Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Since 1995, Georgia drivers have been required to do more than just yield to pedestrians in crosswalks; instead, they must “stop and stay stopped.” Pedestrian accidents declined since then… until they started going up again. Pedestrian accidents have been increasing to record levels across the country, with rates not seen in more than a quarter of a century. Pedestrian deaths in Georgia rose four percent in 2018 over 2017, after a decade of going down. Here in Atlanta, vehicle collisions with pedestrians doubled from a little more than a decade ago, with injuries and deaths up by more than 25%.
More people are walking and driving in Atlanta now than before, and pedestrians and drivers alike are spending more time with eyes and concentration on their cellphones instead of the road and traffic patterns around them. Atlanta roads and city streets were designed and built to move traffic faster and more efficiently, which is great for congested motor traffic, but not so great for pedestrians trying to get across the street.
Drivers and pedestrians must both be attentive to avoid a crash, which is highly likely to cause catastrophic injury or death to the pedestrian, even at relatively low speeds. Too often, serious pedestrian accidents are caused by the negligence of drunk, distracted or impatient drivers. Now more than ever, drivers find their attention drawn away from the road and onto their smartphones for texts or social media updates, or to their dashboard for GPS navigation or infotainment. It only takes a second of distraction to cause a pedestrian accident with life-long consequences, and getting a call, text, email or status update while behind the wheel is no excuse for diverting one’s attention from the critical task of driving.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Atlanta, the attorneys at the Durham Law Group can help you hold the negligent driver accountable while recovering a significant amount of compensation to help you deal with your medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages that result from the crash. Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience helping people harmed by the negligence of another in every type of Atlanta automobile accident. Call us for a free consultation to discuss your claim.
Georgia Pedestrian Safety Laws
Pedestrians have the right of way at marked crosswalks. Drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and stay stopped until the pedestrian is safely passed. Specifically, drivers must stop when the pedestrian is in the crosswalk or entering the crosswalk (from either direction) on the same side of the road as the driver, and the driver must stay stopped until the pedestrian has crossed over to the other half of the roadway or exited the street on the driver’s side.
Pedestrians, for their part, should not suddenly leave the curb or dart out into the street into the path of an oncoming vehicle when it would be impractical to expect the driver to be able to yield in time.
A particular danger to pedestrians occurs when a vehicle stops to allow the pedestrian to cross, but another vehicle in the rear doesn’t understand why the first vehicle stopped. The driver of this car will whip around the stopped vehicle to pass it and not see the pedestrian until it is too late to avoid hitting the walker. Drivers should think twice before going around a stopped car and consider why that vehicle might be stopped, especially at a crosswalk or intersection. It is illegal in Georgia for a driver to overtake and pass a vehicle that is stopped at a marked crosswalk or intersection to allow a pedestrian to cross.
Pedestrians should yield the right of way to cars whenever the pedestrian is crossing the street at a place other than a marked crosswalk or intersection. One exception is if the pedestrian has already safely entered the roadway and sees a car approaching. The pedestrian in that instance can continue to cross, and the driver should yield the right of way.
If a driver is emerging from an alley, parking lot, or driveway and will cross a sidewalk before entering the street, the driver must stop before the sidewalk and look out for pedestrians. The driver should yield the right of way to a pedestrian on the sidewalk. Even if there is no sidewalk, the driver should still stop before entering the street and observe for pedestrians coming in either direction.
Help is Available After Severe Pedestrian Accidents in Atlanta
Putting together a case that proves a negligent driver’s liability can be particularly challenging in pedestrian accident cases, where the injured victim might not be in a position to describe what happened. At Durham Law Group, our Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys know how to investigate an accident, gather evidence, and prepare and present a persuasive case that proves a driver’s negligence, liability and fault. Our team is devoted to achieving excellent results for our clients through settlement or litigation, as the case requires.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Atlanta, call Durham Law Group at 404-845-3434 for a free consultation with an experienced, dedicated and successful Atlanta personal injury lawyer.