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Sandy Springs Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
As drivers are becoming more distracted behind the wheel, pedestrians are at risk of being involved in an accident more than ever. Thanks to all the technology and added features that vehicles have, plus driving with smartphones, a simple radio station switch can take a driver’s eyes off the road long enough to strike a pedestrian.
Pedestrian accidents are common throughout the United States, especially in larger cities like Atlanta. Unfortunately, pedestrian accident injuries can be catastrophic since nothing protects accident victims from the oncoming vehicle.
If you or a loved one was struck by a vehicle, contact Sandy Springs pedestrian accident attorneys at Ashenden & Associates. Your personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company and will take your pedestrian accident lawsuit to court if necessary.
Contact the personal injury attorneys at Ashenden & Associates today if you were a pedestrian involved in an accident. Our Sandy Springs legal team will fight for your rights and recover compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 770-394-8909 today.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident involves a pedestrian and a motor vehicle, like a car or motorcycle. Most pedestrian accident cases boil down to negligence from the driver or the pedestrian.
For example, if a pedestrian has the right of way and is walking along a crosswalk, but the driver turning onto the street is on their phone looking at directions and strikes the pedestrian, they have caused a pedestrian accident. That pedestrian has a legal right to sue the driver for damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Pedestrians can suffer a wide variety of catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities from a car accident. Tragically, many pedestrian accidents are fatal due to how little protection the pedestrian has compared to a driver in a vehicle.
How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents in the U.S.?
In 2021, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) estimated that over 8,980 pedestrians were killed in traffic or non-traffic accidents. A non-traffic accident occurs on private property, driveways, or parking lots.
In Georgia, 182 pedestrians were killed during the first half of 2021, according to a study published by the Governors Highway Safety Association. This was an increase of 77% from the same time the year prior. In Atlanta alone, 17 pedestrians were killed during the same year.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Like most car accidents, negligence is the primary cause of a pedestrian accident. Motorists are required to uphold a duty of care, which is to operate their vehicles with the safety of others in mind. When that duty of care is breached, negligence occurs, and accidents can happen.
Accidents are more likely to happen thanks to the distracting technology that our cars have. Whether the driver is changing the radio station or checking a map, their attention to driving has been lowered. When drivers act negligently, the results can be catastrophic.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents are:
- Traffic violations
- Running stop signs/red lights
- Driving while distracted
- Failure to yield
- Poor visibility
- Illegal passing
- Driving while fatigued
- Drunk driving
Many pedestrian accidents happen in parking lots, intersections, near driveways, along highways, and around the entrances and exits of buildings. They usually occur at night and often involve intoxication on the pedestrian or driver’s part. Motorists will often flee the scene of the pedestrian accident out of fear, leaving an injured pedestrian alone.
Pedestrians can also cause pedestrian accidents by walking along an unmarked crossway or ignoring traffic signals, for example. When the pedestrian is at-fault for the accident, they can be held responsible for medical expenses and other personal injury claim damages.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian accident injuries are often catastrophic because they walk without protection against an oncoming vehicle. When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, those injuries can change their life forever.
Injury victims in a pedestrian accident can file a personal injury claim when negligence caused those injuries. The most common injuries in a pedestrian accident are as follows:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Skull and facial fractures
- Partial or total paralysis
- Crush injuries
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Broken bones
- Road rash, bruising, and lacerations
- One or more amputations
- Loss of fetus
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability
- Wrongful death
If you or a family member have been struck by a vehicle, contact a Sandy Springs pedestrian accident attorney at Ashenden & Associates today.
Can Pedestrians Be At Fault for Accidents?
Pedestrians can be at fault for accidents if they act negligently by walking into a road or ignoring traffic laws. When a pedestrian illegally crosses a road or ignores traffic laws, the motorist may not see them or have enough time to stop, injuring the pedestrian, veering off the road, or hitting an oncoming motorist.
When a pedestrian is at-fault for an accident, they can be held liable for damages, even if they sustained injuries from the accident. The pedestrian at fault is responsible for property damage to the vehicle, medical bills, lost wages, and other personal injury damages.
If you were hurt in an accident where the pedestrian was at-fault, you could receive financial compensation for damages. Contact a Sandy Springs personal injury attorney at Ashenden & Associates to discuss your pedestrian accident case.
Proving Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Cases
In order to create a strong defense in a pedestrian accident case, your personal injury attorney must establish the four elements of negligence.
- Duty of Care: A driver owes pedestrians a duty of care. This means that the driver must responsibly operate their vehicle with the safety of pedestrians and other drivers in mind.
- Breached Duty of Care: Your pedestrian accident attorney will prove that the driver owed you a duty of care, and their failure to uphold that care resulted in the accident and your injuries.
- Causation: Your pedestrian accident lawyer will prove that you were injured because the driver breached the duty of care. Had the driver acted responsibly, the duty of care would not have been breached, and you would not have been injured.
- Damages: Once the above elements have been proven, you’re entitled to damages like lost wages, medical bills, and more.
When you’ve been hurt in an accident, it’s important to hire our experienced personal injury attorneys so that they can ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
When Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way in Georgia?
Pedestrians do not always have the right of way. Below, we’ve listed the situations where they have the right of way, and some where they don’t.
- When Pedestrians Have the Right of Way
- Sidewalks perpendicular to driveways, alleys, and parking garages: Motorists leaving alleys, parking garages, or driveways must stop before reaching the sidewalk that crosses the end of the alley, parking garage, or driveway. Drivers must yield to any pedestrians on the sidewalk but are not required to come to a complete stop.
- Crosswalks: Pedestrians have the right of way on crosswalks. Georgia law requires drivers to come to a complete stop, not just yield, when a pedestrian is near the crosswalk on the side of the road or when the pedestrian is in one lane of the half of the roadway on which the car is traveling. All traffic lanes with traffic traveling in one direction are considered “half of the roadway.” The turn lane is considered half the roadway in which you are driving.
- When Pedestrians Do Not Have the Right of Way
- Jumping in front of a vehicle: A person cannot suddenly leave a curb, sidewalk, or other area of safety to jump or walk in front of a moving vehicle. Jumping in front of a vehicle at close range does not give the driver enough time to stop safely.
- Tunnels and overhead walkways: Pedestrians that cross a road at the point where an overhead walkway or tunnel is installed for the safety of pedestrians must yield to drivers when they choose not to use the overhead walkway or tunnel.
- Crossing roadways other than crosswalks: A pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than the crosswalk must yield to all motorists unless the pedestrian has safely entered the roadway. Jaywalking is a common term for crossing a road outside a crosswalk. It is not illegal in Georgia. It only means that pedestrians are required to yield to vehicles on the road.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit if a Family Member Was Killed in a Pedestrian Accident?
Yes, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit if you lose a family member in a fatal pedestrian accident caused by a driver’s negligence. The compensation from the lawsuit would be transferred to the deceased’s estate.
In a personal injury case, the damages one can receive are medical bills, lost wages, etc. However, the damages a family can receive in a personal injury claim involving wrongful death will be burial and funeral expenses, emotional pain and suffering of a loved one, and more. If the deceased financially supported the family, they could also receive a loss of benefits, retirement funds, and future income.
Pedestrian Accident Damages
The damages you receive from a pedestrian accident are determined case-by-case. If a negligent driver struck a pedestrian, they could be entitled to the following non-economic and economic damages:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future physical therapy costs
- Counseling expenses
- Home health costs if the injury resulted in permanent disability
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral burial costs if the accident caused a wrongful death
How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian
While it’s impossible to anticipate how motorists will drive, staying alert while walking is important to help avoid being involved in a pedestrian accident. Other steps you can take are:
- Cross the street at pedestrian crossings or traffic lights.
- Avoid crossing the road between parked vehicles.
- Stop, look, and listen.
- Never cross at a bend.
- If a footpath is available, use it.
- If there is no footpath, jog or walk on the side of the road, towards traffic.
- Make sure traffic has stopped before crossing, even at designated crossings.
- Don’t walk while intoxicated. This can impair your decision-making ability and lower your reaction time. Take a taxi or other public transportation if walking while intoxicated.