There are many precautions taken to protect our children when they are walking to and from school or disembarking the bus at school. However, despite special school zone warning signs, reduced speed limits, flashing bus warning lights and crossing guards, dozens of school children are struck by motor vehicles in Georgia annually- often suffering serious injuries and even death.
Many of these accidents are a product of drivers who simply refuse to exercise the diligence and care required by these safety measures. One of the fundamental reasons for all of these safeguards is that school children may be small and harder to see and are extremely vulnerable to catastrophic and fatal injuries if struck by a car, pickup truck or SUV.
If your child has suffered serious injury or wrongful death in a Georgia school zone accident, contact our experienced Georgia school zone accident lawyers to discuss your rights to compensation. We carefully investigate any possible unsafe driving practices or violation of safety laws designed to protect school age pedestrians in order to establish the liability of a driver whose carelessness injures our client’s child. Some of the most common violations that lead to Atlanta school zone accidents, as well accidents throughout Georgia, include:
- Failure to Comply with Crosswalk Law: A driver is required to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian school child, who is in a crosswalk. This means not only slowing down or yielding but coming to a complete stop and waiting for a child to cross the intersection. A public entity like a school district that is aware that a particular intersection has been the source of pedestrian accidents involving school children may be responsible for not taking sufficient precautionary measures. Appropriate safety measures may include proper bus stop design and school bus loading procedures or use of crossing guards. A negligent driver that strikes a child in a crosswalk may also be liable for any injuries to the child.
- Refusal to Reduce Speed in School Zones: All school zones have reduced speed laws because of the high risk of pedestrian accidents involving school children. A school zone involves an extremely high number of pedestrians who may be particularly vulnerable because of their lack of maturity and experience. Children may also be harder to see because they typically are smaller. A driver who fails to slow his or her speed in a clearly marked school zone needlessly puts school children at risk.
Insurance companies that defend motorists who hit school children in school zones routinely attempt to shift blame to the injured child. Georgia’s crosswalk law imposes an obligation on pedestrians not to enter an intersection at a point where it would be impractical for the driver to yield. This is sometimes referred to as the “darting child defense.” If the insurance company is able to establish that your child is partially at-fault, they may be able to reduce the amount they pay on the claim. In some cases, the insurance company may be able to shift blame enough to avoid paying any compensation.
If your child is involved in a school zone accident, it is important to obtain representation from an experienced Georgia school zone accident lawyer. We are familiar with the defense strategies used by insurance companies to avoid paying claims in Georgia pedestrian school zone accident lawsuits and will work zealously to obtain the compensation that your child deserves. Our experienced pedestrian school zone accident attorneys have represented children involved in pedestrian accidents throughout Atlanta and all of Georgia for over 39 years.
Our Georgia pedestrian school zone lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast