Drivers and pedestrians both have legal rights and responsibilities in Georgia. If you are a pedestrian and are hit by a car through no fault of your own, you have a right to recover money from the driver who hit you. This money can pay for your costs and other damages, including medical expenses and time you missed from work.
Pedestrian accidents are unfortunately common in the Atlanta area. Atlanta was designed for cars and in many areas there are no sidewalks, crosswalks or other features that help make streets safe for pedestrians. If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, it is important to talk to a good car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
What are the traffic laws relating to pedestrians?
In Georgia, pedestrians and drivers BOTH have a responsibility to do what they can to avoid accidents. Here are some of the rules that pedestrians are expected to follow:
- Pedestrians should use the sidewalk, if there is one. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should stay on the shoulder of the road, as far away from the roadway as possible. If there is no sidewalk or shoulder, walk or run along the edge of the roadway.
- If you are walking on the roadway, walk in the opposite direction of traffic. Always and yield right of way to cars.
- If you are crossing at a crosswalk with a pedestrian crossing signal, you have the right of way if the signal says you can cross.
- When crossing streets at a crosswalk without a crossing signal, look to see that it is safe to cross before entering the roadway. Once you are in a crosswalk, drivers on that side of the road must stop for you.
- If there is no crosswalk, you can still cross the street, but you must yield to traffic.
- Drivers must try to avoid accidents with pedestrians, and they must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk on their side of the road, or within one lane of their side of the road.
What makes pedestrian accidents so complicated?
Pedestrian accidents are usually serious because pedestrians are smaller and more vulnerable than vehicles on the roadway. The more serious your injuries are, the longer and more complex your healing process will be. It may take time and expert evaluations to understand the full extent of your injuries, what you need to recover, and how much it will all cost.
It can also be hard to tell who is at fault in a pedestrian accident. Traffic laws can be complicated and the pedestrian may have been hit without warning or may be too seriously injured to provide his or her side of the story. There may not be any witnesses. And the police and other driver may try to blame the pedestrian. This means further investigation is often needed to reconstruct the accident and show exactly who was at fault.
What money can I recover in a pedestrian accident?
Pedestrians have the same rights as anyone else injured in a car accident. You can recover money for your medical bills, prescriptions and rehabilitation services like physical therapy. If you cannot work, you are entitled to your lost pay. This money will be paid by the insurance company that insures the driver who caused your accident.
Because pedestrian injuries are likely to be serious, there is a good chance that you will be eligible for money for “pain and suffering.” This can be far more than the out of pocket costs for your medical expenses. If a loved one died in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to make a wrongful death claim.
Money can’t give you back your life, but it can relieve you from worrying about the financial cost of the accident. You should know, however, that the insurance company may challenge your claim, saying you were the one to blame, or minimizing the extent of your injuries. If you were hurt as a pedestrian, it is important to get a car accident law firm in Atlanta, Georgia on your side as soon as possible.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our law firm’s only goal is to help accident victims. We won’t charge you a dime unless we get you money. Let us give you a FREE consultation to discuss your accident and explain what we can do to help. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.