Georgia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Family Walking in pedestrian laneWhen crossing a street as a pedestrian, you have rights. In most instances, Georgia’s crosswalks are the part of the intersection that connects the sidewalks on either side of the street, whether the crosswalk is painted or not. 

The law requires drivers to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks and in many other situations. It is also permissible for pedestrians to walk across a street even between intersections. Just as is the case with bicycles, pedestrians are much more vulnerable to serious and catastrophic injury, including fatal injuries, when hit by a motor vehicle.

Scholle Law represents victims of pedestrian accidents and their families. At Scholle Law, our team of lawyers and paralegals are dedicated to recovering the compensation clients deserve after a serious injury. For over two decades, we have provided our clients with the support they need to get through the litigation process and recover all the compensation to which they are entitled. 

If you have been injured by another person while you were walking down the street, you have legal rights. The attorneys at Scholle Law are here to help. Give us a call at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Georgia pedestrian accident lawyer today.

 

Common Causes and Injuries of Pedestrian Accidents

Paramedics in uniform putting injured man on stretcher in ambulanceGeorgia’s infrastructure is lacking, to say the least. Traffic constantly clogs the roadways, public transportation is limited, and safe sidewalks are not always available. Because of this, pedestrians often must share the road with drivers who may be frustrated, distracted, or otherwise not paying enough attention to the road.

Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Georgia include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to follow traffic signals like stop and yield signs or red lights
  • Speeding
  • Not slowing at crosswalks and/or stopping at intersections
  • Not looking before reversing

In some cases, the pedestrian may be at fault, such as if they were not paying attention while walking. But in the majority of cases, the vehicle operator is the one at fault. 

No matter the cause, pedestrian accidents often result in severe injuries, such as:

  • Neck and back injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Broken bones, including pelvis fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal injuries, including organ damage
  • Face injuries, including disfigurement
  • Death
 

Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia

Pedestrian crossing sign below a stop sign

Under Georgia law, pedestrians are given special protections when they are legally crossing the road. Under O.C.G.A § 40-6-91:

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.

Further, “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, shall give warning by sounding his horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person.(O.C.G.A. § 40-6-93)

Unfortunately, these laws do not always protect pedestrians as they should. In fact, in 2019, there were an estimated 6,590 pedestrian fatalities across the nation, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. While this is only a small increase from 2018 (6,283 pedestrian deaths), the number of pedestrian accidents rose by 53 percent from 2009 to 2018.

Georgia was one of five states that accounted for nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities, along with Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas). There is good news, however: Georgia was one of only six states to report double-digit decreases in the number and rate of pedestrian fatalities in the first half of 2019.

From January to June of 2019, Georgia reported 116 pedestrian deaths. This was a rate of 1.09 fatalities per 100,000 people. 

 

Georgia’s plans to improve pedestrian safety

Female runner crossing the road to the other side through the white and red pedestrian walkwayThe Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has created strategies to combat pedestrian accidents without hindering the rights of those who enjoy walking.

After interviewing more than 5,000 residents, they found that though 9 out of 10 people walk at least once a week, 44 percent said the walking infrastructure in their community is unsafe.

The main complaints were the lack of sidewalks and the disrepair of existing sidewalks.

GDOT has identified the most dangerous areas for pedestrians, based on vehicle-pedestrian crashes. Roads where the most accidents occur tend to share some common features:

  • Speed limits of at least 40 miles per hour
  • Infrequent crosswalks
  • Car-oriented areas with many destinations
  • Five or more lanes
  • Areas near transit routes

In addition, 80 percent of Georgia pedestrian fatalities occurred at night, and nearly 60 percent occurred in dark, unlighted areas. Further, over half occurred when pedestrians were either crossing the road or were waiting to cross. Finally, over three quarters of fatalities happened at non-intersection locations.

To combat pedestrian accidents, GDOT has identified key areas in which improvements to infrastructure, traffic patterns, and other issues must be made. These are labeled as “Focus Areas” and saw the highest number of pedestrian crashes, injuries, and fatalities from 2011 to 2015. In particular, these cities have been identified as “Focus Cities”:

  • Albany (156 pedestrian crashes)
  • Atlanta (1,990)
  • Brookhaven (92)
  • Brunswick (79)
  • Carrollton (29)
  • Cartersville (48)
  • College Park (80)
  • Doraville (271)
  • Douglasville (18)
  • East Point (117) 
  • LaGrange (89)
  • Lawrenceville (73)
  • Lilburn (207)
  • Marietta (157)
  • Norcross (44)
  • Rome (158)
  • Sandy Springs (186)
  • Savannah (637)
  • Smyrna (72)
  • Valdosta (81)

 

Speak to a Georgia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today

annette malena, charles scholle, todd shugart group photo

From left: Attorneys Annette Malena, Charles Scholle,
and Todd I. Shugart

When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the consequences can be catastrophic. You may suffer life-altering injuries – including and up to death. If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, you have rights. The attorneys at Scholle Law can help you explore all of your legal options, including seeking compensation.

Our team knows how devastating a pedestrian accident can be. Trying to deal with the insurance company while you are recovering from the incident is not something most people want to do. Our attorneys will handle the insurance company for you and fight for every penny of compensation you deserve.

 Give us a call at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Georgia pedestrian accident lawyer today.