Johns Creek Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Johns Creek, GA
Cities and towns throughout Georgia have made serious strides in reducing pedestrian accidents by installing flashing lights at crosswalks, pedestrian islands at intersections, improving street lighting and visibility, and re-designing particularly hazardous intersections. Despite these measures, pedestrians are still at the mercy of inattentive, reckless, and impaired drivers. If you or a loved one were the victim of a collision with a motor vehicle, you need efficient and compassionate legal counsel. Contact a Johns Creek Pedestrian Accident lawyer at Tobin Injury Law today. We can help protect your rights.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that an estimated 5,984 pedestrians were killed in 2017, which continued an alarming trend in increased fatalities. This comes at a time when traffic fatalities overall are decreasing.
Duty of Motorists Toward Pedestrians
Motorists in Georgia have a legal duty or obligation to exercise ordinary care when driving and Georgia pedestrians have rights. When encountering pedestrians, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-3 states:
“… every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian on any roadway, shall give warning by honking his horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person.”
Motorists have to be proactive in avoiding collisions with pedestrians whether the person is lawfully crossing in a crosswalk or not by sounding the horn to alert and warn the person of their presence and the danger if sounding the horn is necessary. This might occur if the person was crossing mid-street or against the light and the driver has had time to sound the horn. If a collision did occur under these circumstances and the driver failed to sound the horn but had time to do so, then the driver is likely to be found substantially at fault for the accident. If this was the situation in which you were injured, be sure to contact a Johns Creek pedestrian accident lawyer since liability will likely still be disputed.
If the pedestrian is a child or the individual appears obviously impaired (and probably oblivious to the danger of being in the roadway), then the driver must take extra precautions or care in avoiding a collision. If the circumstances dictated it, simply stopping to allow the person to cross safely would likely constitute reasonable care and proper precaution and satisfy the statutory obligation. Should the person crossing appear to be visually impaired, such as using a cane or being accompanied by a seeing-eye dog, the motorist must yield to the person regardless of where he is crossing on the roadway. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-94.
If the pedestrian is within the crosswalk, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-91 would apply whereby the driver must stop and remain stopped when the pedestrian is on the half of the roadway in which the car is traveling, or when the pedestrian is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the driver is on. This bars drivers from cutting off pedestrians or to maneuver around them. If the driver moves his car at all into the intersection under this scenario, he is in violation of the statute.
Retain a Johns Creek personal injury attorney if you or a loved one sustained an injury in a roadway accident.
Factors Leading to Pedestrian Accidents
There are a number of factors that cause pedestrian injuries and fatalities by motorists:
- Distracted driving (cellphone use or any other activity that takes the focus off of driving)
- Impairment due to drugs and/or alcohol
- Failing to stop completely at intersection or crosswalk
- Cutting off a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Right turn on a red light
- Careless backing up of a vehicle
From 2006 to 2016, pedestrian fatalities increased by 27% while traffic deaths decreased during this span. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, those states which have legalized recreational marijuana saw a 16.4 % increase in the first 6-months of 2017 when compared to 2016. Other states that have not legalized the sale of the drug experienced a 6% decrease. The use of legal marijuana may relate to both drivers and pedestrians who were using the drug at the time of the accident.
There are causes other than driver negligence that may include poor road design wherein a motorist is not warned of a pedestrian crossing ahead. Poor visibility due to weather or the failure to properly illuminate a crossing or intersection is another.
Possible Pedestrian Liability
Pedestrians are also obligated to exercise proper care for their own safety, which means crossing the street in designated crosswalks and on a green traffic signal if the intersection has one. If the pedestrian is not using a marked crosswalk, or is crossing in an unmarked crosswalk, he or she must yield to all motorists unless the pedestrian has already safely entered the roadway. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-92. A pedestrian cannot suddenly dart into approaching traffic and expect cars to yield.
If you failed to abide by the law as a pedestrian and sustained injuries, you still may be able to recover if the driver was at least 51% at fault. If the parties are deemed to be equally responsible, you are barred from receiving any compensation under Georgia’s comparative negligence law. O.C.G.A. § 51-12-33.In many pedestrian accidents that occur outside of marked crosswalks, pedestrians are blamed at least partially for their own injuries. You will need the skills and knowledge of a Johns Creek pedestrian accident lawyer to explain why you were doing what you did and why you should still be able to collect something for your injuries.
Likelihood of Recovering
Your chances of recovering are greater under certain scenarios involving crosswalks:
- You were in a marked crosswalk when struck, even if the traffic light turned green for approaching traffic but while you were still crossing.
- You crossed outside the crosswalk, but you had entered the roadway and the driver had ample time to see you.
- You entered the roadway outside a crosswalk and the driver failed to sound a horn to alert you, though he had sufficient time to do so.
Of course, each accident has unique circumstances.
Coverage and Damages in Pedestrian Accidents
Many pedestrian accidents are unfortunately hit-and-run incidents. If the responsible driver is found, then you can bring a claim against the driver’s auto liability insurer, and on top of that, you can pursue punitive damages. If the driver’s remains cannot be found, then you can use the uninsured motorist provision of your own policy, or possibly that of a household member, to seek compensation.
Call a Johns Creek Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a collision with a car, truck, or another motor vehicle, contact our Johns Creek pedestrian accident lawyer. At Tobin Injury Law, we treat every case, regardless of size, as if it is our most important case. Our team of legal professionals is dedicated to seeking justice for you and obtaining the maximum compensation for your losses and damages. Reach out to us by phone at (678) 566-4006, by email, or use our convenient online form below. We are available 24/7 and initial consultations are always confidential and free.