When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they can face substantial injuries. Pedestrians are often the most vulnerable people in car crashes, and they can suffer expensive medical bills, lost earnings at work, and other damages because of what happened to them. However, these damages should be paid by the driver who hit them, not the victim themselves.
Our lawyers can help you with your pedestrian accident case by collecting evidence, building a strong case, and bringing it through both insurance claims and lawsuits as needed to win your case. Never handle these cases alone or accept compensation from an insurance company before reviewing your case with a lawyer.
For your free case assessment with our Savannah pedestrian accident attorneys, call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
Determining Fault in Pedestrian Crashes in Statesboro, GA
When a driver hits a pedestrian, the common reaction is to think the driver is at fault. In most cases, this holds true: drivers are not supposed to hit pedestrians, and we separate sidewalks and crosswalks from the street specifically to help keep pedestrians safe. However, when they delve into the facts of the case, defense lawyers will often try to blame the pedestrian for the accident to reduce their client’s liability.
All in all, courts and insurance companies determine fault in crashes by looking at the totality of the circumstances and by looking for actual violations of the law. When it comes to pedestrian accidents that happen on a sidewalk, it is usually the driver’s fault; they are not supposed to be on the sidewalk, and if they hop the curb, that is a pretty clear traffic violation. Accidents on the shoulder are similar; drivers should not be driving on the shoulder except in emergency situations.
Accidents in the street itself are the most contentious. Drivers will try to claim that pedestrians stepped out in front of them or crossed too quickly, but whether that is a valid defense will depend on the surrounding facts. If the driver had a red light and the crash occurred in a crosswalk, it certainly would still be that driver’s fault because they should have stopped. Similarly, if the pedestrian stepped out into the street, but the driver was speeding, that is still likely the driver’s fault. This is even clearer when the pedestrian in question is a child or when someone enters the roadway to pull back a child or a pet from danger.
All in all, our pedestrian accident lawyers will need to go over the details of your case to determine whether there is any chance you could be accused of partial fault. Even if you are accused of partial fault, Georgia law still allows proportionate recovery. This lets pedestrian victims get a fair share of damages paid by the at-fault driver, even if the pedestrian shared certain levels of blame.
Who Pays for Damages in a Pedestrian Accident in Statesboro, GA?
Under Georgia’s at-fault or fault-based insurance system, the driver who caused the crash usually pays for the damages in a car accident. In some states, everyone has first-party coverage that protects them after a crash without the need to prove fault. In these “no-fault” states, victims are often barred from lawsuits because they are expected to use their own insurance, and various schemes determine whether pedestrians are covered by their own insurance (if they have insurance) or the driver’s insurance. In Georgia, we can usually file a claim with the at-fault driver’s policy or sue them for our injuries.
In a pedestrian accident case, there is no expectation that you would have insurance. If you do drive a car and have an insurance policy, then you might have some benefits that could pay for some of your damages first before you file your case with the driver’s insurance, but there is no requirement that you have such coverage. Instead, you should be able to go straight to the at-fault driver for compensation.
When you file either an insurance claim or a lawsuit, you have to prove the driver was at fault before they can be forced to pay you. As discussed above, fault is often a contentious point in pedestrian accidents, but our lawyers can collect evidence and make arguments to prove the driver’s fault in court.
As far as who actually writes the checks, the driver is legally responsible for the damages, but their insurance policy will pay instead in most cases. If the damages you are issued by a court go above and beyond the insurance policy or the driver did not have car insurance, the defendant driver might be responsible for these payments out of pocket.
In cases where the driver who hit you was driving as part of their job, their employer might be responsible instead. This is common with delivery drivers, commercial drivers, truckers, bus drivers, and other drivers.
Damages for Injured Pedestrian Accident Victims in Statesboro, GA
When you are hit by a car, you could be left with bills for expensive medical treatment, you might miss work, and you will face pain and suffering for any injuries. These damages are the primary areas of compensation you can claim in your case. If you suffered any property damage – such as if your phone was crushed in the crash – then you should be able to claim these damages as well. Additionally, you can be reimbursed for any other expenses the crash caused. Always have a lawyer help you calculate damages, as insurance companies and defendants will try to exclude areas of compensation or undervalue these damages in order to drive down settlement costs.
Call Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today
For a free case review, call Howe Law’s pedestrian accident lawyers at (844) 876-4357 at your earliest convenience.