Yes, you can file a pedestrian claim if you were hit by a car outside of a crosswalk. However, your ability to win that claim depends on the circumstances of your accident. While crosswalks are one area where pedestrians have the right of way, they are not the only place where drivers must exercise care.
Drivers must exercise a duty of care when navigating the streets. And that certainly applies to pedestrians, who are at greater risk to suffer injuries than drivers of other cars, even if they are outside a crosswalk. Georgia’s crosswalk laws cover the duties owed by drivers and pedestrians, and many of them translate outside of crosswalks.
Establishing Duty of Care and a Driver’s Responsibilities
Like most personal injury cases, the strength of your claim hinges on proving liability and negligence. And determining if a driver acted negligently requires establishing how a reasonable driver must act in a situation.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia codifies how drivers and pedestrians alike must behave when sharing the road. Specifically, the office says that pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks and all vehicles must yield to them. However, vehicles have the right of way in most other places such as intersections.
Drivers Have a Duty of Care to Pedestrians
While drivers often have right of way outside a crosswalk, this does not mean that you are automatically at-fault if you are hit by a car outside of a crosswalk. In fact, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-93 states: “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, shall give warning by sounding his horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person."
This Georgia code effectively establishes that even though drivers have the right of way, they must still do everything possible to avoid potential accidents. That may involve the driver changing lanes, honking their horn, or slowing down. Whatever it is, the driver must do his or her best to avoid the accident.
You Can Still Collect Damages
So, if you as a pedestrian crossed a street when there were no cars, but you get hit by a vehicle who pops into your line of sight late because the car was speeding, you can still file a claim and collect damages. Another instance when the pedestrian would likely not be at-fault is if the driver was drinking.
Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents
Georgia’s comparative negligence laws may factor into pedestrian accidents outside of crosswalks. Georgia is one of 12 states that use modified comparative negligence in personal injury cases.
Compensation Varies on Your Percentage at Fault
This means you can file a claim if you were less than 50 percent at fault for an accident. Pedestrian accidents outside of a crosswalk are an instance where this law could be very important. As a pedestrian, you are required to yield to oncoming traffic. But, like we mentioned above, there are instances when you may be unable to yield, and the driver must do everything in their power to avoid the accident.
If the driver’s inability to fulfill this duty of care was a larger cause of this accident than where you crossed the road, then you can file a claim.
Another way comparative negligence impacts your case is in how much you can collect. For example, if you were 35 percent at-fault for your pedestrian accident, then you can only collect 65 percent of the value of your damages.
An Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
Many people are under the impression that you are automatically at-fault if you are involved in a pedestrian accident outside of a crosswalk. This is far from the truth, and every accident deserves evaluation within context. And that is what a pedestrian accident lawyer at S. Burke Law can do for you.
Call S. Burke Law For a Free Case Evaluation
If you or someone you care about was involved in a pedestrian accident, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Pedestrian accidents are among the worst injuries you can suffer. You are likely facing high medical costs while also unable to work.We will pore over the details of your case and lay out your options. We understand how trying a time this is for you and your family. That is why we offer these services in a free consultation. Also, we do not collect a payment unless you win a settlement. So, you can feel at ease knowing there is little risk in contacting us. Call us today at 404-842-7838 to learn more about how we can help.