If you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help answer your questions on how to win your personal injury claim in a Georgia personal injury court!
At S. Burke Law we are here to help give answers to these important questions. Our Frequently Asked Question database covers the common questions you may have regarding what to do after a serious accident, how to file a claim in personal injury court, and tips on how to win your personal injury claim. When researching information on the legal process following a serious accident you want legitimate advice from a source you can trust.
When you’ve suffered serious losses and damages from an accident due to the negligence of another you aren’t alone. An Atlanta injury lawyer from our office is always available to answer additional questions not addressed on our page. Contact us for a FREE consultation and get the answers you need to seek compensation for your losses!
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How Much Is a Pedestrian Accident Settlement?
Every pedestrian accident has unique facts, so the amount of compensation a person can get in a settlement for a pedestrian accident claim will vary widely. If you were lucky, and you suffered only minor harm, your settlement will be much less than the settlement for a person with life-changing injuries.
Although we cannot tell how much a pedestrian accident claim will be worth for purposes of settlement value without meeting with you and getting more information, several factors consistently affect how much compensation you can receive.
Contact S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 to schedule a free case evaluation and consultation.
Initial Financial Losses You Sustained
Getting injured comes with costs. The initial losses are usually:
Medical expenses. Any reasonable amount for services you needed because of the wreck will usually be a part of your settlement. In the early days, your medical care can include things like:
- Emergency room
- Diagnostic imaging (x-rays, CAT scans), blood tests, and other lab work
Lost wages. Even a minor injury can cause you to miss a few days or more of work. Whether your pay is hourly or salary, you can get compensation for the income you missed out on because of the pedestrian accident. We will use your wage records to show the income you lost.
Your Long-Term Financial Losses
Some people heal completely after the initial medical care and recuperation time. Others, unfortunately, have to endure more extensive medical procedures. Some people never achieve a full recovery of their pre-accident function. The more severe your injuries and more significant and lasting the impact on your life, the larger your settlement is likely to be.
Your settlement can include:
Ongoing medical procedures: such as subsequent surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, complications from the injuries, and wound care.
Rehabilitation: usually for head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and other catastrophic harm.
Decreased earning potential: in the event that you can no longer earn as much money after the accident because of your injuries.
Disability: if you are unable to work at all because of the injuries.
Long-term assistance: if your injuries render you unable to perform some functions of daily living, like dressing, bathing, eating, and meal preparation.
Assistive equipment: if your injuries make it necessary for you to use modified transportation, need home modifications like wheelchair ramps, buy equipment for home use like lift devices, or require mobility items like crutches, wheelchairs, or walkers.
Your Non-Economic Damages
Having someone reimburse you for the out-of-pocket costs you incurred because of that person’s negligence is a positive first step toward making you whole, but if you sustained physical injuries in a pedestrian accident, you might also have suffered these damages, which can be part of your settlement:
Pain and suffering: for the physical pain, inconvenience, and mental distress you experienced.
Loss of enjoyment of life: to give value to things the accident took away from you – things that brought you joy – like hiking, running, and living independently.
Disfigurement. If someone’s negligence caused you to sustain extensive scars or dismemberment, you have suffered a loss in addition to the medical bills.
Emotional consequences. The trauma of experiencing a pedestrian accident can cause you to suffer depression, anxiety, fear, PTSD, and other mental health conditions that you would not have in your life but for the wreck.
How Comparative Negligence Affects the Amount of Your Settlement
We all make mistakes. In the state of Georgia, your negligence will not necessarily bar you from recovering damages for your losses. You can still collect compensation if:
- Someone else was also at fault; and
- Your negligence was less than 50 percent of the total fault in causing the accident.
The law of comparative negligence will reduce your compensation in proportion to the amount of your fault. On the other hand, if the judge says that you were 50 percent or more at fault, you will get nothing for your losses.
Thus, work with a lawyer who can help establish the other party’s negligence and fight back against any allegations of comparative negligence.
Tips to Avoid a Reduction in the Settlement Value of Your Pedestrian Injury Claim
Talk with a personal injury lawyer right away. The insurance company might try to get you to agree to a quick, early settlement for a lowball amount before you know the full extent of your injuries or how they will impact your life.
Taking the money will prevent you from getting any more money from the insurance company for this wreck, even if it turns out that you are never able to work again. Your lawyer will deal directly with the insurance company on your behalf.
Getting Help with Your Pedestrian Accident Injury Claim
There are specific actions you should take after an accident. S. Burke Law will talk with you and evaluate your pedestrian accident. Call us today at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation.
Who Is at Fault If a Pedestrian Was Hit by a Car?
Whoever was negligent in causing the pedestrian accident is at fault. Under Georgia law, pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way, and neither do cars.
Contact S. Burke Law today, at 404-842-7838, for a free case review.
Location of the Accident Is a Significant Factor in Determining Fault
One factor that will determine fault is location. Where the accident happened will affect the duty of the driver and the pedestrian.
On a sidewalk: the car is most likely liable, but there are situations in which the walker can be at fault. For example, a vehicle was entering a parking lot whose entrance went over a sidewalk with curb cuts. The driver proceeded slowly and cautiously, but a pedestrian ran into the path of the car, and the driver could not stop in time. On the other hand, if a drunk driver jumps the curb and hits someone walking down the sidewalk, the driver is at fault.
In a crosswalk: the pedestrian usually has the right of way, but not always. If the pedestrian has a crossing signal (“Walk” as opposed to “Do Not Walk”), looks both ways, and crosses within the crosswalk, a car hitting the pedestrian will probably be liable. If, however, the walker enters the crosswalk when the signal displays the “Do Not Walk” instruction or steps out into the path of a car that is already in the intersection, the driver might not be responsible.
When jaywalking – it depends on the facts of the case. A pedestrian should not expect drivers to have to slam on their brakes for a pedestrian who does not want to walk to the crosswalk or wait for traffic to pass. On the other hand, drivers have to make a reasonable effort to avoid hitting walkers who step into the street.
Event Prior to the Accident
The events that transpired just before the collision are vital information to determining whose negligence caused the accident. Here are some examples of driver or walker behavior just before the wreck that can be a factor in deciding who is liable:
- The driver drove too fast for the conditions.
- The driver ran a red light or stop sign.
- The driver was not paying attention to the road or keeping a careful lookout for vehicles and walkers.
- The driver was impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
- The pedestrian darted out into the road in front of a car that did not have sufficient time to stop.
- The walker was jaywalking or crossing inside a crosswalk but in violation of the signs or electronic signals.
- The pedestrian was not looking where she was walking because she was distracted by her companions or her cellphone.
- The walker was impaired by alcohol or other drugs.
Multiple Negligent Parties
In some accident scenes, both parties are at fault. Even if one person committed the vast majority of the negligence, the other party might be slightly at fault. For example, a speeding driver lost control of her vehicle and hit a walker who was in the crosswalk but crossing against the light and signal. Both the driver and pedestrian may be at fault, but in widely differing degrees.
How we sort out liability when both parties were negligent.
Georgia follows the doctrine of modified comparative fault. Comparative fault allows an injured party to recover some damages despite his own negligence. The law will reduce the amount of his compensation in proportion to his fault.
The term “modified” refers to a limit that Georgia imposes on negligent injured people. If the plaintiff’s negligence was 50 percent or more of the total fault, he will get nothing for his losses. If he is only responsible for 49 percent or less of the total negligence, he will get some reduced damages.
How modified comparative fault works in a case.
If the judge holds the speeding driver at 90 percent fault and the pedestrian at 10 percent fault, the pedestrian can recover compensation for damages. For example, if his damages were $100,000, the law will deduct 10 percent ($10,000) to account for his negligence. Since the driver was more than 49 percent at fault, she cannot recover any compensation from the walker.
Contact S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation and case review.
How You Can Get Help With Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
A car accident lawyer from S. Burke Law can help you to file a claim. Call us at 404-842-7838 and we will schedule your no-cost case evaluation. There is no obligation, and we do not charge legal fees until you receive compensation.
Can I File a Pedestrian Accident Claim If I Was Hit by a Car Outside a Crosswalk?
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.
What is the Definition of Distracted Walking?
Distracted walking occurs when someone travels somewhere on foot without paying attention to their surroundings.
Why Is It Important to Know About Distracted Walking?
Most people commonly think about distracted driving as a leading cause of accidents. But distracted walking comes with many hazards and risks as well.
Dangers of Distracted Walking
Distracted walkers often cross streets more slowly and put themselves in danger. A University of Georgia study from 2013 shows that people who cross streets while distracted spend about one second longer in the crosswalk than those who are not distracted. The study also found that the distracted pedestrians were 2.34 times more likely to engage in “unsafe crossing behaviors,” such as a failure to look left or right, obey a traffic signal, or use a crosswalk.
Distracted walkers often misuse crosswalks. Distracted walkers often assume crosswalks are a safe time to pull out their handheld devices. While a driver should always stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, this is not always the case. If a pedestrian is distracted while crossing an intersection, he will not have time to perform an evasive maneuver to avoid being hit by a distracted, reckless, or otherwise negligent motorist.
While a distracted driver can suffer injuries in a car accident, he has a steel frame to protect him from the force of impact. A distracted pedestrian has absolutely nothing to protect himself from impact with a vehicle.
Types of Distracted Walking That Can Cause a Serious Collision
There are several different types of distracted walking that could cause a serious accident:
- Walking while texting or browsing the web
- Walking while using a tablet
- Walking while talking on the phone
- Walking while having a conversation
- Walking while listening to music
- Walking while drunk
How Distracted Walking Affects an Atlanta Car Accident Claim
When a distracted motorist or pedestrian causes an accident, liability for any injuries falls on them. This means that if you caused an accident while you were walking and engaging in any of the distracting behaviors above, you may be financially responsible for your injuries and any other injuries that occur.
Responsibility in a Shared Fault Collision
Fault is not always cut-and-dried. In many cases, both the driver and pedestrian will share fault. For example, let us say you were texting and did not look for vehicles before stepping into the crosswalk. You had the right-of-way to go. A driver turned right when you stepped into the intersection, hitting you. The investigation found you to be 45 percent at-fault because you were distracted; the investigation found the driver to be 55 percent at-fault for the collision because you had the right of way.
Per Georgia’s comparative negligence laws, you are entitled to recover 55 percent of your damages. If your injury costs totaled $100,000, the driver would pay you $55,000.
Safety Tips for Atlanta Pedestrians
Like we mentioned above, texting while walking, active conversations, and listening to music represent a significant portion of pedestrian accidents. And while Atlanta does not have any distracted walking laws, distracted walking could limit your ability to collect damages if you are involved in a pedestrian accident. There are a few things you can do to lower the chances that distracted walking contributes to an accident:
- Put your phone away while crossing streets.
- Keep your head up when crossing intersections.
- If you are listening to music, either use only one headphone or keep the volume low enough to hear what is in your surroundings.
- Follow the rules of the road and follow street signals.
- Try not to use your handheld devices in parking lots.
However, we know that not all walkers pay attention at every second. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a distracted walking accident, we may be able to help you recover compensation.
Call an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney for Help Today
Most of us are guilty of distracted walking at some point or another. We may climb a set of stairs while responding to a text and trip over a step. Or take a phone call while crossing busy intersections.
If you were involved in an accident recently, do not hesitate to call S. Burke Law. An Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney can discuss your case with you and determine whether you may be entitled to damages. If so, we can investigate your accident and begin creating defenses against accusations of fault on your part.
Call us now at 404-842-7838 for more information. Our consultations are always free, so there is no commitment.