Here are some things to know about our work with pedestrian auto-accident cases.
- Pedestrian accidents are different. When a pedestrian and a car collide, it usually means a serious injury. Fractures, neck or back injuries, and fatalities regularly occur in a pedestrian case. There are also very unique protections afforded pedestrians. It is important to get a full understanding of the facts, and quickly, to ensure that you know what happened and why.
- We have a proven track record. We have recovered millions of dollars for pedestrians killed or genuinely injured in a car accident while walking. In both cases, the defendants argued that the pedestrian was not at fault for darting in the roadway. We have also defended pedestrian accidents, so we know all the ins and outs of these complex factual cases.
- We have accolades (just not the ones you pay for). We have been recognized as Super Lawyers. We have a 10/10 AVVO rating. We are rated AV Preeminent (the highest rating) by Martindale Hubble. We are listed as one of the Best Firms in America by US News & World Report. While some firms pay for “awards,” these were given to us the old fashioned way, work.
What to do after a pedestrian accident?
A pedestrian accident is scary, and it can be tough to know what to do. Here is a guideline about what to do when you are in a pedestrian accident.
First, check on everyone at the scene. A lot of times pedestrian accidents can be serious, with broken bones, neck or back injuries, torn ligaments, or death. The most important thing to do is check on yourself and the other folks involved in the accident. If you can assist in any way, do it.
Second, call the police. A pedestrian accident needs to be reported to the police. Even if the pedestrian says they are fine, there is simply too big of a risk to the pedestrian not to call the police. It is also important to call them, so they can get an understanding of the facts. Oftentimes, who is at fault in a car wreck with a pedestrian, it depends on the facts and circumstances at the scene. For example, the distance from the curb of the accident, the position of the vehicle, whether or not the accident occurred in a crosswalk, the opinions of other witnesses, the speed of vehicle—all this and more come into play in a pedestrian accident.
Third, preserve as much evidence as you can. Take photographs. Now, with cell phones, you can document the scene easily. You should also speak with any witnesses around, get their contact information (full name, address, email address, and phone number). A lot of times witnesses will leave a scene shortly after the accident occurred because they have somewhere to be. That is why it is very important to get witness contact information immediately.
Fourth, cooperate with the investigating officer. Tell the police officer what happened as clearly as you can. It is important to be truthful. We have a saying at our firm: we can deal with the facts no matter what they are, but we can’t deal with make believe. We need the truth to get to the bottom of the case.
Fifth, seek medical treatment. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, particularly if you are the pedestrian, it is important to get checked out. You could have unseen or unfelt injuries at present, when you’re involved in a violent impact with a vehicle. Take the time and see the doctor.
Sixth, call your insurer. For both the pedestrian and the other driver, it is very important to contact your insurer immediately. Most insurance policies have requirements that they be notified “immediately” or “as soon as is practicable.” If you fail to notify your insurer, you may lose benefits under your policy.
Seventh, research and find a good attorney. Some simple car accident cases, like a rear end collision with minor injuries or a property damage claim, can be handled by a person on their own. A pedestrian case is fact intensive, deals with unique and (sometimes) counterintuitive laws, and often serious injuries. A pedestrian accident needs an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer.
Who is at fault in a pedestrian accident?
Georgia has statutes that, generally speaking, gives pedestrians the right of way. One of these statutes states “The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk….” Notice that this language in this statute is not permissive like “may” or “should.” The language is an order, the driver “shall stop.” Another statute says “Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway….” This rule again says the drive “shall” avoid colliding with a pedestrian.
But, don’t go jumping out into the roadway just yet. There are exceptions to nearly every rule, including these. Georgia law requires pedestrians to exercise ordinary care while walking. This means a person walking has to act reasonably and watch for their own safety. There are statutory duties as well. These include the general duty to use a crosswalk, not dart into traffic, and not to cross traffic diagonally. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-92.
When there is an Atlanta pedestrian accident, whether the pedestrian has a valid claim for their injuries can be a complex case. Hiring an experienced Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer is important. A lot of times it comes down to a detailed factual analysis of the roadway, the driver’s actions, and the pedestrian’s actions. An injured pedestrian in Georgia can only recover if they are less than 50% at fault. This is the same rule for any injured person in a Georgia truck accident, bike accident, or car accident.
What are some common causes of pedestrian accidents?
Every case is different, but statistics give us some insight into the causes. The CDC reports that persons 65 and older account for 20% of all pedestrian deaths in 2016. Young children (under the age of 15) also account for 20%.
One of the biggest factors: alcohol. Almost half (48%) of crashes involve alcohol for the driver or the pedestrian. Additionally, higher vehicle speeds increase the risk of a pedestrian accident. The location is a big factor as well: urban areas and non-intersections increase the risk of a wreck with a pedestrian. Nighttime is also, understandably, a factor.
How much compensation is there for a pedestrian accident?
Whether or not a crash with a pedestrian will result in a successful personal injury claim depends on the elements of the case. To have a successful personal injury claim (regardless of it is a brain injury, trailer wreck, bike accident, spine injury, or fatal accident case) requires three things: (1) liability (that it is someone else’s fault); (2) damages as a result of the accident (in a personal injury case this means, bodily injury, lost wages, and medical expenses; and (3) causation (that the accident and not some unrelated issue caused the damages).
Generally speaking, in a case that was clearly the other side’s fault (in legal terms a case of “clear liability”), then the more severe the injuries, the larger the recovery. An injured pedestrian will be looking to recover: medical bills + lost wages + pain & suffering. For medical bills, the expenses must be casually related to the accident. This means that preexisting conditions, degenerative conditions, prior injuries, and injuries that occur much after the accident are not generally recoverable. An easy to understand example of a traumatic injury is a fracture. There are exceptions to every rule, so a solid Atlanta truck accident attorney could give you a better idea.
In addition, the medical expenses must be reasonable. A lot of times folks think that the higher medical expenses, the better. This is not necessarily the case if the medical bills are unreasonable.
How do you make a claim for a pedestrian accident?
If you are in a pedestrian accident, you should hire an attorney. The attorney will be able to assist you in ensuring that your claim is preserved. For an injured person, this means sending a formal legal correspondence to the other driver and their insurer stating a claim. For the defendant, this sending a formal notice to their insurer that they will need defense of a personal injury claim.
Is there a time limit for a pedestrian accident?
In general, the time limit is 2 years from the date of the accident. The time can be shortened or lengthened significantly depending on the facts. For example, a claim involving a city employee requires notice be sent within 6 months. A claim involving a minor may permit years additional. Regardless of how long you have to file the claim, for pedestrian accidents in particular, hiring a knowledgeable Georgia pedestrian accident attorney is key. You need to preserve evidence in a pedestrian accident, as they are fact intensive.
How can a pedestrian accident attorney help me?
When we receive notice of a pedestrian accident case, our first step is to proceed to the scene at the earliest opportunity. Pedestrian accidents are fact intensive, and the type of street, intersection, markings, speed limits, and traffic density are all factors. We send preservation demands to the other side to ensure all evidence is preserved and not lost. We begin diligently searching for witnesses and contacting local businesses for video.
Once we have all the facts, we work to resolve the case as quickly and efficiently as possible. At our firm we exist for one reason: to make lives better for folks. We do that for our clients involved in Atlanta pedestrian crashes.
What is a pedestrian accident?
A pedestrian accident is a claim of injury involving a motorcycle, vehicle, truck, tractor-trailer, bus, dump truck, or other type of commercial vehicle, on the one hand, and a person outside of their vehicle on the other. A bicyclist could also be considered a pedestrian, depending on the circumstances.
What areas do we serve?
Our practice is focused on Georgia. We are based in Atlanta, but we are ready and able to serve clients in any jurisdiction in Georgia. This includes Atlanta, Gainesville, Columbus, Savannah, Decatur, Augusta, Athens, Roswell, and any of our other great cities and counties.
Here are some example case results:
- For defense cases, we have never had a case resolve for more than our valuation. This is either through settlement or trial
- For plaintiff cases, we have recovered millions of dollars. This includes a $2,250,000 recovery for a pedestrian wrongful death, as well as many more.