Fighting For the Rights of
Pedestrian Accident Victims in Alpharetta, GA
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Georgia is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrian accidents. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, Georgia has the fourth-highest number of pedestrian deaths in 2022, behind only California, Texas, and Florida. Georgia is even ahead of New York, which has twice the number of people. These fatality numbers do not even account for the thousands of people who suffer serious but non-fatal injuries each year in wrecks.
Alpharetta has tried to improve pedestrian safety lately, including the “pedestrian scramble” downtown. Unfortunately, many people continue to get hit by negligent motorists and end up in the hospital with serious injuries. Please call Ponton Law to obtain the legal help you need. Our Alpharetta pedestrian accident attorney will discuss what you remember about the accident and explain whether you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Why Pedestrians Are At Risk
Pedestrians are more likely to suffer serious injuries in a crash than the occupants of a car. Pedestrians face many challenges on the road, including:
- Dangerous drivers. Motorists increasingly are speeding, running red lights, and refusing to yield to pedestrians. Some are fatigued and unable to see clearly, or they are intoxicated or high and crash due to lapses in judgment.
- Cyclists. Cars are not the only danger pedestrians confront. Negligent cyclists can cut off a pedestrian or ride on the sidewalk, which is not allowed in Georgia. Pedestrians can suffer serious injuries when struck by a cyclist.
- Poor public design. Pedestrians would benefit from more pedestrian bridges and more clearly defined crosswalks. Unfortunately, Alpharetta has only begun to address pedestrian safety in a halting manner.
- Inadequate lighting. Motorists can’t avoid someone they can’t see. At some intersections, lighting is very poor, and pedestrians get hit.
Any pedestrian walking on the road could easily get into a crash through no fault of their own.
Pedestrian Injuries are Serious
Pedestrians can suffer horrifying injuries when someone crashes into them:
- Road rash
- Back injuries
- Herniated or bulging disc
- Spinal column fracture
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord damage
There is also a high risk of fatal injuries, depending on the speed of the vehicle. According to the AAA Foundation, the risk of death is as follows:
- 10% at 23 miles per hour
- 25% at 32 mph
- 50% at 42 mph
- 75% at 50 mph
- 90% at 58 mph
Other factors impacting the severity of a crash include the victim’s age and general health. But the fact remains that collisions at even moderate speeds cause serious injuries.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
Injured pedestrians could land in the hospital with multiple injuries. Sometimes, you could feel intense pain but not know what is wrong. A doctor can diagnose injuries, particularly internal injuries, by running tests and ordering X-rays. You should go to the hospital soon after a crash.
Our clients suffer many damages, including:
- Damage to any property
- Income loss
- Medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Helpfully, if a negligent driver strikes you, you can claim their liability insurance. Georgia requires that most motorists carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per injured person.
One limitation is your contributory negligence. Georgia has a modified contributory negligence law. If you are less than 50% at fault, you can receive compensation. But someone who is 50% or more at fault will not receive anything. Some pedestrians who are jaywalking or who throw themselves in front of vehicles are at risk of not receiving a penny despite suffering from serious injuries.
Pedestrian Laws & Safety
Like other states, Georgia has passed detailed rules for pedestrians. We highly recommend that you pay attention to these rules and follow them, as they will reduce the likelihood of an accident. Georgia law requires the following:
- Pedestrians must obey all traffic-control devices that apply to them.
- Pedestrians should walk on sidewalks where provided unless the sidewalk presents an imminent threat of injury or there is no car within 1,000 feet.
- When there is no sidewalk, pedestrians must walk on the shoulder and stand as far as possible from the road.
- A driver must stop to allow a pedestrian to cross within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is on the driver’s half of the road.
- Pedestrians must run in front of a car or leave the curb without warning.
- All drivers should use due care to make sure they don’t collide with a pedestrian.
- A pedestrian who is drunk or high should not be on the road or the shoulder.
These rules promote public safety. At all times, both pedestrians and motorists must use reasonable care so that they don’t cause a crash.
Proving Fault for a Pedestrian Accident
Injured pedestrians can receive compensation if they are less than 50% responsible for the accident. When suing a driver, for example, we need to show the driver bears most of the blame for the accident.
We can rely on certain pieces of evidence to help reconstruct the collision:
- Your memories of the crash. Were you crossing the intersection when the “Walk” sign was illuminated? Did the driver run a red light?
- Other witness testimony. Did they see the collision? Did they see a driver run a red light or make an illegal turn?
- The defendant’s admissions. Did the defendant admit to not checking that the intersection was clear before making a right-hand turn on red? Did they admit to drinking?
- Video evidence. Did a nearby business have a video camera pointed at the intersection or road? Did it capture the accident?
- Test results. Did a responding police officer ask the driver to give a breath or urine sample? What were the test results?
- Cell phone records. Was the motorist on the cell phone in the seconds before a collision?
These are some of the most important pieces of evidence we use in pedestrian accident cases. They can help us visualize what led to the wreck and who is liable.
Negotiating a Settlement
Certain hurdles prevent many pedestrians from receiving fair compensation. For example, the driver might allege you were jaywalking or violated some other rule of the road, in which case you deserve no compensation. Their insurance adjuster could believe them because they want to avoid paying you a dime.
Because pedestrians are usually in pain, they have limited ability to find evidence to use for their case. It’s insufficient to simply point out that you were injured. You need to show how a motorist or other party is to blame.
Our law firm can take over a case and gather all relevant information to use when negotiating a settlement. Our Alpharetta pedestrian accident attorney excels at showing how a motorist is to blame for the collision. We then make a compelling argument for how much your injuries are worth.
Many insurers use certain tactics to avoid paying. They might delay any investigation for months for no good reason. Your phone calls are unreturned, and the insurer doesn’t even send letters. They might even deny liability completely and force you to file a lawsuit to protect your rights.
Ponton Law can push back on these tactics. We demand that insurers treat our clients with respect, and we can remind an insurer of its obligations under state law.
Call Our Alpharetta Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Injured pedestrians need a committed legal advocate on their team. Please reach out to Ponton Law today. Our firm has negotiated many settlements for injured clients, and we are eager to apply our talents to your case. Call today, at (404) 418-8507.