Pedestrians can face substantial danger out on the streets of Atlanta. Because pedestrians fit a different visual profile than the vehicles most drivers look for when they take to the road, drivers may have a greater likelihood of missing their presence. Furthermore, pedestrians may have a higher likelihood of suffering severe injury when they do end up involved in an accident, since they have little protection from the road around them. If you suffered injuries in an Atlanta pedestrian accident, working with a pedestrian accident lawyer can help you determine who bears liability for your accident and make it easier for you to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Does the Driver Always Bear Liability in a Pedestrian Accident?Pedestrian safety has been a hot-button issue in Georgia for several years, and many plans have been put in place to help increase overall safety on the road. Drivers may bear heavy consequences when they do cause pedestrian accidents. However, the driver involved in a pedestrian accident does not necessarily always bear liability for the accident. Pedestrians, like drivers, must follow the rules of the road in order to protect themselves and others around them. When a pedestrian violates the rules of the road or engages in dangerous activities, the pedestrian may actually bear liability for the accident.
When Does the Driver Bear Liability in a Pedestrian Accident?Drivers may bear liability for a pedestrian accident any time they violate the rules of the road in any way. For example, drivers may bear liability if:
- The driver ignores a pedestrian already in a crosswalk or in the road. Pedestrians generally have right of way in the road, but may not have the right to enter the road until a car has passed.
- The driver strikes a pedestrian on the sidewalk.
- The driver ignores a red light or stop sign, particularly when a traffic signal would have given the pedestrian right of way. Drivers must follow the rules of the road in all circumstances, and can bear heavy legal consequences when they do not follow those rules.
- The driver was speeding and hit a pedestrian due to inadequate time to come to a complete stop.
- The driver was distracted by something in the vehicle, including a cell phone or talking to another passenger in the vehicle, at the time of the accident. Distraction may substantially decrease the odds that the driver will see a pedestrian in or near the road, which can raise the risk of a devastating accident.
- The driver was drunk at the time of the accident and hit the pedestrian due to inebriation or other poor decision-making.