Pedestrian Accident FAQ
Who Has The Right-of-Way in a Pedestrian Crosswalk Accident?
Answer: When you walk across the street on a pedestrian crosswalk, you generally have the right of way. If you have the right of way, motor vehicles must slow down and yield to you so that you can safely cross the road. However, pedestrians should only use the crosswalk when the pedestrian “walk” signal is illuminated. If you were injured in a pedestrian crosswalk accident, you should contact an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer.
What If The Pedestrian Is Not On A Crosswalk?
Answer: Many pedestrian-auto accidents occur on roadways that don’t have a marked crosswalk. When a pedestrian prepares to cross the road where there isn’t a marked crosswalk, the pedestrian generally should yield the right of way to all vehicles that are already on the road. However, if the roadway conditions are safe, a pedestrian may cross the road even where there isn’t a marked crosswalk. Moreover, if a motor vehicle enters the roadway while the pedestrian is in the process of crossing the road, the motor vehicle must yield to the pedestrian.
At Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers we recently litigated a case in which our client was struck by a pick-up truck that was attempting to merge onto a two-lane roadway that she was crossing on foot. When our client entered that roadway, there weren’t any nearby approaching vehicles. Multiple eyewitnesses testified that our client would have safely crossed the road, but for the pick-up truck’s abrupt decision to merge onto the highway. In fact, the pick-up truck driver even admitted that it was safe for our client to cross the road. As a result, our client clearly had the right of way. The truck driver should have yielded to our client because it was safe for our client to enter the road when she did and she was already walking across the road when the truck driver merged onto the road.
What Is Georgia’s “Dart Out” Statute?
Answer: O.C.G.A. § 40-6-91(b) is commonly known as Georgia’s “dart out” statute. That statute provides that “[n]o pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield.”
Some negligent drivers try to blame pedestrians for causing the collision. For example, some drivers contend that the pedestrian “darted out” so fast that the driver didn’t have time to yield to the pedestrian, or make an evasive maneuver.
An Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer can help you secure eyewitness testimony and/or surveillance camera footage if a driver raises the “dart out” defense. That evidence may demonstrate that the pedestrian entered the road under safe conditions. It may also prove that the driver had ample time to spot the pedestrian and yield to them.
Can I Recover Damages In An Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Case If I’m Partially At Fault?
Answer: Yes. Many pedestrian-auto accident victims incorrectly believe that they cannot recover damages if they were struck while crossing the road where there was no crosswalk. On the contrary, pedestrians can recover damages for their injuries, as long as they are not 50% (or more) responsible for causing the collision.
At Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers we recently resolved a pedestrian auto accident case for the $1,000,000 insurance policy limits even though our client was partially at fault for causing the collision. In that case, our client walked down the middle of a four-lane street while she was intoxicated. A box truck approached her from the opposite direction. The box truck was traveling 15 mph over the speed limit. Although it was nighttime when the collision occurred, our client was well-illuminated by an overhead streetlamp. She also wore bright-colored clothing. The box truck driver wasn’t paying attention and he struck our client’s leg at high speed. The collision force was so severe that it caused our client’s leg to be amputated.
Even though our client acted carelessly, she was still able to recover a large settlement. Why? because her injuries were severe and the truck driver had ample opportunity to spot her and make an evasive maneuver.
I Was Injured In A Hit-and-Run Atlanta Pedestrian Accident. What Should I Do?
Answer: You need to act quickly to secure evidence if a hit-and-run driver injured you. That evidence is critical if you want to successfully resolve your case.
Pedestrian accidents are often hit-and-run accidents. Many drivers flee the collision scene because they don’t want to be held accountable for their negligence. If you were injured in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, you should contact an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer ASAP.
At Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers we recently settled a hit-and-run truck accident case for the maximum insurance coverage by securing surveillance camera footage from a motel that faced the collision site. That footage revealed the make and model of the truck, as well as the motor carrier’s name. From there, we were able to track down the truck driver and obtain a recorded statement from him. The truck driver acknowledged that he “hit something.” However, he claimed that he didn’t know that he hit a human being. That was hard to believe because our client was plainly visible to him. The truck driver’s insurer knew that, so they were willing to pay a hefty sum to resolve that case.
How Do I Prove My Damages in an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Case?
Answer: In a typical car accident, there are two involved vehicles and the collision impact force is apparent based upon the vehicle damage. Many vehicles also have data recorders that calculate the vehicle impact speed. Legal experts use that information to explain how the accident victim was injured. Simply put, greater collision damage = greater injury likelihood.
Pedestrian-auto accident cases are different. Typically, the vehicle that struck the pedestrian is undamaged. Also, the impact force usually isn’t strong enough to trigger the vehicle data recorder. If the accident victim suffered broken bones, a jury might infer that the impact force was strong enough to cause the injuries. But, if the accident victim only suffered soft tissue injuries, it will be more difficult to prove that the collision caused those injuries.
An Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer can help you obtain surveillance footage if it’s available. An accident reconstructionist can use that footage to calculate the vehicle speed and the collision impact force. That video may also visually demonstrate that the collision was strong enough to cause injuries. If surveillance footage isn’t available, you need to obtain an eyewitness statement. A compelling eyewitness statement will help the jury understand that the collision was strong enough to injure you.