In Georgia, there were 2,986 pedestrian accidents and 395 suspected severe injuries in 2019 alone. When someone suffers an injury in a pedestrian accident, the resulting physical and financial burdens affect both the victim and their family. The lawyers at MG Law can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. When it comes to recovering compensation for your damages, it is helpful to know the rights of pedestrians in GA.
When Do I Have the Right of Way?
You may be wondering, “Do pedestrians have the right of way in Georgia?” The answer is that they do in some situations but not in others. There are various Georgia pedestrian laws that address when a pedestrian does and doesn’t have the right of way.
Pedestrian Rights at Crosswalks
Pedestrians do have the right of way when using crosswalks. In Georgia, drivers have to come to a complete stop and stay stopped if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk. The driver must come to a full stop and not simply yield. Also, drivers can’t drive around pedestrians.
However, these rules only apply if the pedestrian is in a crosswalk on the half of the road where the car is driving or when the pedestrian is coming near the road and is within one lane of that half of the road.
There are actually two kinds of crosswalks in Georgia: marked and unmarked. An unmarked crosswalk is a part of the road that has a connection for walking. A marked crosswalk is a traditional crosswalk with clearly drawn lines. Pedestrians have the right of way when using both types of crosswalks. However, pedestrians do have to be inside the crosswalk for a driver to be required to stop.
Pedestrians with Limited Capacity
Under Georgia law, drivers have to yield to blind pedestrians no matter where they are.
Drivers also have to exercise reasonable care when there is an incapacitated or intoxicated person in the street.
When Do Pedestrians Not Have the Right of Way?
You are likely wondering, “Do pedestrians have the right of way in Georgia?” While pedestrians do sometimes have the right of way, there are certain times when pedestrians don’t have the right of way.
- Tunnels. Any pedestrian walking where there is a tunnel in place has to yield to cars if the pedestrian is using the roadway rather than the tunnel or a crossing to cross the street.
- Jumping in front of a vehicle. Pedestrians cannot jump in front of a moving vehicle in a way that prevents a driver from yielding.
- Crossing a roadway at areas other than crosswalks. If a pedestrian crosses a roadway in a location that does not have a crosswalk, then they have to yield to vehicles unless they have already safely entered the road.
Whether or not you had the right of way when an accident occurred will be a factor in determining liability.
Who Is at Fault If a Driver Hits a Pedestrian?
In Georgia, the person who failed to yield when they didn’t have the right of way is typically liable for the accident. Nonetheless, determining responsibility and who was at fault is sometimes complicated. An attorney can aid you in collecting multiple pieces of information to help determine and prove fault. The types of evidence that can help establish who is at fault include the following:
- Witness statements. A witness who saw the accident can make a statement regarding what they saw.
- Videos and photos. Videos of the pedestrian accident, as well as any pictures, can help show where everyone was at the time. This can help to prove who had the right of way.
- Car accident report. The accident report will provide plenty of details about the collision, such as weather, road conditions, where in the roadway the accident occurred, and where the driver and pedestrian were located when the collision occurred.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
A crosswalk or pedestrian collision can be caused by several different types of actions or conduct. Some of the common causes of these accidents are explained below.
Drivers Not Following Traffic Rules and Regulations
Breaking traffic laws can result in a pedestrian accident. Illegal U-turns, speeding, running red lights, and failing to stop at a crosswalk are all traffic law violations that can severely injure pedestrians.
Distracted driving is a common cause of accidents, including pedestrian accidents. Texting or using the phone while driving or even adjusting the radio or other controls can all cause a driver to become distracted. Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can have disastrous consequences.
Working or Playing on the Road
It is highly hazardous to work or play in the roadway. Workers need to wear specific gear when on the street, and drivers need to exercise additional care when they spot people working or playing in the road.
Extreme weather conditions that result in poor visibility can cause a pedestrian accident. Other reasons for poor visibility might be headlights in disrepair or pedestrians wearing dark clothing at night.
Drunk drivers are a major cause of pedestrian injuries and fatalities. A pedestrian who is intoxicated can also cause a collision because their judgment and reaction time will be impaired.
What Are Georgia’s Comparative Negligence Rules?
Georgia uses modified comparative fault rules when determining how much compensation an injured victim can receive. Comparative fault allows some victims who were partially at fault for their injuries to still collect compensation.
Under the 50% rule that Georgia follows, you cannot collect any compensation if you were 50% or more at fault for the accident. If you were less than 50% at fault, your compensation will be proportionately reduced by your percentage of fault.
How Our Attorneys Can Help You
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, the MG Law team is here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Led by award-winning attorney Michael Geoffroy, our firm is dedicated to helping Georgians move forward after an injury. Unlike other firms, MG Law is exclusively focused on handling personal injury cases. That means our clients benefit from the depth and breadth of experience we’ve gained from handling all types of injury claims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.