Most of us do not think of walking as an especially dangerous activity. But in major urban areas like Atlanta, pedestrians are at-risk from reckless and negligent drivers. As a 2014 report in Atlanta Magazine noted, more than 1,500 Georgia residents were killed in pedestrian accidents between 2003 and 2012. And more than half of those deaths took place within the Atlanta region, making it the 8th most dangerous metropolitan area for pedestrians.
Pedestrian accident victims often face challenges that other kinds of car accident victims do not. Police, insurance companies, and even courts are more likely to blame the pedestrian for “darting out into traffic” or not crossing at a crosswalk. A qualified Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney can help you set the record straight.
At the offices of Calvin A. Edwards, Jr., Attorney, our legal team will get to the bottom of your pedestrian accident. Unlike many larger personal injury firms in the Atlanta area, we pride ourselves on giving individual attention to each of our clients. Getting hit by a car is one of the most traumatic things a person can experience. Let us help your recovery by fighting for the compensation you deserve under the law.
The Law and Pedestrian Rights
Georgia law imposes a duty on all motorists to “exercise due care” in avoiding pedestrian accidents. In addition to obeying all traffic signals and crosswalks, drivers must sound their horn when approaching a pedestrian and must pay special care if they see a child or an “obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person” in the road. A driver who fails to heed these rules is negligent as a matter of law, and may be liable for any damages sustained by an injured pedestrian.
However, pedestrians need to be aware of their own legal responsibilities. A pedestrian must always yield the right-of-way to vehicles, even at a crosswalk, unless they have already safely entered the road. Pedestrians should also never cross a roadway diagonally “unless authorized by official traffic-control devices.” A pedestrian can be cited for jaywalking if they do not follow these rules, and that can be used against the pedestrian in any subsequent personal injury claim against the driver.
Hit & Run and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Sadly, many motorists are not only negligent in hitting a pedestrian–they quickly flee the scene to avoid the consequences. Hit and run accidents can leave pedestrians on the hook for their medical bills and other losses. But injured pedestrians may still be able to recover from their own insurance companies if they have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. With UM coverage, your insurer assumes the place of the unknown driver and pays for your losses.
Of course, it is often not that easy. Insurance companies are not in business to pay out claims without question. You may find it is actually harder to deal with your own insurer than a negligent driver.
Once again, this is where an Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney is an invaluable ally and resource. The legal team at Calvin A. Edwards, Jr., Attorney, knows how to handle an insurance company. We will not let them avoid their obligations to you. If you have been in an accident and need to know what to do next, call us today at 470-539-8528 to schedule a free consultation.