As a pedestrian using a crosswalk, you don’t expect a car to hit you. However, it happens pretty often. Understandably, you’re probably wondering, What do I do if a car hits me in a crosswalk? Taking prompt action can help you protect your rights and support a compensation claim for injuries and other damages. Read on to learn more about what to do after a crosswalk accident in Georgia.
Contact the Police
Your first step should be to call 911 and request that a police officer and paramedic come to the scene. You need a police report to document the accident. Some drivers might claim they didn’t hit you, especially if their vehicle isn’t damaged. Some drivers might try to leave the scene before the police arrive. That driver could face hit-and-run charges. Try to jot down or take a picture of the license plate number if you suspect the driver might leave the accident scene.
The police report will be helpful if you file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Always provide accurate and detailed information to the police about what happened and any injuries and other damages sustained.
Seek Medical Attention
Your first priority should be to seek immediate medical attention for any injuries you may have sustained. It’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately, even if you feel fine. Some injuries may not become apparent until later. The doctor who treats you will document your injuries and medical treatment, which will provide you with evidence of medical expenses and any lost time from work.
Document the Accident
Documentation is critical in any accident case. If possible, take photos of the scene, including the damage to the driver’s vehicle and the surrounding area. Get the contact and insurance information of the driver who hit you. Make a note of any witnesses and get their contact information.
It’s also helpful to take photos of any road signs or signals at the accident scene. These photos and notes will provide you with evidence to support your claim.
Contact the Driver’s Insurance Company
Notify the driver’s insurance company of the accident and provide them with the necessary information, including the driver’s name and contact information. Be honest and straightforward when speaking with the insurance company, but be cautious about providing too much information. It’s best to consult an attorney before agreeing to give a statement to the insurance company.
Consult with an Attorney
Your next step should be to protect your legal rights. Consider speaking with a Georgia personal injury attorney who can advise you on your legal rights and options. An attorney can also negotiate a fair settlement with the driver’s insurance company and represent you in court if necessary. An attorney will protect your rights and help you pursue the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Proving Liability Against the Driver
To prove the driver was at fault, you must present evidence, including the police report, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene. An experienced lawyer can help you gather and present this evidence. There are four primary elements to proving negligence in a pedestrian hit in a crosswalk claim:
- The driver must have owed you some type of legal duty;
- The driver breached this legal duty;
- The driver’s breach is what caused the injury accident; and
- You suffered damages, such as medical expenses.
Failure to prove all four elements can mean you won’t receive compensation for your injuries.
Georgia Is a Modified Comparative Negligence State
In Georgia, you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. That’s because Georgia follows the legal theory of modified comparative negligence. However, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. For example, if you were found to be 20% at fault for the accident, you would only receive 80% of your total damages. The caveat is that you must be less than 50% at fault to recover compensation. You will receive nothing if you’re 50% or more at fault.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Pedestrian Accident
The types of damages that you can recover in a crosswalk accident in Georgia will vary depending on your case’s specific facts and circumstances. An experienced lawyer can help you determine what damages you may be entitled to recover. Some of the most common types of damages that a pedestrian can recover in Georgia include the following.
You may be able to recover the cost of medical treatment, including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription costs, and rehabilitation. This compensation includes both current and future medical expenses related to your injuries.
If you can’t work because of your injuries, you can demand recovery for the wages you would have earned if you had not been injured. This compensation includes both past and future lost wages.
Pain and Suffering
You may be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of your injuries. Pain and suffering is part of the general damages category, which also includes compensation for emotional trauma, loss of consortium, disfigurement, and other non-monetary losses.
If your personal property was damaged in the accident, you could recover the cost of repairs or replacement. For example, if the car crushed your smartphone that was in your pocket, you can seek compensation for having to replace your phone.
How an Attorney Can Help
Pedestrian accidents can be complicated to resolve. The driver’s insurance company will often try to downplay your injuries, especially if their insured is disputing the accident.
An attorney can assist you in many ways, including gathering and presenting evidence, negotiating with the insurance company, and representing you in court if necessary. An attorney will also advise you on your legal rights and help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations in Georgia
According to Georgia law, you have two years to file a claim for personal injury from the accident date. Failing to file a claim within this timeframe may prevent you from receiving compensation for your injuries and damages. Working with a Georgia pedestrian accident lawyer can help ensure you don’t miss any legal deadlines.
Contact MG Law Today
If you’re wondering, “what should I do if a car hits me in a crosswalk,” the experienced team at MG Law is here to help. We understand what a terrifying and frustrating time this is for you. We have years of experience helping people injured in pedestrian accidents get the compensation they need. Our team can handle all of the details of your claim so that you can focus on healing. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.