Pedestrian Hit by Car on I-285 in Clayton County Georgia
A vehicle hit a pedestrian on I-285 east of Riverdale Road in Clayton County early Wednesday morning. The severity of the pedestrian's injuries were still unclear. While many people presume that few pedestrian accidents occur on highways and major busy streets, this is actually where the majority of pedestrian accidents occur. A claim for one's injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident on a Georgia highway poses unique challenges because a pedestrian does have a legal obligation to take reasonable care to protect themselves from unreasonable dangers.
The attorney for a negligent driver's insurance company will almost always claim that the pedestrian was at-fault for one's own injuries when a pedestrian accident occurs on a major busy street, highway or freeway. While it is never a great idea to walk on a busy highway where traffic is moving at high rates of speed, many times an experienced Georgia pedestrian accident attorney will be able to develop an effective strategy for seeking compensation for your injuries. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those who suffer serious injury or wrongful death in Georgia pedestrian accidents for over 25 years.
It is not uncommon for attorneys representing an at-fault driver to try to blame a pedestrian accident on an injured pedestrian. The insurance company may even try to contact you directly and attempt to strong-arm you into a quick nominal settlement by indicating that your own "poor judgement and careless conduct" caused the accident. The insurance adjuster may attempt to convince you that their insured is in no way liable for your injuries but that the insurance company is offering a small nominal settlement to avoid the costs of litigation. Do not be fooled! The insurance adjuster is not likely to ever provide an objective or accurate analysis of liability in a pedestrian highway accident. The insurance adjuster's sole motivation is to assist their insured in avoiding liability for your injuries and to escape having to pay your claim or to greatly minimize the amount that is paid.
While it may be the case that you are partially at-fault in a highway pedestrian collision, this is often not the case. There are reasons that a pedestrian has little or no choice but to walk on a busy highway, which may mean that your conduct is reasonable. If a careless or inattentive driver hits you while you are acting reasonably under the circumstances, you may still seek compensation for your injuries. Even if you are partially at fault, you may seek compensation as long as you are less than 50% at fault. Some examples of common pedestrian highway accidents for which you may seek fair compensation include the following:
• Auto Collision: You may be involved in a car accident with another driver who does not stop at the scene or is otherwise responsible for the car crash. If your car is damaged and stuck in the middle of a busy highway, your safest option may be to get out of the path of traffic that is moving at high rates of speed. This means that your most reasonable choice may be to cross over to the shoulder of the highway. If you do so and are hit by a driver who is speeding or under the influence of alcohol or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
• Mechanical Problems: If your car suddenly breaks down in the fast lane of the freeway with cars zipping by at 70 mph, you are posed with a very serious dilemma. You can remain in the vehicle and hope that vehicles approaching at 70 mph see you in time and do not smash into your car from behind. This becomes an even more perilous choice if it is dark where it may be much harder to see your vehicle meaning that approaching cars have less stopping distance. If a careless or inattentive driver hits you as you try to get to the side of the road when there is a break in traffic, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. Alternatively, if you must walk to get help and are on an elevated roadway or bridge, you may have no choice but to walk on the shoulder of the road.
These are just a couple of examples of why a pedestrian may have little choice but to walk on or across lanes of a highway. Even if you are partially at-fault for your own accident, this does not necessarily mean that you are not entitled to recover for your injuries under Georgia law. Georgia personal injury law follows a doctrine of comparative negligence, so as long as you are less than 50% responsible for your injuries, you can still seek fair compensation for your injuries though your recovery may be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
Our experienced Georgia pedestrian auto accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, 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 we 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.
Our attorneys and staff will work hard to protect your interests and get you the compensation you deserve.