While collisions between two vehicles can cause extensive property damage and physical injuries all on their own, those negative effects are often multiplied when a single motor vehicle strikes an unprotected human being. Pedestrians who end up involving in car accidents often suffer debilitating injuries, including broken bones, deep lacerations, and often catastrophic damage to their spine, neck, brain, and even internal organs.
Recovering civil compensation is important for any victim of someone else’s negligence, but it may be especially important to work with a seasoned personal injury attorney if you were struck by a car while walking or jogging. A knowledgeable Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer could help you prove liability on the part of the driver who hit you while also contesting any allegations that you yourself were partially to blame as well.
In general, all licensed drivers have a duty to drive responsibly and carefully around everyone else they share a public road with. However, Official Code of Georgia §40-6-93 specifically assigns additional responsibilities to drivers when it comes to preventing pedestrian injuries, including sounding their horn to warn pedestrians of their vehicle’s presence and slowing down around children and elderly individuals.
If a driver violates their duty of care by acting recklessly or carelessly and hits a pedestrian as a result, that pedestrian should be able to hold that driver financially liable for any injuries and losses their negligence caused. While drivers are usually assumed to be at fault for such collisions, they are not automatically liable under state civil law if they hit a pedestrian.
If a pedestrian fails to yield to traffic appropriately, crosses the street outside of a crosswalk, or otherwise violates traffic rules that apply to them, O.C.G.A §51-12-33 allows a court to assign them a percentage of fault and either reduce their final damage award by that same percentage or—if a pedestrian is 50 percent or more at fault for a pedestrian accident—deny them compensation altogether. Help from a dedicated Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney is often crucial to ensuring that this system of modified comparative negligence does not result in a reduction of available compensation.
Assuming they are able to prove another party’s liability and avoid accusations of comparative negligence, plaintiffs in pedestrian accident cases can seek compensation for every economic and non-economic form of harm their accident caused them to suffer. In a typical pedestrian accident claim, recoverable damages may include but are not necessarily limited to:
In addition to examining a case and determining what specific damages may be recoverable for the situation, a seasoned pedestrian wreck lawyer could help a potential plaintiff in Atlanta to file their case on time. O.C.G.A. §9-3-33 sets a two-year statutory filing deadline for an injured victim to bring a claim for damages. Waiting too long could result in a victim being barred from seeking compensation.
Getting struck by a motor vehicle with no vehicle of your own to protect you from the impact is one of the most devastating types of accidents you could be involved in. Pedestrian crashes are particularly prone to causing long-term and catastrophic harm to victims, and even if you do not suffer permanent damage, you could still be on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical bills and other expenses.
If you were recently involved in a pedestrian accident, the negligent driver who hit you should bear the costs of your injuries and losses, not you. Get in touch with an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer today to schedule a consultation and discuss your potential case.