Accidents between cars and pedestrians typically result in serious injuries to the pedestrian. Whether the collision happens on a sidewalk, on the road, or in a parking lot, a vehicle striking a pedestrian can have serious and potentially deadly consequences.
If you or a loved one was a pedestrian who was harmed in a collision, you need an experienced Smyrna pedestrian accident lawyer such as Jamie Ballard to help you recover your financial expenses and regain your quality of life.
Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents may occur for a variety of reasons, which include the following:
Failure to Yield Right of Way
“Right of way” refers to a pedestrian’s or motorist’s legal right to proceed with precedence in a particular situation or location. For example, if the traffic signal is directing the pedestrian to proceed onto the crosswalk, the motorist is legally obligated to let the pedestrian cross the road before driving through the crosswalk or intersection. Impatient drivers that fail to look out for pedestrians on the road cause numerous pedestrian accidents.
Drivers traveling at excessive speeds are more likely to cause pedestrian accidents. By driving too fast, they reduce the amount of braking time they would have if a pedestrian was to cross in front of them, and may increase the severity of injuries the pedestrian sustained if they ended up colliding.
Driving Under the Influence
Drivers that operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs pose a serious danger to all road users, especially pedestrians. Intoxicated drivers who drive through crosswalks against traffic lights or make left turns directly into pedestrians can easily cause accidents. All pedestrians walking in traffic, especially at night, should always be mindful of impaired drivers.
Poor lighting can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians crossing or walking along roads, especially at night. If intersections have adequate lighting, motorists can see pedestrians as they cross. Without abundant lighting, however, it can be difficult for drivers to see pedestrians before it is too late.
Distracted driving occurs when a driver is texting, talking on a cellphone, emailing, or otherwise using a smartphone; manipulating a navigation system; adjusting the air conditioner/heater or radio in the car, or tending to children sitting in the backseat. If a driver takes his/her focus off the road even for just 1 second, pedestrians are put at risk.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
A serious pedestrian accident can not only leave you in pain but also drain your energy. Still, even during these difficult times, you can take certain steps to protect your rights.
Seek Medical Assistance Immediately
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident in Smyrna, GA, call 911 for immediate medical assistance. Get a full evaluation from a doctor. It is important to be checked by a medical professional if you have been hurt since some injuries, such as brain injuries, can be slow in exhibiting symptoms.
Document Your Injuries
If you are physically well enough to remain at the accident scene, you should document your injuries. If that isn’t possible, ask someone at the scene to do it for you. Pictures of your injuries and the accident scene as well as any damage that was caused can be valuable evidence later on. Furthermore, if any witnesses are present, you should collect their contact information.
Call the Police
No matter who appears to be the at-fault party or how minor your injuries may appear, you should always call the police following a pedestrian accident if they haven’t been contacted already. A police investigation of the pedestrian accident and the police report will help support your claim when it comes to pursuing compensation.
Don’t Discuss Fault on the Scene or With the Motorist’s Insurance Company
Telling the truth is always advisable, but you should generally avoid discussing or admitting fault, especially at the accident scene. Whenever you speak with the police, witnesses, or the driver, you should be very careful with your words. The truth is that what you say can be used against you, so always be very cautious when you discuss any details of the accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If you currently have car insurance, you should get in touch with your insurance provider immediately. While you were a pedestrian in the accident, most car insurance policies cover these types of accidents. It is important that you do this to make sure that you can make medical or disability claims following the accident.
Seek Professional Legal Assistance
An experienced Smyrna pedestrian accident lawyer at Jamie Ballard Law can explain what to expect in your case. We’ll walk you through the process and help you pursue the full compensation you need to recover. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Smyrna, GA, call an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer at 571-331-2381 to schedule your free consultation.
How Do You Determine Liability or Fault in a Pedestrian Accident in Georgia?
Holding another driver or other party accountable for your injuries following a pedestrian accident requires having proof as to how the accident happened and who was responsible for it. Pedestrian accident cases usually rest on a finding of negligence or failure to exercise due care in driving. Negligence requires proof of 4 elements:
Duty of Care
The driver owed you a duty of care. Safe driving is a duty of care for all drivers, and this is one element of negligence that’s usually the easiest to prove.
Breach of Duty
The driver breached their duty of care. Drivers are legally obligated to act reasonably on the road. Drivers that fail to act responsibly by speeding, reckless driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, drunk driving, or any other means breached their duty of care.
The driver’s breach of duty caused your injuries. You must prove that the injuries you sustained wouldn’t have happened were it not for the driver’s breach of duty of care.
The accident resulted in quantifiable losses and damages and you have a legal right to recovery.
Comparative Negligence: What If You’re Partially At Fault?
Under Georgia’s Modified Comparative Negligence laws, you must be found to be less than 50 percent at fault in an accident to be entitled to compensation. If you, as the pedestrian, share any responsibility for the accident, a fault percentage will be assigned to you. The compensation awarded will then be reduced based on the percentage of fault. If you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault, you won’t receive compensation.
How Can a Smyrna Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Assist With My Claim?
Here are some of the ways an accident attorney can help if you’re injured as a pedestrian:
The first step your lawyer will take towards building you a strong injury claim is investigating the accident to determine liability. Once liability is determined, the lawyer will start compiling all the evidence to build you the strongest possible legal claim. Building a successful pedestrian accident claim is an incredibly time-consuming process.
If everything goes according to plan, our law firm can settle the claim out of court. To do this, we will first send the at-fault party’s insurance provider a demand letter outlining the cause of the accident and the cost of your losses. If they agree to your terms, then the case is resolved. If not, we may have to take the case to court.
Trial Preparation and Representation
If settlement negotiations fail because the at-fault party’s insurance provider fails to make a fair settlement, then you have the option of litigating the case in court. Fortunately, Jamie Ballard Law is here to help. Our team will present the strongest case in court to increase your chances of a favorable verdict.
What Are Georgia’s Time Limits for Filing a Pedestrian Injury Claim?
You typically have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a pedestrian accident claim. However, it takes time to investigate the accident, identify the responsible parties and all sources of compensation, and document the full extent of your losses. You should always consult our pedestrian accident lawyer without delay to protect yourself and your rights following an accident.
How Much Will a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Cost?
Pedestrian accident lawyer Jamie Ballard works on a contingency fee basis, which means that you aren’t required to pay us anything until a settlement is reached. You don’t pay our law firm unless we win your case.
Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Smyrna, GA Today!
Drivers in Smyrna, GA, and throughout Georgia are legally required to know and respect the rights of pedestrians. If they fail to fulfill this responsibility, they can be held liable for any related accidents, injuries, and even deaths.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact a dedicated lawyer at Jamie Ballard Law today. We are a highly respected pedestrian accident law firm and have the resources and experience to fight for you.
Call us now at 571-331-2381 for your free consultation where you can learn more about how we can help.