Motor vehicles continue to pose a serious safety hazard to pedestrians. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a pedestrian is killed in a car accident nearly once every hour in the United States. More than 7,000 pedestrians were killed nationwide in 2020 alone. Many tens of thousands more pedestrians were seriously injured in car crashes.
Georgia law allows injured pedestrians to seek compensation for their damages. To get justice and full financial compensation, pedestrian accident victims need to understand how the state’s comparative negligence law works. Here, our Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer explains the key things that you should know about pedestrian collisions and comparative negligence in Georgia.
Background: Georgia is a Fault-Based Motor Vehicle Accident State
In Georgia, liability for a motor vehicle crash is based on fault—and pedestrian collisions are no exception to the standard. A driver is not automatically responsible for a pedestrian accident. In our state, the victim must prove that the driver’s negligence contributed to the accident. Common examples of driver negligence that can cause pedestrian collisions to include:
- Running a red light/stop sign;
- Failure to yield;
- Not stopping at a crosswalk;
- Distracted driving; and
- Intoxicated driving.
Georgia Uses a Comparative Negligence Standard
Georgia has a modified comparative fault standard for all motor vehicle accident claims. This legal standard holds that everyone involved in an accident is liable for their share of the fault. For instance, imagine that you were hurt in a pedestrian crash. An investigation reveals that two different drivers caused the accident. One driver was found at fault for 80 percent, while the other driver was found at fault for 20 percent. The first driver would be liable for 80 percent of your damages under Georgia’s comparative negligence law.
Insurers May Use Comparative Negligence to Try to Blame a Pedestrian
A challenge in pedestrian accident claims in Georgia is that an insurance company may try to use comparative negligence as a tactic to reduce its own liability. In some cases, an insurance company might blame a pedestrian for causing all (or part) of their own crash. If successful in doing so, they may reduce an injured pedestrian’s ultimate financial recovery.
Consider this hypothetical: You suffered $25,000 in total damages in a pedestrian collision in Atlanta. If you were found at fault for 30 percent of your own accident due to comparative negligence, your compensation could be reduced by 30 percent, or $7,500. Every pedestrian accident requires a careful investigation by an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney. Do not be unfairly blamed for your accident. It could take thousands of dollars out of your settlement.
Schedule a Free Consultation With an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorney
At Wetherington Law, our Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney is an experienced, effective advocate for injured victims and their families. If you or someone you know was hurt in a pedestrian crash and you have questions about comparative negligence in Georgia, we are more than ready to help. Contact us today to set up a free, no-commitment case evaluation. From our Atlanta office, we advocate for injured pedestrians throughout the surrounding area.