Pedestrian accidents pose a unique risk of injury because a person who is in a crosswalk has little chance of evading an approaching driver who is not paying attention. When pedestrians are hit by careless or distracted drivers, serious injury is likely because a pedestrian has no protection from injury during a collision, such as that afforded to a passenger in a vehicle. This is a harsh reality because Georgia ranks amongst the worst states in the country for pedestrian fatalities. Because pedestrian accidents occur at an exceptionally high rate in Georgia, our Fulton County pedestrian accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have provided three facts that every pedestrian should know.
Fact 1: An individual’s uninsured motorist coverage can provide valuable financial compensation in a hit and run crash.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that eleven percent of all motor vehicle collisions nationally involve hit and run drivers. Further, the number of hit and run accidents rose by twenty percent during a recent five year period according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It is reasonable to presume that pedestrian hit and runs are more common because drivers have more motivation to panic and flee to avoid the consequences of causing catastrophic injuries or fatalities.
Because hit and run victims may suffer life-changing injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs and internal organ damage, the amount of financial compensation needed to pay medical bills can be staggering. When a hit and run driver cannot be located, the pedestrian’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage purchased for a vehicle can provide coverage.
If you are hit by a driver who flees the scene, it is important to immediately notify your auto insurance company of your UM claim. One of the common justifications that insurance companies rely on to deny UM coverage is failure to provide immediate notice. If you are physically unable to provide notice personally, you should have your spouse, parent or other love one provide notice to avoid this potential defense. When you are represented by our law firm, we will handle this for you.
Fact 2: Drivers must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
While many drivers purport to know this rule, sometimes actions speak louder than words. Most of us have been in a crosswalk when a car tried to drive around us or squeeze between the curb and a crossing pedestrian. Drivers must stop and remain stopped for pedestrians not just yield to them.
Georgia Code Section 40-6-91(a) provides: “The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning.”
When a driver violates this right of way rule, this violation can provide a basis for holding a driver who runs down a pedestrian liable for resulting injuries or wrongful death.
Fact 3: Georgia is especially dangerous for pedestrians.
In a study to determine the states with the worst drivers conducted by CarInsuranceComparison.com, Georgia was ranked 14th in terms of having the worst drivers. This ranking means that Georgia ranked in the bottom third of the nation based on statistics like compliance with traffic signals, seat belt usage, careless driving, traffic tickets and alcohol impaired driving. This unwelcome news was accompanied by the fact that Georgia was ranked 5th worst in terms of drunk driving.
Given the disproportionate number of poor drivers in Georgia, it is not surprising that Metro Atlanta has obtained the notorious distinction of being ranked the 8th most dangerous place to walk in the country. A study conducted by Smart Growth America looked at pedestrian accident data over a recent ten year period. The study found that the Atlanta-Marietta-Cobb region was the site of 839 pedestrian fatalities during the decade covered by the study.
Put Our Law Firm’s Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!
If you or a family member has been injured while walking, jogging or running, you may have the right to seek financial compensation. Our Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.