While any car accident can injure every party involved, those involving unprotected pedestrians often have exceedingly severe consequences. Without the frame of a vehicle around them or any other safety measures to speak of, a person hit by a car while walking is at risk of suffering catastrophic harm, including broken bones, lacerations, internal organ damage, and life-altering brain and/or spine injuries.
If a negligent driver struck you or a loved one while you were walking, an Alpharetta pedestrian accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Additionally, a qualified personal injury attorney can help you understand how Georgia traffic laws apply to your case and contest any allegations of fault that could reduce the value of your insurance claim or lawsuit.
Alpharetta Pedestrian Accident Guide
Common Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents
The most common cause of pedestrian accidents in Alpharetta and across the United States is distracted driving, mainly due to cell phone usage. In fact, drivers and pedestrians have an increased risk of an accident if they focus on their phones instead of the road.
Other major contributing factors to pedestrian accidents include:
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Failing to slow down when approaching a crosswalk
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Turning without looking for pedestrians crossing the street
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
These behaviors could constitute driver negligence and make them liable for any ensuing accident.
Where Pedestrian Accidents Are Likely to Occur
Pedestrian accidents can occur in several places:
- At intersections
- Between intersections on busy surface streets
- Along highways or rural roads
- In parking lots or driveways
- In neighborhoods
In general, drivers should look for pedestrians in any of these areas. Following all traffic laws and best practices regarding pedestrians can significantly reduce the crash risk. Even a minor mistake or a moment of carelessness behind the wheel can cause catastrophic injuries for a pedestrian.
Types of Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Some common injuries when a car strikes a pedestrian include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, or other head injuries
- Back or neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic amputations
- Limb injuries or loss-of-use injuries
- Fractures, including compound fractures or crush injuries
- Internal injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Serious lacerations
Medical Expenses Are Usually Just the Beginning
At Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group, our Alpharetta pedestrian accident attorneys understand the unique aspects of permanent and catastrophic injury claims. We know that with severe injuries, you have far more than medical bills to worry you. We help our clients understand the full range of their losses and seek compensation to cover them.
Losses may include:
- Ambulance transportation, medical bills, and other related costs
- Ongoing and future expenses related to your injuries and care needs
- Loss of income, including wages, tips, commissions, gig work, and other sources
- Diminished ability to work and earn because of long-term injuries
- Property damage
- Other out-of-pocket expenses, such as replacing broken eyeglasses or parking at the hospital
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic damages
Pursuing a Case Based on a Wrongful Pedestrian Death in Alpharetta
Georgia law allows families to recover compensation and hold the at-fault party legally responsible if a pedestrian dies from their injuries in a Fulton County collision. This law requires the victim’s personal representative to file the claim and handle this process.
This person is generally:
- The executor of the will
- The administrator of the estate
- Another party named by the probate court
At Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group, our attorneys have the experience to navigate these complex cases and seek compensation and justice for your family. We can help you identify who needs to file your claim and who can benefit from the settlement or payout.
Then, we help clients like you pursue damages that may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills and other accident costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of services
- Intangible damages suffered by the surviving family members, including grief and loss of companionship
If your loved one died from their Alpharetta pedestrian accident injuries, we can review your legal options with you during a free, no-obligation consultation. We provide these consultations so victims and their families can better understand their rights and learn how we can help them get justice.
Negligence and Liability in Alpharetta Pedestrian Injury Accidents
Negligence is the primary cause of most traffic accidents, including pedestrian vs. car collisions. One party makes a careless or reckless mistake, leaving another with serious, life-altering injuries.
To recover damages in an Alpharetta pedestrian accident, we need to show that the driver acted negligently and that our client incurred physical and financial harm. Our lawyers will investigate the accident to establish the four elements of negligence and show the driver was at fault.
The four elements of negligence are:
- One party owed the other a duty of care
- They breached that duty
- This breach caused an accident
- The other party suffered injuries and losses
Proving Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Cases
In pedestrian accident cases, proving a motorist’s negligence means we need to show:
- The driver had an obligation to act in a certain way because of traffic or pedestrian laws
- They failed to follow the applicable law or laws
- Their failure caused the collision
- Our client suffered injuries and losses as a result
For example, imagine you crossed North Point Parkway at Haynes Bridge Road. You used the crosswalk and had a “walk” signal. A driver turning left onto North Point Parkway failed to see you in the crosswalk and hit you. Because drivers must yield to traffic and pedestrians when turning, the motorist breached their duty of care—this is negligence.
Georgia Auto Insurance Laws Require Accident Victims to Prove Fault
Negligence plays a crucial role in traffic accident claims because Georgia's car insurance laws require victims to prove fault to recover compensation. We cannot hold the at-fault driver accountable unless we can provide evidence to show they caused the accident through their negligence.
Once we understand who is likely liable for your pedestrian accident, we can identify their insurance carrier and learn more about their policy. Georgia law requires a minimum amount of auto liability coverage to pay for an accident victim's medical care and other losses.
The required coverage in Georgia includes:
- $25,000 minimum coverage for a single victim’s injuries
- $50,000 minimum for all victims’ injuries in a single crash
- $25,000 in property damage coverage
Because pedestrians often suffer serious injuries that require medical treatment, hospitalization, and time away from work, we hope the at-fault driver has significantly more coverage than the minimum required by the state. Our attorneys can still seek fair compensation regardless of their coverage, although we may need to file a lawsuit.
What if It Was a Hit and Run Accident?
Did the driver who hit you leave the scene of the accident? This is all too common. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly a quarter of all fatal pedestrian accidents in 2020 involved a driver who left the scene.
There are many reasons why a driver might commit this offense, such as:
- Driving without a license
- Driving without the required insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Operating a company vehicle and worried about the ramifications for their job
There is no good excuse for leaving the scene of an accident, but it still happens. If the driver left the scene of your Alpharetta pedestrian accident, you still have options:
- Eyewitnesses may have remembered identifying information such as the license plate number
- The vehicle may be on traffic cameras or surveillance video at nearby businesses
- The police may know their identity
- Our legal team may be able to get a description, tag number, or other information
If we can identify the driver who hit you, we can pursue damages as we would in any other pedestrian accident case (through an insurance claim or lawsuit). Even if we cannot identify the driver, you may still have options for getting compensation to cover your losses.
Fighting for Compensation After a Fulton County Pedestrian Injury
The attorneys at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group provide free consultations for pedestrian accident victims and their families. We want to ensure that you understand your rights and explain your available options for pursuing compensation. The specific circumstances of your case determine what you should do to get justice.
We can meet with potential clients in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, or their homes. We can also discuss legal options with immediate family members—usually spouses or parents—of victims with catastrophic injuries who cannot contact us independently. The sooner we meet, the sooner we can get to work on the case.
In general, there are two ways we recover compensation for our clients hurt in an Alpharetta accident:
Through an Insurance Claim
Many traffic accident cases, including pedestrian accidents, settle out of court with a negotiated payout from the at-fault driver’s insurer. Our team can gather evidence for the claim, demand a fair payout from the insurance provider, and use proven negotiation techniques to get the compensation our client needs and deserves.
Sometimes, we settle an insurance claim even after filing a lawsuit. In fact, facing legal action often provides the necessary push for the insurance company to up its offer to meet our client’s needs. If not, we are prepared to go to trial to fight for you.
By Filing a Lawsuit and Going to Trial
Taking a case to trial is generally a lengthier process—but in some instances, a lawsuit is necessary.
For example, a lawsuit may be the best option for getting justice in your case when:
- The driver does not have the required insurance
- The insurer refuses to accept responsibility
- There are questions of fact in the case
- Punitive damages may be possible
- The insurance company continues to make lowball offers
When our attorneys take a case to trial, our client knows what to expect and has a strong advocate on their side from start to finish. We fight for every client's best interest and present a solid case for compensation to the court.
Georgia Laws Regarding Pedestrians in Crosswalks
According to O.C.G.A. §40-6-91, Georgia drivers must always stop and give the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks. Other drivers may also not overtake a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk occupied by a pedestrian. Suppose a driver fails to stop appropriately for a pedestrian in a crosswalk because they are driving recklessly, not paying attention, or impaired in any way. They may bear civil liability for any injuries caused by striking that pedestrian.
However, under the same statute, pedestrians are forbidden from walking out into the road so suddenly that an oncoming vehicle cannot reasonably stop in time to avoid hitting them. O.C.G.A. §40-6-22 further establishes that pedestrians must obey electronic signals showing when they can and cannot cross the street in a crosswalk.
At Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group, our attorneys know how to build a crosswalk pedestrian injury claim and seek recoverable compensation for our clients. We also know what evidence will show that a driver failed to follow applicable traffic laws and that their negligence injured our client. If we work on your case, you can count on our team to protect your right to seek fair compensation.
Being Struck While Walking on a Sidewalk
Under O.C.G.A. §40-6-144, motor vehicle drivers emerging from alleys, driveways, or building garages must stop before crossing a sidewalk and give the right-of-way to nearby pedestrians. Failing to do so may lead to civil liability after a pedestrian accident. So may operating a motor vehicle on a sidewalk for any other reason besides attempting to avoid an accident.
The two-year statutory filing deadline in O.C.G.A. §9-3-33 applies to all civil cases based on pedestrian accidents. Work with legal counsel so you do not miss it.
Can I File Suit if a Driver Hit Me While Jaywalking?
Officially, “jaywalking” is not a defined term under Georgia law, nor is it expressly illegal for a person in Alpharetta to jaywalk. In fact, O.C.G.A. §40-6-82 explicitly allows pedestrians to cross the street without using a crosswalk as long as they yield to oncoming traffic. Therefore, it may still be possible for a person to file suit if a careless driver strikes them.
However, it is illegal for a pedestrian to cross the street without using a crosswalk if a crosswalk is available nearby. Also, anyone crossing the road outside a crosswalk must walk in a straight line rather than diagonally. Failure to obey either of these rules may limit a pedestrian's chances of civil recovery.
If a car hit you while you crossed the street, even outside a crosswalk, our team can assess your case and determine your legal rights.
What Evidence Do You Need in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
After a pedestrian accident and in the days following, collect as much evidence as possible. This information can establish what happened and what each involved party did right. Potential plaintiffs should take pictures of the scene, note vehicle damage and the presence or absence of skid marks, check if any nearby security cameras caught the accident on video, and get contact information for eyewitnesses to the crash.
Most importantly, injured parties should obtain the police report filed by the responding officer and keep all medical documentation for treatment sought after the crash.
Better yet, call us. Our team can collect this evidence and use it to build a convincing and comprehensive case for restitution.
Gathering Evidence for a Pedestrian Accident Case
When Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group represents a pedestrian accident victim in Fulton County, our team investigates the case for our client. We can handle obtaining all documents, identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses, and locating video footage of the collision (if available).
We also take additional steps when necessary to develop a strong case, such as:
- Enlisting the help of medical experts to explain our client’s prognosis
- Calculating future care needs and expenses
- Reconstructing the accident
- Analyzing physical evidence
- Surveying the collision scene
While having any evidence you already collected gives us a great start on your case, do not worry if your injuries were too severe or if other circumstances prevented you from following these recommendations. Your health is the most important thing. While you focus on healing, our team will take care of the rest.
Legal Deadlines for Suing an At-Fault Motorist in Alpharetta
We like to get started as soon as possible on traffic accident claims because evidence often disappears within days or weeks of the crash. The best time to contact our team is now. We can review your case with you and develop a strategy to secure the compensation you need and deserve.
Under Georgia law, you only have two years to file a lawsuit. Missing this deadline could force the court to dismiss your case, despite any compelling evidence. It also makes negotiating a fair settlement much more difficult.
Connect with our team to determine how quickly we need to act on your behalf.
Seek Help from an Alpharetta Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
While traffic accidents leave pedestrians particularly susceptible to severe injuries, that does not make it easy to recover compensation after a vehicle strikes them. Especially in cases involving accidents in or around crosswalks, defendants often try to accuse plaintiffs of causing their injuries, reducing their final damage award, or even barring them from recovery altogether.
An Alpharetta pedestrian accident lawyer from our team can help you prove the at-fault driver's liability and work to ensure that you recover the compensation you need and deserve. Get started now. Contact us today at (404) 609-1724 for your free claim consultation.
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