Liability for Car Accidents Caused by Pedestrians
When an accident with a pedestrian occurs, it is often due to the negligence of the driver. However, that may not always be the case and assessing liability may be a bit more complicated than when an accident involves two vehicles.
Below, learn more about these situations, including how a pedestrian could play a role in causing a crash and how drivers may be able to pursue compensation for their damages.
If you have questions about fault for your crash and pursuing damages, Roden Law is here to help. Call today to schedule a free legal consultation.
Duty of Care for Drivers and Pedestrians
When a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, he or she has a legal obligation to act responsibly, which means obeying traffic laws and acting as a reasonable person would. It is important to note drivers are not the only ones who have this obligation. Cyclists and pedestrians also have the same responsibilities to others.
If a driver, cyclist or pedestrian does not uphold this duty of care, and someone suffers injuries, the driver/pedestrian/cyclist may be held liable.
Determining Fault for a Pedestrian Crash
One of the factors that must be reviewed is where the accident happened. If the accident happened in a crosswalk, the pedestrian may have had the right of way. That would mean the driver is liable.
However, sometimes pedestrians cross streets outside of designated crosswalks and cause accidents that result in serious injuries or death. In these situations, pedestrians may hold some liability, particularly if the driver had little to no time to react and avoid a collision. This is illegal under Georgia law.
Even if a pedestrian crosses the street in a crosswalk, he or she might cross when a DON’T WALK signal is flashing. This is illegal, which means a pedestrian may hold some liability for a crash.
The time of the accident also matters because visibility is another important factor. If an accident happens at night, and the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk or in an area with good lighting, the pedestrian may hold some responsibility.
Another situation where the pedestrian may be held liable is if he or she was drunk or under the influence of drugs. Pedestrians who are under the influence could easily walk out into traffic without looking.
Proving Pedestrian Liability
It may be difficult to build a case against a pedestrian. However, there are various pieces of evidence that may help prove a case, such as:
- Traffic cameras
- Photographs of the scene
- Police report
- Witness statements
Gathering this evidence can be very difficult on your own, which is why you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to represent you.
Georgia is a fault state, which means the person found responsible for an accident is the one who is liable for any damages. In most car accident claims the liable party’s insurance company pays out compensation. However, there is a caveat to Georgia law that allows compensation to be reduced if a person is found partially responsible for the accident that caused the injuries.
Under this system, a person cannot be more than 50 percent responsible for the collision. If the person is assigned more than half of the liability, he or she cannot collect compensation for damages.
In other words, if a pedestrian is found 10 percent responsible for a crash, his or her compensation award would be reduced by 10 percent.
Call an Experienced Attorney for Legal Help
The car accident lawyers in Brunswick at our firm know the laws that apply to both drivers and pedestrians and are prepared to help you build a strong case. Our goal is to recover the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Our attorneys are ready to review your claim at no cost to you in a free consultation and charge you nothing up front or while they work on your case. We only get paid if we recover compensation on your behalf.