Fighting for Pedestrian Accident Victims in Hawkinsville, Dublin and Macon, Georgia
Not many places in Georgia are “pedestrian friendly.” We tend to be a driving community, particularly in Central Georgia, but people do walk occasionally. They walk on sidewalks, but they also walk along the side of the road and cross it whenever it is safe to do so. If you are injured as a pedestrian in the state of Georgia, this is the information you need to know.
Georgia Pedestrian Laws
Until the mid-1990s, drivers only needed to yield to pedestrians crossing a roadway, even at a crosswalk. Today, a vehicle must stop and remain stopped while the pedestrian crosses if the pedestrian is inside a crosswalk or within the lane on the half of a road down which a vehicle is traveling. Other pedestrian vehicle laws include:
- Crossing outside of a crosswalk – In the majority of Georgia jurisdictions, it is perfectly legal to cross the street outside a crosswalk (jaywalk). Pedestrians, in general, must yield to vehicles and wait to cross the road until it is safe to do so. A pedestrian does not have to cross at a crosswalk or an overhead tunnel, but must yield to traffic when crossing the street.
- Crossing at an intersection crosswalk – A pedestrian must use a crosswalk to cross at an intersection with traffic control signals. Unless a crosswalk or signal indicates it is safe to do so, no pedestrian can cross an intersection diagonally.
- WALK/DON’T WALK signals – Pedestrians must adhere to signals at crosswalks. A flashing DON’T WALK signal indicates a pedestrian should not start crossing, but it does not give a driver the right to turn across the path of a pedestrian. All vehicles must stop for pedestrians who are already in a crosswalk.
If those laws sound kind of confusing, it’s because they are. Running and walking are becoming more popular across Georgia, and many drivers and pedestrians are not quite sure about their rights and responsibilities. Many accidents occur in parking lots. All it takes is one distracted or careless driver for a pedestrian accident to cause a serious injury. A pedestrian does not have much defense against even a small vehicle.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
At Nelson & Smith Attorneys at Law, we handle several types of pedestrian accidents including:
- Careless driving – Driving while texting, tired, or otherwise distracted can prevent a driver from reacting appropriately to a pedestrian.
- Drunk driving – Illegal activities, including drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car, are dangerous for everyone, especially defenseless pedestrians.
- Reckless driving – In Central Georgia, we have several long, flat roads that drivers speed down, engage in improper passing, and ignore other rules of the road. Someone checking his or her mail or walking down the side of the road with a friend could suffer from someone’s reckless driving behavior.
Pedestrian Accidents and Insurance
After a pedestrian accident, a driver’s insurer will immediately start working on an investigation to create a settlement offer for the victim. They work quickly because they want to settle claims against their policies as quickly as possible and for as little as possible. Do not sign or speak with an insurance company about a settlement until you have discussed your case with a personal injury attorney. You typically have two years to file a claim after you suffer an injury.
Any reasonable settlement should cover your current injury costs as well as any losses you might suffer in the future because of the injury. At Nelson & Smith, our initial consultations are always free, and our Macon injury lawyers can help you determine if an insurance company is offering a fair settlement, or if you deserve more for your injury.
For more information about pedestrian accidents in Macon and surrounding areas, contact our team for a free case evaluation today.