The Atlanta Injury News Blog

Who's Responsible for Pedestrian Accidents?

A 6-year-old boy from DeKalb County was critically injured when he was struck by a car as he was crossing the road with a guardian.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the intersection was across from a school and although there was a school crossing guard present, the child stepped into the street before the guard entered the intersection and was hit by a car.

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, who's responsible?

Driver Was At Fault

When a car hits a pedestrian, it isn't uncommon to argue that the driver is negligent. All drivers have a duty to act reasonably while on the road. If they breach that duty and injure a pedestrian, the driver may be responsible for the damages.

This means that drivers may be found negligent if they:

  • Speed or disobey traffic laws,
  • Fail to yield to pedestrians, or
  • Use their phones or text while driving

In general, any actions that take drivers' attention off the road could be considered negligent. Further, drivers may have a duty to exercise additional care when there are young children present -- like in a school zone.

Pedestrian Was At Fault

Just like drivers, pedestrians must also act reasonably when crossing the street. So if pedestrians are themselves negligent or reckless, then they may be partially or wholly responsible for their own injuries.

Some examples of pedestrian negligence include:

  • Crossing the street on a "don't walk" signal,
  • Jaywalking,
  • Walking or running into the flow of traffic, and
  • Darting in front of cars.

Pedestrians are also responsible for being aware of traffic conditions around them, so like drivers, walkers should put away their phones when crossing the street.

Modified Comparative Fault

When it comes to determining damages for a pedestrian accident, Georgia has a modified comparative fault rule. This mean that if a pedestrian is 50 percent or more responsible for the accident, he may not recover any damages.

For example, if a jury finds that a pedestrian was recklessly jaywalking when he or she ran in front of a car, then it's possible that the pedestrian was 50 percent or more at fault for his or her injuries. In cases like these a pedestrian may be barred from getting any compensation from the driver.

If you need more help with pedestrian traffic accidents, consult an experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta for more information.

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