Fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists are on the rise in Atlanta.
Metro Atlanta has a lot of traffic and a lot of pedestrians. When a collision occurs between a motor vehicle and a person, the injuries sustained by the pedestrian are often catastrophic. Drivers should remember to yield to people on foot and that pedestrians generally have the right of way when crossing the road.
Still, negligent motorists who are speeding, texting, driving under the influence, or otherwise behaving carelessly behind the wheel continue to cause devastating pedestrian accidents that result in severe and sometimes life-threatening injuries.
According to a recent report by Fox 5 Atlanta, fatal pedestrian and cyclist accidents in Atlanta almost doubled from 2020 to 2021. That's one reason why voters in Atlanta approved over $300 million for safer streets, bike lanes, and new sidewalks this past May.
"In 2021, 31 people were killed while walking, biking, or using a wheelchair in Atlanta," said Rebbeca Serna, executive director of PropelATL, a local nonprofit determined to make Atlanta's roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. "That's a 150% increase from 2020. We surpassed the 2020 number in May of last year."
The report by Fox 5 Atlanta highlights the need for safer streets and accountability for careless drivers through the civil justice system. Unfortunately, making drivers answer for their negligence can be difficult without experienced legal representation on your side. At the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, our pedestrian accident lawyers know the games insurance companies play to avoid liability—and how to fight back. If you or someone you love was hit by a car in Atlanta, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Keeping pedestrians safe
Pedestrians can protect themselves by using crosswalks, abiding by signs, and using a little common sense. For example, you shouldn't just dart out into traffic from behind a parked vehicle or wear nothing but dark clothing while walking on the side of the road at night when visibility is minimal. Likewise, you shouldn't be texting or looking down at your phone while you're walking because if you can't see the driver of a car, there's a strong possibility that they can't see you either.
However, drivers need to do their part too. As a motorist, you must always stay alert and be on the lookout for pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users. You should always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks or where there are posted signs, obey the posted speed limit, and be prepared to yield to pedestrians when making a turn or approaching a crosswalk. Lastly, never try to pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, as they are likely waiting to let someone cross the road.
At the end of the day, while everyone certainly has a responsibility to share the road, the greater responsibility falls on the person behind the wheel of a vehicle that weighs several thousand pounds. When negligent drivers cause pedestrian accidents, they must be held accountable.
Dealing with the insurance company after a pedestrian accident
Again, drivers are supposed to yield to pedestrians. Unfortunately, whether it's because they were distracted, going too fast, or driving aggressively, far too many people cause preventable pedestrian accidents in Atlanta and other major cities throughout Georgia.
To make matters worse, insurance companies are notorious for trying to pin some or all of the blame on pedestrians who get hit by reckless drivers. Indeed, you can be sure that the insurance company for the at-fault driver will try to blame you for something so they can reduce or deny compensation for your medical bills and other losses. For instance, it's common for insurance adjusters to question whether a pedestrian was looking at their phone, not looking before crossing the street, walking too slow, walking too fast, or not wearing the right colored clothing.
Another common insurance company tactic is to argue the pedestrian should have seen the car and gotten out of the way before the collision occurred. In short, these are bad arguments that a good pedestrian accident lawyer won't let get very far and can defeat with the proper evidence. That's why the sooner you talk to an attorney after an accident to protect your rights, the better.
How can a lawyer help?
Cases involving pedestrian accidents are very fact-dependent, requiring the knowledge and experience of an attorney who can piece together what happened at the accident scene and build a strong case for compensation. If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, a lawyer can:
- Get statements from witnesses who observed the collision.
- Obtain and analyze the police accident report.
- Gather and preserve physical evidence from the crash scene.
- Locate and secure camera footage of your collision, if possible.
- Consult with an accident reconstruction team to recreate where and how the accident happened.
- Help you tell your powerful story of how the accident and injuries have affected your life.
You've got a lot of unique things to consider when you've been injured in a pedestrian accident, but talking to an attorney to review your potential legal options shouldn't require a second thought. Remember, facts matter in pedestrian accident claims, and an attorney can help you build a strong case based on the facts so that the insurance company has no choice but to accept liability for your damages.
Contact an Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney today.
If you or someone you love was hit by a car in Metro Atlanta, it could be a long road to recovery. You have recourse through the civil justice system, but you need to ensure you are appropriately compensated for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, replacement services (e.g., childcare, housekeeping), and other damages.
A good lawyer can help you navigate this process and advocate for the compensation you're entitled to under Georgia law, but you need to act fast to put yourself in the best position to maximize your recovery and protect your future.
At the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, we've been fighting for Georgia families since 1993 and have recovered over $1 billion for our clients. Let our legal team stand by your side and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation to see how an experienced Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney can help with your potential legal case. We are located in Atlanta, Duluth, Lithonia, College Park, Marietta, Gainesville, and Conyers.