The National Center for Statistics and Analysis reports that on average, a pedestrian is killed in a car accident every 109 minutes. But, a person only has to speak with those who run and walk to understand the risks that pedestrians face. If a person is injured, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb to discuss the case. The experienced lawyers at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb are ready to fight to defend the rights of clients and see to those clients get the help they need.
Sadly, pedestrian accidents occur often since drivers are not vigilant enough when it comes to keeping a lookout for runners and walkers. The accidents take place even though pedestrians usually exercise appropriate caution. Further, an accident between a car and a pedestrian usually results in the pedestrian coming off worse.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that between the period of 2000 – 2008, just over 18,000 pedestrians were injured and more than 1,300 were killed in vehicle accidents. While these kinds of accidents can occur for a broad variety of reasons, they are often the result of driver negligence. But, pedestrians who have been hurt might be legally entitled to pursue a claim against the responsible parties and seek compensation for their damages. A skilled pedestrian accident attorney in Georgia can assist with the case and collect the necessary evidence.
Some of the most common causes of such accidents include:
Furthermore, pedestrians could also be at fault for causing an accident if they failed to look both ways before they crossed a street, or if they tried to cross outside of a designated crosswalk or at a non-intersection.
While both pedestrians and drivers can be held liable for causing a pedestrian accident, these kinds of accidents tend to occur when a driver is irresponsible or negligent behind his or her wheel, and a pedestrian is more likely to sustain significant injuries, or loss of life, in an accident, since there is little to cushion the impact of the car or diffuse the force of the crash. While compensation can vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case, often, the more severe injuries and the greater economic and noneconomic losses incurred, the greater the amount of compensation that will be awarded. A dedicated pedestrian accident lawyer will help a plaintiff build a strong case to seek maximum compensation.
The debilitating, severe, and sometimes permanent injuries that can arise from such accidents on our roads can result in substantial financial losses to the person and their families. But, Georgia law provides an injured pedestrian with the right to recover his or her damages from the person responsible for the accident. These damages may include, but may not be limited to:
The spouse of an injured person is further entitled to recover for the loss of the services of the spouse.
While financial recovery cannot repair the damage done to a pedestrian, it can help to ease the monetary burdens created when someone is hurt. It is important to talk to a pedestrian accident attorney to establish a case and ensure a claim is filed within the required statute of limitations.
When an accident occurs, the insurance company for the truck, motorcycle or automobile driver will begin an investigation right away. The insurance provider will also attempt to limit the recovery of the pedestrian to the lowest amount they can possibly devise. The insurance providers have established specific and elaborate procedures for handling such claims, particularly during the early stages of the claim. To avoid settling for a small amount of compensation, an injured pedestrian should talk to a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Straight after the accident, the insurance provider usually takes recorded statements from everyone involved in the accident, interviews any witnesses that may have witnessed the accident, takes photographs of the scene, and obtains a police report in an attempt to establish the extent of the pedestrian’s injuries. Typically, the insurance company can get all of this done within the first week after the incident, if not within 24 hours after the accident.
The tactics used by insurance companies can vary, but many insurance providers try to reach a swift settlement with pedestrians. They do this so as to avoid responsibility for any future medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages that could develop down the line. A pedestrian accident attorney can help injured pedestrians falling into this type of trap. Sometimes, when a pedestrian is injured, it can take months to properly and fully assess their injuries, and then, the person may require surgery or another kind of extensive treatment, and if they choose to settle early, they may not be able to afford their treatment.
Further, injuries might leave a pedestrian permanently disabled, even once they have undergone corrective surgery. So, the true value of an injury claim from such an incident may only be assessed once a physician has established a firm outlook. In the state of Georgia, there is a two-year statute of limitations, or period of time, in which a pedestrian has to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim. Therefore, it is important to seek the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer, while it is just as important not to rush into a settlement with the insurance company representing the driver.
It should be noted that there are other significant issues that may develop for pedestrians who are injured in an accident with a truck, car, or motorcycle. For example, the pedestrian’s health insurance company pays for the medical bills, but often they will seek reimbursement from the settlement with the driver’s insurance company or the pedestrian’s own insurance company. There are certain limitations on health insurance companies’ rights to obtain reimbursements, so it is important to discuss such claims with a Georgia pedestrian accident attorney.
Furthermore, if a pedestrian was on the job when he or she was injured, their workers’ compensation insurance provider may try to obtain reimbursement of their payments for lost wages and medical expenses. There are also significant limitations on the workers’ compensation insurance companies’ rights to receive such reimbursement. These are important points that an injured pedestrian needs to understand before agreeing to any kind of settlement with the driver’s insurance carrier.
In Georgia, people are required to maintain liability insurance cover for car accidents. Overall, the minimum requirements for bodily injury liability insurance coverage are $50,000 per accident and $25,000 per person. However, it should be noted that these insurance limits could prove insufficient to cover an injured person’s claim, and often, the injured pedestrian must explore other kinds of insurance available to the responsible driver or even look into the extent of the driver’s personal assets. A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer will carry out this investigation on behalf of the injured plaintiff.
Further, the at-fault driver could have the right to cover from insurance policies of an employer, family members, an “umbrella” policy, or even a rental car company. Also, other unknown entities or people could have liability for the crash. For example, if a traffic light was defective and resulted in the incident, a government agency could share responsibility for the accident. Keep in mind that the timeframe for sending a mandatory notice to such a government entity is limited. Also, the pedestrian’s own insurance policy could provide him or her with further cover for the injuries for this kind of accident.
Figuring out the most appropriate value of a personal injury claim that arises from a pedestrian accident can be complex. It usually involves the extent and nature of the injuries, the liability issues regarding the accident, and the economic losses that may be recoverable. Other factors that are taken into consideration what a pedestrian accident lawyer evaluates the claim include any prior injuries suffered by the plaintiff and the location where a trial would have to take place.
Overall, insurance companies for drivers of cars, motorcycles, and trucks have a great deal of experience when it comes to evaluating personal injury claims for such accidents and will try to obtain the lowest possible settlement. So, it is important to have a pedestrian accident lawyer in Georgia who has experience dealing with insurance companies on the plaintiff’s behalf. The attorney should be prepared to litigate on their client’s behalf, too, should the insurance carrier be unwilling to settle a claim for a fair amount.
Just like other kinds of accidents, a pedestrian accident falls into the category of personal injury law. Therefore, when a pedestrian is injured due to another person’s negligence, he or she has a legal right to make a claim. Some of the damages that are often awarded in such cases include:
If the at-fault driver acted egregiously, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a pedestrian accident lawyer might be able to sue for punitive damages, which are further damages over and above the cost of the accident and are designed to punish the driver and stop any similar conduct in the future.
The driver’s insurance carrier will not pay your bills until after the injured party has completed any medical treatment. If the pedestrian has health insurance, they can use that to pay their medical bills, and if they recover compensation later, it can be used to cover those bills. Take note that the health insurance company is likely to want to be paid back.
If the pedestrian does not have health insurance, then pedestrian lawyers will help get the bills paid via an attorney’s lien, which is an agreement between the attorney and the healthcare provider whereby the healthcare company agrees to treat the patient at no charge now, and they will then be compensated out of the pedestrian’s award when a settlement is negotiated, or a trial is won.
Yes. This is a form of negligence that may enable the injured party to recover damages from the driver who caused the accident.
No. The injured person is under no obligation to speak with the insurance provider, nor should they, as the company may use anything that is said against the plaintiff. It is better to contact a pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss the insurance company. The lawyers can then contact the insurer and let them know that the plaintiff has retained their services.
Before accepting a settlement offer, the injured plaintiff should seek legal advice. Once a settlement is accepted, he or she gives up their right to pursue any further damages.
If any pedestrian has been hurt by the negligence of a driver, they should talk to the team at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb about their rights, and time limits for filing a claim. The lawyers can gather the necessary evidence and liaise with the insurance provider or litigate if necessary. The aggressive lawyers at Turnbull, Cain & Holcomb stand ready to fight for you!