Each year over 65,000 pedestrians are struck and injured by motor vehicles in the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) most of these accidents occur on public roadways in urban areas. The majority of people never imagine the possibility of being struck by a motor vehicle during their walk to work or a leisurely stroll, but the reality is that injury and death caused by a motor vehicle strike is increasingly common. The exact cause of the prevalence of such accidents is attributed to the increase of distracted driving, however, there are instances where the pedestrian may, in fact, be at fault. Regardless of the situation, if you have been struck by a motor vehicle it is critical that you immediately seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will be able to answer any questions you may have and advise you on whether or not you are eligible for compensation due to the injuries you sustained.
In the state of Georgia, pedestrians have the right of way on all crosswalks. However, drivers are often oblivious to this rule or the existence of pedestrians on a busy street. Drivers will often try to shift the blame on pedestrians in the event that an accident occurs. In order for the pedestrian to prove that the driver was at fault, they must prove that the driver’s negligence led to the accident. In general, negligence is defined is the failure to take reasonable action to protect others from a foreseeable risk. To prove that a driver was acting negligently in an accident with a pedestrian the following must be proven:
- The driver owed a legal duty of care to the pedestrian;
- The driver failed to uphold this duty;
- The driver caused an accident with the pedestrian;
- The pedestrian was pedestrian was injured as a result of the accident.
Duty of Care
Depending on the individuals involved in the incident and the circumstances surrounding the incident there are several different duties of care that fall on both the driver and pedestrian. The following are the general rules that each party must adhere to in situation:
- The pedestrian must follow the traffic rules and signs posted near the crosswalk. If the pedestrian does not follow the rules they may be considered at fault;
- The driver must adhere to all traffic laws. The driver must not drive distracted, recklessly, or impaired. These are the most common causes of accidents;
- There may be special circumstances surrounding the situation. This comes into play when a child or school is in the vicinity of the roadway. The driver is obligated to take special care when children are around.
In the event that you have been involved in an accident it is imperative that you call law enforcement immediately. You must also be sure to get the information of the individuals involved in the accident and the witnesses. During communications with others following the accident it is critical that you do not make any admission of guilt or apologize for the situation. Rather, you should first speak with an attorney who will guide you on who you should talk to and what you can say. The insurance companies will be looking at your statements for potential admissions of guilt in order to avoid compensating you for your injuries.
Have You Been Injured?
If you have been involved in an accident and are currently suffering from injuries related to the accident, it is important to know that you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. To find out if you are eligible for compensation call Anthony Overton Van Johnson & Associates, P.C. in Atlanta at 678-882-7355 for a free consultation. firstname.lastname@example.org