Who’s Liable in a Pedestrian Accident?

pedestrian accidents result in high damages

Pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence in Georgia. If you or a loved one have been involved in such an accident, it’s important to know your rights and whether you are eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and losses.

Let’s take a look at how liability is determined in this type of incident and how an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer can help your case.

Who Is Liable in a Pedestrian Accident in Georgia?

In 2021, there were 306 pedestrians fatally injured in traffic crashes in Georgia, a 10 percent increase from the 279 pedestrian fatalities in 2020. More than half of all pedestrian crashes occurred within the Atlanta region (58 percent).

In Georgia, the one to blame is supposed to bear the cost of injuries or damages, which means that his actions or inactions were the cause of the accident. The system of comparative fault applies in Georgia in determining liability.

This implies that both pedestrians and drivers can be at fault for an accident and it will affect the compensation awarded. If pedestrians or drivers do not observe their rights and responsibilities when using Georgia’s roadways they will become liable for damages.

Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities

Pedestrians in Georgia have specific rights and responsibilities when using roadways and crosswalks:

Use Crosswalks

Crosswalks should be used by pedestrians whenever possible. Crossing a street outside of a marked crosswalk, commonly referred to as jaywalking, may have legal consequences.

Obey Traffic Signals

Pedestrians are also to obey traffic signs just like drivers. Pedestrians can only use crosswalks if there is a traffic signal allowing them. Moreover, some traffic sign could specify areas where pedestrians might roam around freely

Yield to Vehicles

While pedestrians have the right of way in marked crosswalks, they must yield the right of way to vehicles when crossing outside of crosswalks or in areas where there are no crosswalks.

Use Sidewalks

If sidewalks are available, pedestrians are required to use them. Where sidewalks exist, walk on them; but if not available then walk facing oncoming traffic as far left as possible

Avoid Distracted Walking

Just as motorists need to avoid distracted driving, pedestrians should watch out for inattentiveness such as reading text messages or using earbuds while moving along roadsides.

Driver Responsibilities in Georgia

Drivers in Georgia have a responsibility to exercise caution and ensure the safety of pedestrians:

Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalks

Drivers must stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks.

pedestrians are often severely injured in car accidents

Stop for School Buses

Motorists are required to stop and stay halted until either signaled by the driver or when the school bus resumes motion after stopping with red lights flashing together with its stop-arm extended.

Exercise Caution in Pedestrian Zones

Areas like schools, parks, and neighborhoods should be approached with care because there may be people walking there, especially children who pay no attention at times thereby putting themselves at risk of being hit by cars.

Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident

When you suffered injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation for different types of damages. Here are the damages you can seek:

Medical Expenses

This covers costs incurred during treatments such as surgeries, prescribed drugs and other medications as well as other medical bills including physical therapy.

Lost Wages

If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you may be able to recover compensation for the income you’ve lost.

Pain and Suffering

It means the bodily pain and emotional anguish that resulted from your being hurt. Though difficult to measure, it forms an integral part of many personal injury claims.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Should your injuries prevent you from enjoying activities that you used to love engaging in, this loss may be compensable.

Future Medical Expenses

If your injuries will require ongoing medical care, you can seek compensation for the estimated cost of this care.

Punitive Damages

A few cases could allow punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct is found extremely outrageous so as to deter repeat occurrences. These are meant to punish the wrongdoer.

Contact an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Help

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you should consult with an experienced attorney to determine if your case is worth pursuing and what is your chance of success. Your lawyer can help you build a strong case, by gathering and analyzing evidence, negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf, and even representing you in court if your case goes to trial.

An Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney can also provide legal advice and guidance, helping you make informed decisions about your case. Contact us at 770-HELP-NOW for a free case review.

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