Were you or a loved one hit while walking or jogging in Atlanta? If so, you are certainly not alone. With its warm weather and numerous parks, attractions, restaurants, and sporting venues, metro Atlanta is a popular area for people to gather and stroll around.
Unfortunately, the combination of crowds and heavy traffic has made Atlanta one of the most dangerous places in the country for pedestrians. When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the victim’s injuries can be catastrophic or even fatal.
People walking on the sidewalks and streets of Atlanta have the right to be protected. If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to a huge payout from the insurance company. A strong claim depends on proving factors such as the severity of the injury, who was at fault, the amount of economic loss, and how long the victim experiences pain and suffering.
The Millar Law Firm works hard to help victims of pedestrian accidents in Atlanta get the full compensation they deserve.
Walking Should Be a Safe Mode of Transportation in Atlanta
Walking offers significant health benefits, such as improving your muscle tone, burning calories, strengthening your heart, reducing joint pain, lowering your blood sugar, and raising your energy level. Plus, when people choose to walk from place to place there are fewer cars on the road, which means less traffic congestion and a cleaner environment for everyone.
Given the advantages, people should feel empowered and safe while walking around the city of Atlanta. Too often, however, large metro areas are full of pedestrian hazards, including wide, high-speed roads, damaged sidewalks, dark conditions, and crosswalks with poor visibility. To make matters worse, drivers who are impaired, texting or talking on cell phones, or otherwise distracted may not notice a pedestrian until it’s too late.
Georgia’s laws are designed to prevent these accidents and provide for the safety of pedestrians. By holding drivers legally accountable for hitting pedestrians, our lawyers are not only working to protect the financial interests of victims but also helping to make our streets safer by preventing future accidents.
Georgia Pedestrian Accident Laws
If you have been injured by a vehicle while walking, you should know your rights. Georgia has enacted specific laws to protect the safety of pedestrians, including:
O.C.G.A. 40-6-93: Drivers of cars and trucks must exercise due care to avoid hitting pedestrians on any roadway, even if they are not in a crosswalk.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-91(a): Pedestrians have the right-of-way in crosswalks.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-91(d): Vehicles cannot pass other vehicles that are stopped for pedestrians crossing a crosswalk.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-22(1): Pedestrians should cross if the “Walk” signal is on, and all vehicles must stop and remain stopped.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-22(2): Pedestrians who have partially completed a crossing before the “Don’t Walk” signal comes on should finish their crossing in safety.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-144: Drivers emerging from any driving area that goes over a sidewalk should stop before the sidewalk and yield to pedestrians.
Because drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid hitting pedestrians, an accident victim may file a negligence claim against the driver’s insurance company if they were at fault.
Pedestrians can also be found at fault or partially to blame for the accident, however, because the law requires them to walk or jog in a responsible manner. If, for example, a pedestrian suddenly darted out in the road or entered a busy intersection outside the crosswalk and the driver was unable to see them or stop in time, the pedestrian may be found negligent.
In a comparative negligence state such as Georgia, the pedestrian’s damage claim is reduced by their percentage of fault. Pedestrians cannot not recover damages at all if they were at least 50 percent at fault for the accident.
Drivers are held to a higher standard of care when the pedestrian is a child, which means they must take greater precautions when driving near schools, parks, and residential areas where children are more likely to be present. Under the law, children are not expected to have the same awareness as adults when it comes to avoiding risk.
Pedestrians Lose Every Time; They Shouldn’t Also Lose Financially
When a car or truck hits a pedestrian, the driver’s damage and injuries may be minimal because the vehicle’s design and safety features protect them. But for the pedestrian who has no protection, a direct hit by 3,000 pounds of metal can cause devastating or even fatal injuries.
Anyone who has suffered this kind of trauma shouldn’t also suffer financially because of someone else’s negligence. It is common for a victim to underestimate the cost of their accident, falsely believing that the low or mediocre offer they receive from the insurance company is the most they can get.
Victims typically don’t realize the full extent of their losses because they don’t incur certain immediate costs, such as a damaged vehicle, and medical bills may take weeks or months to arrive. For many injuries there will also be future expenses, such as long-term treatment, missed job earnings, and pain and suffering.
If the victim accepts a settlement offer too early, they may be left paying the costs of an accident that someone else caused.
Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Collect Credible Evidence to Build a Strong Claim
Despite the catastrophic injuries that are often involved, pedestrian cases cannot be easily won simply by showing that a person was hit. To get full compensation from the insurance company, you must gather credible evidence to tell your story and prove that the driver was negligent.
When you hire our firm, we do all the work to collect evidence and use resources such as 911 calls, police reports, eyewitness testimony, video surveillance, and photos to build a strong claim. Even if you have enough evidence to show the driver was at fault, you must also be able to prove the full cost of the accident to get fair compensation. Our lawyers understand the full scope of how a pedestrian accident can change your life and the financial impact of these changes.
Before we negotiate with the insurance carrier, our attorneys gather all necessary medical records/bills and consult with doctors and experts to calculate your future treatment needs, such as surgery, home accommodations, physical therapy, or other rehabilitative services. We also help you determine your current and future lost income or self-employed revenue as well as damages for your pain and suffering, including losses to your quality of life resulting from amputations, paralysis, disfigurement, or poor mental state.
By putting in the time and effort required to show the full picture, we make sure you get the compensation you’re entitled to for your accident.
Our Lawyers Know How to Negotiate with Insurance Companies
When it comes to injury claims, insurance companies know every trick in the book to avoid payment, and a victim who is not represented by an experienced attorney can be easy prey for their tactics.
To protect their own financial interests, carriers may try to delay or deny a valid claim or offer a quick settlement far below what the claim is worth. Insurance companies are also experts at reducing damages by arguing that the victim was somehow at fault. Without a good attorney negotiating on their behalf, many people will accept less than they deserve without realizing the financial burden they will face in the future. And once you agree to a settlement, you waive your right to more compensation.
Our firm has handled pedestrian injury cases for over 29 years, so our attorneys know how to communicate with insurance companies and fight their unfair practices so that you receive full compensation for the accident. With our attorneys working for you, the only thing you need to focus on is your recovery.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, call The Millar Law Firm today at (770) 400-0000 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Common Questions About Atlanta Pedestrian Accidents
Can a pedestrian be at fault (negligent) for causing an accident in Atlanta?
How long can a pedestrian accident case take to resolve?
Do pedestrian injury accidents usually result in a settlement?
What legal options are available to pedestrian hit-and-run victims for compensation recovery?
If the pedestrian is a child who was hit in their neighborhood, can the driver be held liable for owing a higher duty of care?
What are the challenges that come with pedestrian accident cases?
In what situations would the driver be protected against a pedestrian accident legal claim?