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Representing Accident & Injury Victims

Handling Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and
Criminal Defense Cases

ATTORNEY MATTHEW C. HINES

Representing Accident & Injury Victims

Handling Personal Injury, Workers' Compensation and Criminal Defense Cases

ATTORNEY MATTHEW C. HINES

Pedestrians at More Risk Than Ever in Georgia

Pedestrians at More Risk Than Ever in Georgia

In 2021, Georgia saw a 24% increase in pedestrian fatalities from the prior year. In fact, the pedestrian fatalities in Georgia outpaced the national average.

This clearly illustrates the issue related to vehicle-pedestrian accidents that cause serious injuries and fatalities in the state.

As a pedestrian, you likely understand there is some level of risk any time you walk near busy roadways. However, if a vehicle strikes you due to negligence or recklessness, it’s possible to file a personal injury lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. To know if you have this right, it’s recommended that you contact Atlanta personal injury lawyers from the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines.

We can review your case and help determine what damages you deserve to receive.

It is also beneficial to learn more about the risks to Georgia pedestrians and what the state has done to make things safer.

The Pedestrian Action Safety Plan (PSAP)

The Georgia Department of Transportation created the Pedestrian Action Safety Plan to help improve public safety. When this was done, they discovered that the roads where the most pedestrian accidents occurred had several common characteristics.

Some of the things the roads and areas had in common included:

  • State-owned arterial roads
  • Speed limits of 40 miles per hour or more
  • Located in urbanized areas
  • Car-oriented and mixed-use roadways
  • Transit routes
  • Five or more lanes of traffic
  • Few chances for pedestrians to safely cross the road

Along with the characteristics listed above, most fatal pedestrian accidents in Georgia also occurred at night, in a dark or unlighted area, in locations where there were no intersections, and when pedestrians were crossing or waiting to cross the road.

How Georgia Pedestrian Accidents Happen

When pedestrian accidents occur, many people believe the motorist is automatically at-fault. However, this is not always the case. In many situations, both pedestrians and motorists can be at-fault for the incident.

While this is true, the pedestrian is most likely to be injured in a vehicle versus a pedestrian collision. While several factors and situations can lead to a pedestrian accident, some are more common than others. When it comes to Georgia pedestrian accidents, some causes are more commonly seen than others. These include the following:

Fatigue

Studies have shown that driver fatigue is a top cause of pedestrian accidents. Fatigue inhibits a driver’s abilities like alcohol does and inhibits the driver’s ability to focus. This causes them to misjudge many traffic situations. Similar to intoxicated drivers, fatigued drivers may not see pedestrians, or they may not pay attention to traffic signs and signals.

Distracted Driving

You are considered “distracted” if you take your mind off the task at hand (driving), take your eyes off of the road ahead, or take your hands off of the steering wheel. The most common types of distractions include talking to passengers, changing the radio station, eating, drinking, and using the phone (to name a few).

Drunk Driving

Drugs and alcohol use can cause impairment. Drivers who are drunk or drugged have a hard time judging traffic situations. In these cases, they may not notice pedestrians who are walking close to the road.

Speeding

Speeding is dangerous for many reasons. If you are speeding when you approach a crosswalk, it means you may not have time to stop or react to people on the road.

Failure to Slow Down at Crosswalks

In many areas, traffic signage lets pedestrians know when they have the right of way. Any traffic headed toward pedestrians must slow down and stop until the pedestrians are safely across the road. Distracted or impatient motorists may not slow down, which can cause them to hit a crossing pedestrian.

Not Checking Your Blind Spots While Backing Up

Some pedestrians are hit by drivers who back up. Usually, this happens because the motorist does not check their blind spots before they back out of their driveway or a parking space.

Not Obeying Traffic Signs and Signals

If a driver fails to stop at traffic lights or stop signs, they may strike a pedestrian who is legally crossing the street at a crosswalk.

In each situation, the motorist would be considered at fault. Their negligence caused the accident; therefore, they can be held liable for the injuries and damages the pedestrian sustained.

Is a Pedestrian Ever at Fault for an Accident?

While all the above scenarios depict situations where the driver of a motor vehicle would be liable for injuries, pedestrians must also walk near roads safely and obey traffic signals.

In many situations, pedestrian negligence may cause or contribute to an accident. Examples of this include:

  • Distractions caused by their phone or another electronic device while they walk
  • Walking while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
  • Wearing headphones while walking
  • Running in front of oncoming traffic
  • Jaywalking (crossing the road in an unmarked area)
  • Ignoring the signs at the crosswalk

In these situations, the pedestrian would be considered at fault if they are struck by a motor vehicle.

Dual Liability in Pedestrian Accident Cases

Sometimes a motorist and pedestrian can be liable for an accident. While this is true, if the jury finds that the pedestrian is less than 50% at-fault for the incident, they are still allowed to recover compensation based on the modified comparative negligence rule used in Georgia.

According to this rule, the compensation they receive is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a pedestrian experienced $100,000 in losses due to an accident they are 25% at fault for, they will receive $75,000 in total compensation.

Tips for Pedestrians to Stay Safe

Pedestrians need to take their safety seriously. Georgia pedestrian accidents are on the rise. Some of the tips that will help pedestrians protect themselves include:

  • Avoid distractions: Talking or texting while you are walking close to the road can have deadly results. You may walk into approaching traffic if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Use sidewalks: If there are sidewalks where you are walking, be sure to use them. Always walk on the left-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
  • No headphones: You should not block your hearing in any way, which includes wearing headphones. Doing so may prevent you from hearing or noticing oncoming traffic.
  • Be visible: Be sure to wear bright clothing so drivers can see you. If you are walking at night, wear reflective gear, like reflective vests. Most pedestrian accidents happen at night, so you must ensure you can be seen.

As a pedestrian, you have no protection when struck by a vehicle. Because of this, the injuries are likely to be much more serious than in other accidents. You must call for emergency assistance or have someone do this for you. Many pedestrian accidents cause life-threatening injuries.

Types of Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents

Due to the lack of protection you have as a pedestrian, the injuries you suffer when struck by a motor vehicle are often severe. While each case is unique, some injuries are more common than others. The most common injuries seen in pedestrian accidents include:

  • Soft tissue damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Bone fractures and broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries

Unfortunately, many of the injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents are severe, while some are even life-threatening. The head, trunk, and legs are the most common body parts that are impacted in a pedestrian accident.

Get Help from Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers After a Pedestrian Accident

At the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, we understand that pedestrian accidents can cause life-changing injuries. We also understand that you need to focus on medical treatment and recovery in the aftermath of this incident. When you contact our office, you can feel confident that we have a team of legal professionals who can take over the legal process to help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.

Once you call our office, we will schedule a free initial consultation. During this meeting, we will learn about your case and situation and answer any questions you have. If you hire us for legal representation, we will immediately launch a full and comprehensive investigation. Our investigation is designed to find all accident-related evidence showing how the accident occurred, why the driver is at fault, and the severity of your injuries.

Our goal is to help convince the insurance company for the at-fault party to offer a fair settlement out of court. This saves time and money for everyone. However, if they won’t agree to a fair amount of compensation, we are not scared to file a personal injury lawsuit and go to court to fight for you.

If you need help after an Atlanta pedestrian accident, don’t wait to call our legal team for help. We will give you the aggressive representation you need in these tough situations.

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Atlanta

Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines
1900 The Exchange SE, Building 500 Atlanta, Georgia 30339 USA


Phone : 770-800-2000

Marietta

Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines
639 Powder Springs Street, Unit D Marietta, GA 30069

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Phone : 770-800-2000

Gainesville

Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines
175 John W. Morrow Junior Pkwy Gainesville, GA 30501

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Austell

Law Offices of Matthew C.Hines
5000 Austell-Powder Springs Road, Suite 282 Austell, GA 30106

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Phone : 770-800-2000

We serve clients throughout Georgia including those in the following localities: Atlanta, Gainesville, Norcross, Marietta, Austell, Alpharetta, Canton, Dallas, Hiram,Lithia Springs, Powder Springs and Gwinnett County.