Atlanta, GA Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Pedestrian-Vehicle Lawyer

If you, a family member or friend have been hit by a car or truck and injured in a pedestrian accident anywhere in Georgia, The Millar Law Firm can help. A friendly attorney will review your case and explain your legal rights at no charge. Call or email us for a free consultation.

Helpful Legal Information for Your Georgia Pedestrian Accident Case:

How much are car or truck and pedestrian accident cases worth in Georgia?

If you are reading this, you or your loved-one may have a serious injury and you are wondering what your case may be worth. A pedestrian hit by a car and suffering from broken bones or internal injuries will usually have a much larger claim than a more typical car accident case. The value of a pedestrian accident case is based on the severity of the injury, whether it is clear who was at fault (the pedestrian or the vehicle), the amount of the medical bills and lost pay, and how long the victim will continue to experience pain and suffering.

In Georgia, does the pedestrian always have the right of way?

Often, but not always. Although our common sense tells us that the driver is almost always at fault, insurance companies and negligent drivers frequently try to place the blame on the pedestrian. Sometimes, tragically, it is the pedestrian’s fault. Many times, however, the accident happened because a driver was inattentive and is now unfairly blaming the pedestrian.

The law in Georgia is that if a person is using a crosswalk and has the traffic signal in his or her favor or a pedestrian is lawfully in the road and seen by a driver, vehicles must always stop and yield to the pedestrian. O.C.G.A. 40-6-91 and 40-6-92. On the other hand, it is also illegal for a pedestrian to suddenly step off the curb or into the roadway so close to an oncoming car or truck that the driver has no time to yield. O.C.G.A. 40-6-91(b). These laws mean that if the driver or the insurance company can blame the pedestrian for darting-out into traffic, they may try to do so. But, a thorough investigation into what happened may also show that a reasonably careful driver should have seen and avoided hitting the victim.
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Who is at fault when a person is NOT in a crosswalk?

Georgia law requires a pedestrian attempting to cross a road outside of a marked or at an unmarked crosswalk to yield the right of way to oncoming cars unless he or she has already safely entered the roadway. O.C.G.A. 40-6-92(a). And in an area where there are traffic-lights with marked crosswalks, pedestrians are required to use the marked cross-walk. O.C.G.A. 40-6-92(c).

On the other hand, according to the Governors’ Office of Highway Safety in Georgia, it is not illegal in most places in Georgia for persons to “Jaywalk” meaning to cross a road or highway outside of a crosswalk. And the law also requires that drivers of cars and trucks must exercise due care to avoid hitting pedestrians on any roadway, even if there is no crosswalk. O.C.G.A. 40-6-92. Drivers in our State are required to anticipate that people may lawfully be in the roadway, and to be careful not to hit them after the driver is or should be aware that the pedestrian is there.

So, who is at-fault when a person is hit outside of a cross walk is often a question of whether a driver could have seen and avoided hitting a victim in the road, or whether the pedestrian stepped out into the road at the last moment or was doing something unsafe like walking out from between parked cars or walking in the road wearing dark clothing at night.
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How do you prove a pedestrian accident case when the victim has been badly hurt or killed?

In Georgia pedestrian accident cases the victim is often severely injured or killed and unable to tell the officer what happened. The officer sometimes only hears what happened from the driver, who might not want to accept responsibility for what happened. Many questions need to be investigated and answered to determine who would or will “win” a case where the pedestrian cannot tell the police what happened. Did the pedestrian suddenly walk or run into traffic or the roadway without looking both ways? Was the driver being inattentive because he or she was talking on a cell phone or distracted by an electronic device? Did the driver make a right turn at a crosswalk without looking for or seeing the crossing the street? Police reports in theses cases are often poorly written, confusing or inaccurate.

Fortunately, it is often possible to learn what happened in other ways. Immediately after an accident, witnesses often call 911. There are sometimes recordings describing what happened. Some intersections or nearby businesses have surveillance cameras and the recordings can be obtained and reviewed. And, in some cases it is possible to have accident reconstruction experts analyze what happened based on physical evidence gathered or measured at the scene or from electronic data taken from the car or truck.
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How long does a Georgia pedestrian accident case usually take?

Most accident and injury cases take from several months up to a few years to turn into a settlement or pay a verdict. If the at-fault driver and his insurance company accept fault for what happened and do not question that your injuries came from the accident, a case may settle out of court after you heal from your injuries or medical reports can show the extent of the injuries. A case can take much longer if the insurance company refuses to pay or make a fair settlement offer. Often the only way to know is to begin getting the necessary medical care and to fully investigate the case as quickly as possible. Any lawyer or law firm that tries to tell you exactly how long your case will take is probably not being honest with you or is not doing all of the work necessary to help you get the full and fair value of your case.
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Do I need a special kind of lawyer to help me with a pedestrian accident case?

Probably. Pedestrian and vehicle accidents present special challenges due to the severity of injury and the tendency of at-fault drivers to blame pedestrians for suddenly stepping into the road in front of them. Although some cases are clear-cut, many Georgia cases in which the victim was hit by a car or truck require investigation, and this can involve specialized knowledge about how to uncover sources of information that may not seem obvious or require experts to obtain, such as black-box data. We recommend asking your lawyer or law-firm of choice what types and level of experience the attorney or lawyers have in handling or investigating pedestrian accident claims.

Insurance companies know that these can be challenging cases and adjusters often make unreasonably low (or no) settlement offers to unrepresented claimants. Studies have shown that accident victims who retain a good personal injury attorney receive, on average, two to five times as much as persons who attempt to represent themselves.
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Client Testimonials

“I was very pleased with The Millar Law Firm, LLC! They were very professional and handled my case in a timely manner. One thing I really liked about the firm was that they gave me right expectation and was very honest. I was very pleased with the way they kept in contact with me. I was well advised and kept informed during the case. I would suggest that if you want an attorney who will be honest and go after your claim or case, choose The Millar Law Firm, LLC.”

– Anthony Love

Other considerations and a case study:

We live in a world where it’s nearly impossible to keep our loved ones totally safe. We have rules in place to help, of course; we look both ways before we cross the street, cars are only supposed to go so fast and no faster, drivers are supposed to watch out for walkers, joggers, and bicycles riders. But not everybody follows those rules. There are people out there who don’t take their responsibility to vulnerable others very seriously – their negligence can threaten our health and safety.
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Did you Know?

  • Pedestrian and car or truck collisions cause serious, life threatening injuries like traumatic brain injuries, (TBI) from which some patients never recover fully.
  • Spinal cord injuries are common in pedestrian accidents – these can lead to life-long paralysis.
  • Pedestrians don’t have protection from a car – broken bones and catastrophic injuries to internal organs are very common.
  • What can you do when you or somebody you care about is devastated by the negligence of somebody else?

Here’s an example.

Ambrose’s Story: A case study*

Ambrose Ballard is 48-years old. He lives with his wife Helena on a rural highway South of Atlanta. On a clear fall morning at 11:15 AM, he begins to walk across the highway to his mailbox, looking both ways before he enters the road. There are two cars about a quarter of a mile away approaching from the same direction, plenty of time for him to see the cars and for the drivers to see him.

The first car slows slightly when the driver sees Ambrose crossing the road, but the second driver impatiently passes on a double-yellow line and accelerates, hitting Mr. Ballard before he can get out of the way. Ambrose is severely injured but remains conscious while he is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Unfortunately, he dies on the operating table.

Mr. Ballard’s family must now try to figure out what happened and what to do next. They learn that the driver who hit Mr. Ballard claims that she did nothing wrong and blames Ambrose for running into the road.

The family hires an experienced personal injury lawyer, who begins to investigate. The injury lawyer takes a statement from the driver who witnessed the collision and learns that the at-fault driver was speeding and passed her in a no-passing zone. The injury lawyer also hires an accident reconstruction expert, who locates the at-fault vehicle before it can be crushed and downloads data from the black box to prove the driver was changing lanes and going twice the speed limit at the time of impact.

The law firm also helps the family set-up an estate and walks them through the probate process. Claims for pre-death pain and suffering, medical bills, lost future income, and wrongful death are filed for Ambrose. Claims for his wife’s loss of consortium are also filed, because she is also entitled to be compensated for the loss of her husband.

Under Georgia law, Mr. Ballard was lawfully entitled to cross the highway. Because he entered the highway safely in visible conditions and with plenty of time to cross before oncoming traffic arrived and a thorough investigation has proven that the oncoming car was speeding and should have yielded to him, his family and estate should win this case.

*Mr. Ballard’s case study is fictitious, but is similar to cases that our law firm has handled.
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The Light at the End of the Tunnel

If your loved one was killed because of a negligent driver or sustained an injury from which they will eventually recover, you have the right to expect the law to protect your interests. Innocent victims should not suffer for the careless and reckless acts of others.

The Millar Law Firm has been handling personal injury claims for many years. Our attorneys have a combined history of more than 65 years of successfully helping victims and their families in pedestrian accident cases in Atlanta, Georgia and in many other Georgia cities and counties.

When you need an advocate to stand up for you and your family, trust the personal injury specialists at The Millar Law Firm. Call us today.

Other Legal Resources and Definitions:

“Crosswalk” Defined:
Georgia law defines a crosswalk as the part of a roadway that is marked with lines for pedestrian crossing. O.C.G.A. 40-1-1.

“Sidewalk” Defined:
In the State of Georgia, a sidewalk means the part of the street and the property lines along the road intended for people to walk on. O.C.G.A. 40-4-1.

Pedestrian Traffic Signals:
Georgia pedestrians must obey “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signals, When an intersection has WALK and DON’T WALK signals, pedestrians may walk in the direction indicated by the signal and drivers shall remain stopped and allow the pedestrian to cross. O.C.G.A. 40-6-22. The “don’t walk” signal means do not start crossing and does not give drivers who are turning at a green light the right of way. Those drivers must still yield to pedestrians.

Pedestrians may not start to cross a road when the DON’T WALK signal is flashing, but a person who has crossed part of the way may complete crossing to the sidewalk or safety island when the signal becomes solid.

Drivers Exiting Driveways or Buildings:
A driver leaving a driveway or parking lot must stop before crossing a sidewalk and yield to any pedestrian.  O.C.G.A. 40-6-144.
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