Who is Considered ‘At Fault’ for a Pedestrian Accident in Georgia?
It is common for both drivers and pedestrians to assume that they have the right of way and that whoever is their opposite is in the wrong. However, regardless of whose side the law backs up, both drivers and pedestrians must respect and be watchful for others they share the road with. Not everyone can see each other, so we sometimes have to make ourselves visible. Sadly, too many people die or suffer serious injuries in preventable pedestrian accidents every year.
Under Georgia law, a pedestrian is anyone traveling on foot, whether they are walking, running, jogging, or standing still. Additionally, state law considers disabled individuals using wheelchairs or other mobility devices as pedestrians. Like other road users, pedestrians must follow the rules and regulations. But, because pedestrians face higher vulnerability to injuries than vehicle occupants, the law gives them additional allowances, requiring drivers to make extra efforts to ensure their safety.
If a pedestrian is injured in an accident, they can file a claim against any party which was responsible for the accident. While this would likely mean the driver who struck the pedestrian, it could also mean others whose negligence influenced the accident somehow. Additionally, however, under Georgia’s ‘comparative fault’ laws, it is possible for the pedestrian to shoulder some part of the blame for their own accident. Such a thing is rare, as most of the laws side with pedestrians in such incidents, but if the facts support the claim that a pedestrian was partially at fault, then it could limit the settlement they may receive.
Does the Pedestrian Always Have the Right of Way?
Pedestrian right of way varies from state to state, and generally, it is safest to assume that the pedestrian always has the right of way. However, this is only sometimes the case.
In Georgia, drivers must always yield to pedestrians in a marked crosswalk. In fact, the state asks that drivers do more than simply yield, but that they ‘stop and stay stopped’ for crossing pedestrians. And drivers must yield to any blind pedestrian (with or without a seeing-eye dog companion), regardless of whether the blind pedestrian is crossing at the marked crosswalk.
However, drivers are granted the right of way in other situations. For example, if pedestrians cross the street at an unmarked crossing, they should yield to oncoming traffic. And no pedestrian should step off the curb and into the road if a moving car is right there, as they should wait for the vehicle to pass or allow the car time to slow down before crossing. Pedestrians are expected to yield to drivers on highways and other large public roads. However, the drivers are also told to always be watchful for pedestrians. Pedestrians must also yield to emergency vehicles such as ambulances and police cruisers.
Pedestrians are also strongly encouraged to use sidewalks when available.
What Type of Damages Can Be Recovered for Pedestrian Accident Victims?
If a pedestrian accident injures you or a loved one, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Once checked, file a police report and try to collect information from eyewitnesses who witnessed the accident.. Afterward, please contact a personal injury attorney experienced with representing clients in pedestrian accident cases similar to yours.
As your legal representatives, your pedestrian accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation from any at-fault parties by filing a personal injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have a strong case, you can recover a financial settlement for your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages could include:
- Lost wages and lost future income.
- Medical bills.
- Physical therapy.
- Property damage.
Non-economic damages could include:
- Diminished quality of life.
- Living with a new disability.
- Lost consortium and loss of companionship.
- Mental anguish.
- Psychological pain and suffering.
The sooner you speak with a lawyer about your case, the more time that lawyer will have to build a comprehensive legal argument for why you deserve the maximum compensation for your damages. While you don’t necessarily need a lawyer to represent you in this matter, experts strongly recommend hiring one. Navigating the legal process, arguing with insurance companies, and facing opposing lawyers can be challenging. Moreover, you might have to handle these tasks while injured or grieving.. That’s simply too much to ask of anyone. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Speak with a lawyer for assistance.
Contact Our Law Firm to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
At Go Big Injury Law, we pride ourselves in providing our clients with compassionate, respectful legal representation to pursue the most satisfying outcome for their cases. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means that our clients owe us nothing in legal fees if we are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for their cases. Add to that our no-obligation free initial consultation, and you may consider it a safe bet to at least speak with us about the services we offer.
We understand that this is a difficult time for you. Allow us to try to make things just a little bit easier.
Please contact our law offices to schedule your free consultation today. (800) 777-7777.