Gwinnett Teenager Killed by Hit and Run Driver in Serious Pedestrian Accident


December 17, 2010

A teenager suffered fatal injuries last Tuesday night when he was run down by the driver of a passenger car on Pleasant Hill Road according to Gwinnett County police. The driver heartlessly drove off after striking the teenager. Hit and run pedestrian accidents like this one are more common than they should be and frequently lead to serious injuries. A driver who is involved in a hit and run accident with a pedestrian may face both criminal and civil liability. Pedestrian accidents involving children are particularly common during hours that children may be walking to or from school.

Over 100,000 pedestrians are injured on America's roads every year. Almost half of pedestrian fatalities occur during the single hour in the afternoon right after school. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have represented Georgia pedestrian accident victims for over a quarter of a century. This article provides an overview of the common causes of pedestrian accidents, common types of injuries and common legal issues in pedestrian accident cases.

The most common cause of pedestrian accidents is negligence by a driver of a motor vehicle like a car, truck or SUV. Negligent acts by a driver that can result in a pedestrian accident include the following:

• Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol

• Distracted driving including driving while texting or talking on a cell phone

• Failure to obey the speed limit or driving too fast for road or weather conditions

• Non-compliance with traffic signals or stop signs

Drivers who speed in residential areas or fail to pay attention in school zones or near school buses pose a particularly serious risk. Young children are especially vulnerable to serious injury or death when struck by a large car or truck. Every year children are hit in driveways or parking lots when drivers are backing up a vehicle. These "backover accidents" are particularly common with SUVs because it can be difficult to see a child due to the height of the SUV. Other common child pedestrian accidents involve drivers who do not stop when a school bus' lights are flashing or a driver who does not yield to a child at a crosswalk or intersection.

The most common type of pedestrian accident is one in which the front of a vehicle strikes a pedestrian including walkers, joggers, skateboarders, and people in wheelchairs. Serious pedestrian accidents can occur in crosswalks, intersections, on sidewalks, city streets, and even parking lots and gas stations. A pedestrian accident typically results in serious injuries when the accident victim is struck by a passenger car, SUV, truck, tractor-trailer or motorcycle.

While negligent drivers are the most common cause of a pedestrian accident, there are other factors that can play a role in causing a pedestrian accident including the following:

• Negligent design or maintenance of streets and roadways: If a government entity designs or maintains a street, sidewalk or traffic signal in a way that creates an unreasonable risk of causing a pedestrian accident, the governmental entity may be held legally responsible for a pedestrian accident.

• Defective automobile: Sometimes a defective motor vehicle may contribute to a pedestrian accident. The manufacturer or seller of the car may be liable for resulting injuries.

• The operator of a vehicle other than the one that hits the pedestrian: Sometimes the negligence of a driver forces another driver to react to avoid an accident and the evasive maneuver results in a pedestrian accident.

• Employer of driver: A government entity or private employer may be liable for a pedestrian accident where their employee is driving depending on the circumstances.

Pedestrian accidents often lead to catastrophic, life-changing injuries or death. Injuries such as broken arms, broken legs, head injuries, brain injuries, neck injuries, back injuries and spinal cord injuries are common. A study of the seriousness of injuries suffered in pedestrian accidents found that a pedestrian accident victim admitted to the hospital typically faces medical expenses between $50,000 and $78,000. These types of serious injuries can mean significant pain, permanent disability or disfigurement and lifelong rehabilitative and nursing care.

Complex insurance coverage issues may arise following a pedestrian accident. Your own automobile insurance coverage can come into effect or provide benefits even though you were not driving. The at-fault driver may work for a company or government entity such that the entity's insurance coverage and potential liability becomes relevant.

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.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.