In the United States, a crash related pedestrian fatality takes place every 1.6 hours, according to the Center for Disease Control. In 2015 alone, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents, and 129,000 pedestrians received treatment for non-fatal injuries as a result of an auto accident. In Georgia, the fatality rate due to car accidents was 15.07 per 100,000 people in 2016, and this rate has increased each year since 2012.
These statistics are shocking, frightening, and indicative of the fact that every day a mother, father, or child is killed in a pedestrian-related car crash, which is why the pedestrian accident attorneys at Cambre and Associates have dedicated their career to helping pedestrian accident victims like you seek justice.
Pedestrian Laws in Atlanta, GA
Under Georgia law, drivers and pedestrians have certain requirements that they must abide by. The actions of both the driver and the pedestrian will be analyzed after an accident. So, as a pedestrian or a pedestrian accident victim, you need to understand some of the finer points of the Georgia code.
Accidents Involving Pedestrians Using a Crosswalk
In 1995, the Georgia code was amended to its current state regarding a driver’s responsibility to yield to a pedestrian who is utilizing a crosswalk, pursuant to O.C.G.A. §40-6-96(a). Moreover, if a pedestrian is crossing a highway and is within one lane of a driver’s side of the road, the driver has a responsibility to stop for the pedestrian, not to go around or cut them off.
However, pedestrians have responsibilities as well. Under O.C.G.A. §40-6-96(b), a pedestrian cannot walk or run across a crosswalk when a car is close enough to where the driver could not reasonably yield to the pedestrian. Meaning, you must begin utilizing a crosswalk when cars a reasonable distance away in order to allow the driver time to yield.
Accidents Involving Pedestrians Crossing the Street Without a Crosswalk
The City of Atlanta is trying to provide crosswalks in areas that require them, but sometimes, there are areas where a crosswalk is just not reasonably accessible. In these situations, there are a few things for you to remember.
The Imaginary Crosswalk Line
O.C.G.A. §40-6-93(a) indicates that when you are crossing a street without a marked or unmarked crosswalk, you must yield to oncoming traffic unless you have already entered the roadway under safe conditions. Meaning, if you begin crossing the street when it is clear, drivers who are coming towards you must yield.
Accidents Involving Stop Signs
Often, crossing an intersection that has stop signs (as opposed to traffic signals without a crosswalk) is misconstrued jaywalking, which could, in some cases, shift liability or at least part of it to you for illegally crossing the street. This is not the case. Stop signs do not trigger the jaywalking statute, and as long as you yielded to traffic when you began crossing the street, your actions are completely legal.
The Police do not Always Determine Fault Correctly
Unfortunately, there have been cases of police exhibiting bias in favor of the driver when a pedestrian accident occurs. The officer’s first reaction is to assume that the pedestrian was at fault, because they did not utilize a crosswalk.
These common mistakes made by police officers can leave you with the feeling that there is nothing that you can do to the driver from a legal perspective, but an experienced pedestrian accident attorney looks beyond the determination made by the police officer and analyzes the facts of the accident.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help?
A pedestrian accident attorney understands how a pedestrian, who is a victim, can be inadvertently blamed for an accident. One of the most important things your attorney will do is gather evidence such as witness statements, traffic camera footage, and photographs. This evidence and the legal analysis of it is a critical key to your case’s success at trial or when reaching a settlement outside of court.
These types of accidents can result in serious neck injuries, contact our team of neck injury attorneys today and get the representation and compensation you deserve.
Pedestrian Accidents in Atlanta, GA
At the Law Office of Cambre and Associates, our pedestrian accident attorneys know the challenges you will face if you have been involved in a car accident. Our attorneys have years of experience handling car accident cases of all types involving pedestrians. Call our office today for a free consultation to have an experienced pedestrian accident attorney evaluate your case.
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