What Happens When a Motorist Hits a Pedestrian?

motorcycle helmet on the ground

The victims in Atlanta vehicle accidents are not always other drivers or even passengers. Sometimes, pedestrians are involved. These accidents can cause extensive injuries, as a pedestrian has no airbags or external structures to mitigate the impact of a collision.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 6,283 pedestrian deaths due to car accidents in 2018.

A car going as slowly as 10 miles per hour can seriously injure – or kill – a pedestrian.

What is a person supposed to do if they are hurt in such an accident, but insurance will not cover their medical bills?

Consider this scenario: you are leaving the Kroger off Glenwood Ave in Atlanta when you are struck by a car.

The vehicle is not moving particularly fast, only about 15 mph, but you are knocked to the ground and suffer extensive internal injuries.

The driver of the car was insured, but his insurance provider declines to cover your medical bills. What happens now?

two kids walking across the street

Who Has the Right of Way?

Many people believe that pedestrians always have the right of way, but this is not entirely true. In Atlanta, pedestrians must abide by traffic signals, walk signs, crosswalk markers, and other indicators.

The insurance provider who covers the driver claims that you are responsible for the accident because you were walking in the wrong direction in the parking lot and should have been following the arrows printed on the ground.

Your lawyer will have to prove that the driver was negligent for you to be compensated for your injuries.

man in front of a moving car

How Do You Establish Negligence in a Pedestrian Car Accident?

There are 4 elements to proving negligence:

  1. Duty of Care

For a person to act with negligence, it must be proven that they had responsibility for the safety of those around them. The driver of an automobile has a duty of care to other motorists, passengers, pedestrians, bikers, etc.

  1. Breach of Duty of Care

The next step in proving negligence is establishing that the duty of care was not upheld. A motorist who fails to yield at a crosswalk does not use their turn signal or exceeds the speed limit could be considered in breach of the duty of care.

  1. Causation

Your lawyers will have to prove that your injuries would not have occurred if the other party had acted responsibly. You will have to establish that the accident stemmed directly from the other driver’s behavior.

  1. Damages

To receive compensation for your injuries, you must prove that you suffered losses due to the accident. The monetary value assigned to these losses is called “damages.”

A person can be compensated for their medical bills as well as prescription costs, lost wages, property damage, and even emotional distress.


Georgia’s Comparative Fault Law

Georgia has comparative fault for accidents, meaning that more than one party can be deemed responsible for a collision.

In this hypothetical, the accident report may note that both you and the driver are partially responsible – you for walking in the incorrect lane and the driver for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

If you are deemed partially liable for an accident in Atlanta, you are eligible to receive compensation as long as your share of the responsibility is less than 50%.

Even if you are deemed to be 49% responsible for an accident, you may be able to be reimbursed for costs including medical bills, car repairs, and time away from work while you recover from your injuries.

image of a woman smiling

Speak to an Expert Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one was injured in Atlanta by a motorist while you were walking, contact Atlanta’s pedestrian accident lawyer Davis Injury Firm right away. Pedestrians should not have to shoulder the costs of their injuries when a motorist is liable.

Call Davis Injury Firm right now at (404) 647-0722 – you don’t pay until we win.

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