On average, a pedestrian is killed in an auto accident every 109 minutes. A pedestrian is injured in an auto accident on average every 7 minutes. Most pedestrian injuries and deaths are caused by careless or negligent motorists. Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable because they have no protection against a fast-moving, heavy car, truck, or bus. They can suffer broken bones, brain damage, a spinal cord injury or even wrongful death as the result of a motorist’s reckless or careless behavior.
The consequences of a motor vehicle coming into contact with a pedestrian can be catastrophic, leading to severe injuries and even death. Although some accidents are the fault of the pedestrian- ignoring traffic signals or jaywalking, many pedestrian accidents are caused by negligent and careless drivers.
The group that is the most at risk of being in a pedestrian accident are older adults 65 or older, children between the age of 5 to 9 and drivers and pedestrians who are alcohol-impaired. Additionally pedestrians are injured when a motorist is speeding or driving recklessly, fails to stop behind a school bus with flashing red lights, or ignores a pedestrian who is in the midst of crossing a road.
The liability of the driver in a pedestrian accident rests on whether the driver could have reasonably seen the pedestrian at the last minute and avoided the accident. This is known as the “Last Clear Chance” doctrine of law. Even if the pedestrian was negligent, the driver still had the last chance to avoid striking him or her.
There are steps that a pedestrian can take to help prevent them from getting injured in an accident. At night a pedestrian should increase their visibility at night by carrying a flash light or wearing retro-reflective clothing when walking or jogging. Pedestrians should cross the street at the designated crosswalk whenever possible. In most states, if there is a designated crosswalk and the pedestrian is outside of it while crossing the roadway, then the pedestrian is prima facia at fault. Make sure to walk on the sidewalk whenever possible, if you must walk the streets make sure to walk facing the traffic.
Regardless if the injuries are minor or serious, the experienced attorneys at Falanga and Chalker can guide you through the legal process and build a strong case against the at fault driver and the insurance company. In the State of Georgia, individuals are required to maintain liability insurance coverage for auto accidents. The minimum requirements for bodily injury liability insurance coverage in Georgia are $25,000.00 per person and $50, 000.00 per accident. The insurance company will try to limit the recovery of the injured pedestrian to the lowest possible amount. These companies have established very specific and elaborate procedures on handling pedestrian accident claims, especially in the early stages of the investigation.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a car as a pedestrian and suffered injuries in the Georgia area, the attorneys at Falanga and Chalker can provide valuable advice regarding your case, and help you pursue financial damages to cover lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses and losses.