their earning capacity. When it happens, the compensation they receive should cover any lost income as well.
The Weinstein Firm pedestrian accident lawyers know how difficult and costly recovering after an accident can be, and they do everything in their power to make the claim process as easy and straightforward as possible for their clients and obtain the highest compensations available. However, their ability to do so often depends on how soon after the accident the client contacts them.
The sooner a pedestrian wreck lawyer starts working on a case, the higher their chances to document the above-mentioned types of damages and obtain compensation for them are. Also, since the law only allows two years for personal injury civil actions, waiting too long can cost accident victims their case.
Get The Help of a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Roswell
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident that resulted in injuries and property damage, it is of utmost importance that you request a case evaluation as soon as possible. You could be entitled to a consistent compensation.
At The Weinstein Firm, we offer free case evaluations to all our clients. If you decide you do not need or want the services of the pedestrian wreck lawyer you consult, you can walk away without paying a cent. If you choose to work with them, you do not have to pay anything either, at least not before we win your case.
Our contingency-based agreements allow our clients to benefit from the services of an experienced and dedicated accident attorney in Roswell and only pay for their services from the compensation they receive when they receive it. You too can benefit from the free consultation and the contingency agreement – Call us and make an appointment today!