Countless individuals have suffered serious injuries in car accidents over the years. These incidents don't always consist of two or more vehicles. Pedestrian accidents occur more often than you might think, and even though they mostly occur in densely populated areas, they can take place anywhere. They may also be significantly more dangerous as the pedestrian.
Perhaps you were out walking and upon coming to an intersection, began to make your way across the street via the crosswalk. Suddenly, a car comes out of nowhere, and you wake up the following day in a hospital bed. If you believe you were within your rights as a pedestrian at the time, you may consider your legal options moving forward.
Determining fault in a pedestrian-related accident
While pedestrians in Georgia have the right of way in all crosswalks, there are often other areas to consider when determining responsibility in a car accident involving a pedestrian. Regardless of the mode of transportation, each party must abide by a certain set of rules, some of which include the following:
- Driver's duty of care: Every driver is responsible for following traffic laws. Negligent drivers, such as those who are reckless, impaired or distracted, have been the cause of countless dangerous accidents.
- Special duty of care: When children are nearby, a driver must take special notice and care when operating a vehicle in their vicinity. The law holds a driver's duty of care to a higher standard when kids are involved.
- Pedestrian's duty of care: The pedestrian must also follow the rules, or he or she could be at fault in an accident, even if only partially. For example, a pedestrian must adhere to walk signals if crossing at an intersection.
A few crucial steps to take when involved in a pedestrian-related accident include notifying authorities and taking down the information of everyone involved, if possible. However, you should avoid making any statements concerning the accident to parties such as the driver or his or her insurance company without first understanding your rights.
Where can I turn for assistance?
If a vehicle hit you while you were out walking, chances are you suffered severe injuries in the process. Such injuries often lead to extensive medical bills and a lengthy period of recovery. If the driver was responsible for the incident, you may be entitled to compensation for those medical expenses, along with other damages allowed under Georgia law, but perhaps you are unsure how to pursue them.
By speaking with a personal injury attorney, you can obtain guidance throughout this stressful and daunting experience. An attorney can evaluate your accident, along with your resulting injuries and financial losses, and assist you in pursuing the full amount of compensation to which you're entitled to receive.