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Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian Accident Injury or Fatality? Call Atlanta Lawyer Benjamin O. Bengtson!

If you or a loved one has been injured by a vehicle while walking, jogging, playing or running, I can help you. My name is Benjamin O. Bengtson, and I'm a personal injury attorney serving Atlanta GA and the surrounding counties and towns. I represent people who have been injured in pedestrian accidents. If you have been injured as a pedestrian by a negligent motorist, your focus must be on recovering physically from your injuries. My focus will be on recovering reimbursement for your injuries.

I also represent the families of those who have been killed in pedestrian accidents. If you have lost a loved one due to a pedestrian accident, let me express my heartfelt sympathy to you. There are many things you will need to shoulder the burden of this tragic loss. If you choose me as your attorney, I'll fight hard for the compensation you'll need to cover the monetary and other costs of your loss, so you can concentrate on giving your family the consolation, love and attention they need during this critical time.

My track record is excellent, and you won't owe me a thing unless I win or settle your case. Call me at 404-596-5518 for a free consultation.
Pedestrian Accidents
How Often Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen

Worldwide, more than 270,000 pedestrian fatalities happen each year. Unfortunately, pedestrian fatalities have been going up in the United States. Since 2009, there has been a 53% increase in pedestrian deaths.

In their February 2020 news release, the Governor's Highway Safety Association reported that 6,590 pedestrians were killed on US roads in 2019, the highest number in 30 years!

What are the reasons behind this alarming increase? Three things primarily account for it, and some of them might surprise you: 1) smartphone use, 2) the rising popularity of SUVs and pickup trucks, and 3) the increase of electric and hybrid cars.

  • Both drivers and pedestrians are often distracted by smartphones.
  • There are more SUVs and trucks on the road, and because of their larger front surface area and weight, they are twice as likely to cause a fatality as a car, since the pedestrian cannot tumble over the vehicle as easily, or will be more easily injured if rolled over.
  • Since electric and hybrid cars are so quiet, they are 40 percent more likely to strike pedestrians, who avoid cars with their ears as well as their eyes.
Five states account for almost 50% of pedestrian fatalities in the US. Unfortunately, Georgia is one of those five states. On the positive side though, pedestrian fatalities decreased since the Georgia Hands-Free Law regarding smartphones went into effect on July 1, 2018.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accident Injuries?

  • Three quarters of pedestrian accidents happen at night, mostly away from intersections and on local roads. The message from this could not be clearer: if you go out walking or jogging at night, wear bright clothing, preferably with reflective material sewn on.
  • 59 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen on non-freeway arterial roads – the busy local roads that carry the most traffic. It is best not to walk or run on these if it can be helped.
  • 50 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen on the weekend.
  • Nearly half of all pedestrian accidents involve alcohol consumption on the part of the pedestrian or the driver.
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable when struck by a vehicle, since the kinetic energy of a moving vehicle is so great, and unlike a vehicle driver, a pedestrian is not protected by the bumpers, metal frame, cushioned interior, seatbelts and airbags of a car. For this reason, drivers ought to constantly be on the lookout for pedestrians.

Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia
How Do I Know if I Have a Pedestrian Accident Injury or Wrongful Death Case?

Simply put, if the vehicle driver had a duty to uphold (such as a Georgia traffic law), breached that duty, and harm resulted from that, then the pedestrian accident will usually be a good personal injury case.

However, it's not always the driver who is at fault. Pedestrians can also be entirely at fault or partly at fault for getting struck, too. Here are some examples in which according to Georgia law, a pedestrian would be at least partly to blame:

  • If the pedestrian failed to yield to oncoming traffic when crossing a road where there was no crosswalk.
  • If the pedestrian did not use a marked crosswalk when there were traffic lights on both sides of the block.
  • If the pedestrian left a curb or other place of safety by stepping into the path of an oncoming vehicle so near, that it was impractical for the driver to yield.
  • If the pedestrian crossed an intersection diagonally.
  • If the pedestrian failed to use a sidewalk when one was available.
  • If the pedestrian was not walking or running on the shoulder of the road, or if one was not available or safe, was not traveling as closely as possible to the edge of the road.
  • On two-lane roads, if the pedestrian was not walking or running on the side of the road facing traffic when no sidewalk was available. [OCGA 40-6-91(b)]
  • The pedestrian begins crossing when a crosswalk light is red.
However, even if you or your loved one was partly at fault, that doesn't necessarily mean you do not have a good personal injury case. in Georgia, if the vehicle driver was at least 50 percent at fault for the accident, the pedestrian can still collect for the percentage of fault that the driver was responsible for. Below are some examples in which under Georgia law, a driver would be partly or entirely at fault.

A vehicle driver is liable for a pedestrian injury if the driver failed to stop for a pedestrian when:

  • Making a left or right turn at an intersection.
  • Entering a street or highway from a driveway, alley or private road.
  • A pedestrian was on a crosswalk on the driver's half of the road. [OCGA 40-6-91(a)] This applies even if the light had already turned green, because some pedestrians walk slowly. (In Georgia, crosswalks are considered to exist at all four corners of intersections, whether they are marked or not.)
  • A pedestrian was in a crosswalk, walking towards the driver's side of the road, and was closer than one than one lane to that side. [OCGA 40-6-91(a)]
  • There was a stop sign or red light and a pedestrian was crossing.
  • There was a blind pedestrian crossing a street or highway carrying a white cane, or being guided by a guide dog.
  • Passing a car stopped for a pedestrian at a crosswalk, even if that car blocks the view of the pedestrian. [OCGA 40-6-91(d)]
  • A pedestrian has already begun to cross a road where there is no crosswalk under conditions that were safe before the driver drew near, since the driver had reasonable time to stop.
A driver is also at least partly at fault if he or she broke any Georgia traffic law, such as:

  • Driving above the speed limit. Just look at how the speed of the driver lowers a pedestrian's chance of survival:
  • Not yielding to road construction workers.
  • Driving too fast for conditions.
  • Driving while intoxicated.
  • Texting or holding a cell phone.
  • The driver was distracted and looking away from the road.
  • Failing to slow down or stop in a school zone.
  • Failing to stop for a school bus when its stop sign is extended.
  • Trying to squeeze by or cut off a pedestrian in a crosswalk, even if there seems to be room to get through.
  • Not paying enough attention to see a person lying down in the road. (Fountain V. Thompson, 252 Ga.256, 1984).
Call me, Benjamin O. Bengtson, at 404-596-5518 so that I can help you sort out the details of who is at fault.
Georgia Pedestrian Accident lawyer

What Can I Receive Compensation for In a Pedestrian Accident Injury Case?

Few people realize just how extensive the costs of a pedestrian accident injury can be over time. The costs may include:

  • Anticipated future medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Bodily injury
  • Permanent scarring
  • Loss of consortium for spouse
  • Current and future work income
  • Disability
  • Inability to work
  • Inability or hindered ability to engage in your favorite sports and hobbies
When someone else is a fault, you have the legal right to be compensated for losses such as these. Call me at 404-596-5518 for a FREE consultation and I will make sure that justice is served for you or your loved one and that you get the financial compensation you are rightly owed.

Why Should I Use a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Insurance companies have experienced lawyers and adjusters working for them. Part of their job is to save the insurance company money. Often they will make a low-ball offer to you and try to persuade you that it's the most you can expect to get. So please don't sign a settlement agreement without consulting a personal injury attorney first. I won't be paid a dime unless I win money for you.

People use personal injury attorneys because they have the experience, expertise and training required to navigate the legal system, and because they recognize that even after the attorney receives his fee, they will likely walk away with more compensation than they would have otherwise received (often considerably more).

How Quickly Should I Call a Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorney?

Please call me as soon as possible. For most pedestrian accidents, the statute of limitations is only 2 years in Georgia. As time passes, the more likely it is that witnesses will forget important facts or move away, accident records could be lost, and evidence could be destroyed or lost. So the earlier I can get to work for you, the better! Call me (Benjamin O. Bengtson) at 404-596-5518 for a FREE consultation.

What to Do if You or a Loved One is Injured in a Pedestrian Vehicle Accident

  1. Get Help
  • If you or someone else is seriously injured, call for an ambulance right away, or ask someone else to do so.
  • Otherwise, call the police and do not leave the scene until they arrive.
  • As soon as possible, call me at 404-596-5518.
  • Some auto accident policies also cover pedestrian accidents, so call your insurance company and report the accident.
  1. Act Wisely
  • Be polite, but do not tell anyone the accident was you or your loved one's fault, even if you think it was. There may be factors of which you are currently unaware. For instance, you might assume that you walked out in front of the motorist, but it could be that he was actually speeding, driving a long way down a turn lane like it was an ordinary lane, had failing brakes, or was driving too fast for conditions.
  • Point out to the police officer anything you think he should know.
  1. Document the Accident
  • Get the name, address, phone numbers, license number, and insurance information of the motorist.
  • Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.
  • Take pictures of the vehicle, the accident site, and the conditions.
If you were injured too badly to do any of this, or did not think to do any of it, don't worry. We can still build a case for you from the available records and when appropriate, will even dispatch a private investigator who specializes in accidents to the scene.

Pedastrian Accident with a child
The Georgia Tender Years Doctrine and How it Applies to Pedestrian Accidents Involving Children

When determining fault, motorists are usually held to a higher standard, since their vehicles can inflict the most damage and injury. This is especially the case if the pedestrian was a child. One out of five children under the age of 15 who were killed in traffic crashes were pedestrians.

In Georgia, a child under the age of four is legally considered to be incapable of negligence. (However, the person caring for the child could be regarded as the negligent party instead, if the child was not being properly supervised.) Children between the ages of 5 and 13 can be considered capable of negligence, but this is determined on a subjective basis according to Georgia's Tender Years Doctrine. Even teens aged 14 to 17 may be judged by a more lenient standard because of this doctrine.

Keeping Your Child Safe from Vehicles on the Road

  • Teach your child how to safely cross a road: Stop, listen, look left, then right, then left again before crossing.
  • If your child is too young or does not know how to safely cross a road, teach him or her to keep away from the road unless you grant permission and are there to supervise.
  • Teach older children to never run into the street after a runaway ball or toy, but to stop, look and listen, looking left, then right, then left again before crossing. Teach younger children to call you for help if a ball or toy rolls across the street.
  • Teach your child to always exit from the door that is farthest from the road when you are parked on the side of a road.
  • After shopping, make sure your young child is securely fastened in the seat, and keep an eye on your children when loading groceries into your trunk. Otherwise your child might wander off into the parking lot while you are loading groceries.
  • Hold young children's hands when in parking lots and walking down busy streets.
  • Stand between the road and your child when walking.
  • Keep doors locked when you are sleeping or napping so that your young child will not wander from home.
  • Teach older children how to walk or run down a road safely:
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing at night.
  • Keep away from busy roads.
  • Walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Keep as far away from cars as possible by using a sidewalk if there is one, and if there is not, walk on the shoulder of the road. If there is no shoulder, keep as far to the left side of the road as possible.
  • Warn your child to always be looking, listening and alert for vehicles, especially quiet electric cars.
  • Don't use earphones when walking or running down a road.
  • Warn your child that when approaching a driveway, to always be on the lookout for a car coming out of it.
  • Teach your child how to cross at a marked or unmarked crosswalk:
  • Never cross an intersection diagonally.
  • At intersections, look out for cars that are turning into your crosswalk.
  • Never cross when the "Do Not Walk" sign is red, yellow or flashing.
  • When a car stops for you to cross, before crossing, look behind that car to make sure another car is not approaching too fast from behind it. That car could hit the car that has stopped, or might try to go around it and hit you.
  • After crossing one lane, look for cars coming down the next lane before crossing it.
  • Observe these rules yourself, not only for your own safety, but also so that your child will learn by example.
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