Norcross Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
While a collision between two vehicles can be devastating, a pedestrian being struck by a car often leads to severe and even life-threatening injuries. As a result, an injured pedestrian is often left with a large pile of medical bills and an inability to work as they recover from their trauma.
If you were struck by a vehicle due to a driver’s careless or reckless actions, you might benefit from consulting with a Norcross pedestrian accident lawyer. If a motorist’s negligence can be proven, you might be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, missed wages, and other losses by filing a claim for compensation.
However, navigating the legal system alone is often difficult and overwhelming, especially if you are underprepared or underrepresented. A seasoned attorney could help to guide you through each step and work tirelessly to file a claim on your behalf.
The Rights of Pedestrian in Norcross
The state of Georgia has enacted numerous laws that are designed to protect pedestrians in the event of being hit by a motor vehicle. For example, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §40-6-91, drivers must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. This means that, if a person is halfway on the road or nearing a crossing section of the road, all drivers must stop and wait for them to pass to cross the street.
Furthermore, while pedestrians must yield to vehicles when crossing streets without a crosswalk, vehicles must yield to pedestrians if they already have entered the roadway under safe conditions, according to O.C.G.A §4-6-92.
Similarly, O.C.G.A §40-6-144 states that cars coming from driveways, alleyways, buildings, or private roads must yield to pedestrians who are on sidewalks. More broadly, O.C.G.A §40-6-93 requires that all motorists must exercise due care to avoid hitting any pedestrians on the roadways.
Remember, “jaywalking” is not a legal term and does not appear anywhere in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. However, people and investigating police officers often use “jaywalking to describe a pedestrian crossing outside of a crosswalk. Don’t be fooled by this term! Crossing the street outside of a crosswalk is perfectly legal, as long as the pedestrian entered the roadway when it was safe to do so.
How is Liability Determined in Pedestrian Injury Cases?
Most injury claims regarding a pedestrian incident arise from some form of negligence. Essentially, negligence is a person, business, or other entity’s failure to use due care to protect others from harm. These actions are measured against how a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstance would behave.
Therefore, if a driver’s negligent actions result in a pedestrian being struck by their car, they might be considered legally liable to provide compensation. Violation of traffic safety laws—such as failing to yield to pedestrians, speeding, or driving while intoxicated—are often clear examples of when a driver is negligent.
When a driver violated a statute such as OCGA § 40-6-91, 40-6-92, 40-6-22, 40-6-93, 40-6-144 (failure to yield to a pedestrian in crosswalks, failure to yield to a pedestrian on the street who have entered the road under safe conditions, failure to yield to a pedestrian who had the pedestrian control signal, failure to exercise due care to avoid hitting a pedestrian on the roadways, failure to yield to a pedestrian when exiting driveways, alleyways, buildings or private roads) such driver is considered negligence per se. It basically means that our society has determined that such actions are negligence in itself as it is the lowest standard of care and have codified such as laws.
The Benefit of an Accident Reconstruction Expert
Sometimes, establishing that a driver was at fault for hitting a pedestrian requires an accident reconstruction expert. For example, if a pedestrian entered a road under safe conditions then was hit by a vehicle, it would have to be shown that the driver was negligent through the use of an accident reconstruction expert. Negligent in this situation can be shown by many things: failure to lookout, failure to drive within the headlight projection, failure to spot an incident necessitating the need to brake, failure to brake in a timely manner. This can be done by using experts through a process called “stopping sight distance.”
Insurance Coverage for Pedestrian Injuries
In Georgia, there are different potential sources of insurance coverage that may pay for part or all of the costs incurred by a pedestrian who was struck by a vehicle. Many injured pedestrians often look to any auto insurance policy held by the at-fault driver. This is because, if the negligent motorist was acting within their scope of employment, for example, their employer might have coverage that would apply to the crash.
However, if the insurance coverage of a negligent driver or their employer is absent or insufficient—or if the injured claimant was the victim of a hit-and-run incident—they might be able to pursue compensation through an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy of their own.
Uninsured Coverage for Pedestrians
Uninsured coverage provides coverage for when the at-fault party does not have insurance. Uninsured coverage also provides coverage for when the at-fault party does not have enough insurance (in this instance, it is now called underinsured coverage). Uninsured/Underinsured coverage will also provide coverage for a resident relative. Resident relative basically means a relative residing at the same resident. For example, if a child residing with parents and grandparents was unfortunately injured as a pedestrian then the uninsured/underinsured coverage for vehicles of the parents and grandparents would provide coverage for this minor as well.
Remember, uninsured/underinsured coverage is contractual between the insured (including the resident relative) and the insurance company. Each of the insurance contracts will have a notification requirement of the insured (including the resident relative)of a typical period of 60 days. It is imperative that you discover all the resident relative policies with uninsured/underinsured coverage and provide notification within this period: otherwise, the injured victim will forego all the uninsured/underinsured coverages altogether. This is outlined in cases such as Lankford v. State Farm Automobile Insurance Company, where the Court of Appeals determined that Lankford had not filed in a timely manner, far beyond a reasonable delay.
If you were struck by a vehicle, you are likely to be traumatized and overwhelmed. Along with dealing with your injuries, you may be suffering from emotional trauma and facing a mountain of medical bills.
A Norcross pedestrian accident lawyer might be able to help. A knowledgeable attorney could help to explain your rights and work tirelessly to gather evidence, determine liability, and file a persuasive claim for compensation. To begin building a claim, call today.