Atlanta Pedestrian Collision Attorneys
It is no surprise that a pedestrian is 1.5 times more likely than a vehicle occupant to be killed when involved in a crash. Injuries suffered by pedestrians are often very serious, potentially resulting in permanent disabilities or death.
Many pedestrian collisions are preventable and are the tragic result of human error. If a pedestrian’s injuries are caused by a negligent driver, the pedestrian can take legal action to get the compensation they deserve. At the Stoddard Firm, we represent clients in personal injury claims to make sure they do not have to pay the price for a careless driver’s mistakes.
Pedestrian Injury and Death – A Growing Problem in Georgia
In 2015, the latest year for which statistics are available, 193 pedestrians were killed in vehicle crashes in Georgia. That was 30 more pedestrian fatalities than the previous year and part of a larger trend that has been taking place over several years in Georgia.
Georgia is not an outlier in this trend. Pedestrian deaths now account for a larger percentage of all traffic fatalities than they have in a decade. In 2006, pedestrian deaths accounted for 11 percent of traffic deaths. By 2015, they accounted for 15 percent of traffic deaths.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Collisions
There are several factors that lead to a high rate of pedestrian collisions. Poor infrastructure is often associated with higher rates of pedestrian injuries. Inadequate lighting is another contributing factor. But human error is usually to blame for pedestrian accidents. This includes:
- Reckless driving
- Running red lights
Many safety advocates agree that distraction, such as from texting while driving, might be partially responsible for the rising number of pedestrian collisions. Drivers and pedestrians who look at their phones instead of focusing on the path ahead present a serious safety hazard.
Alcohol impairment is also a major contributor to pedestrian collisions. Nearly half of all pedestrian collisions involve alcohol use by either the driver or the pedestrian. And with the advent of ride sharing technologies such as Uber and Lyft, it has never been easier to find a safe alternative to getting behind the wheel while impaired.
Where Pedestrian Collisions Occur
Most pedestrian collisions happen in the dark at non-intersections. They are more likely to happen in urban areas than in rural areas. Some roads in cities tend to be more dangerous than others. For example, Buford Highway is notoriously dangerous for pedestrians, particularly the stretch between Lenox and Clairmont Road.
Atlanta’s pedestrian collision woes have been well-documented. The city has committed funding and awareness campaigns to make the city safer for those traveling on foot. Yet, Atlanta still struggles to offer pedestrians a safe environment. Regardless, drivers must be vigilant about avoiding pedestrians to make sure fewer pedestrians are injured in crashes.
Consequences of Pedestrian Collisions
Pedestrian injuries are often severe. While each crash is different, clear patterns have been found in research into pedestrian collisions. One study found that the most frequently injured body parts were lower extremities, and the head/face/neck injuries. Examples of injuries suffered in pedestrian collisions are:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Pelvic fractures
- Hip fractures
- Internal injuries.
These injuries can be very painful and they require extensive medical treatment and ongoing care. Further, these injuries typically lead to lost income or loss of employment. The financial difficulties associated with serious injuries only make recovery more challenging for the victim.
Options for Injured Pedestrians
When someone is injured by a negligent driver, they can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for the costs associated with their injury. Of course, bringing these claims does not heal the devastating injuries, but bringing a meritorious claim can help an injured victim regain financial stability.
In cases where a pedestrian is killed at the hands of a reckless driver, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for the loss. Wrongful death claims can help a family pay outstanding medical bills, funeral bills and other end-of-life costs. They also offer a family the chance to receive compensation for income that might have been lost by the passing of a family member.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian collision in Atlanta and surrounding areas, contact the Stoddard Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Our firm focuses on cases involving severe injuries, and we dedicate our full resources to making sure our clients get the compensation they deserve.
If your injuries were the result of someone else’s mistakes, you should not have to pay for their negligence. We can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for the harm they have caused. Call us at 470-467-2200 or 678-RESULTS to get started.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to go to court?
Not necessarily. Many wrongful death and personal injury cases are settled before they go to court. However, it is our experience that the most successful cases are built as if they are going to court. Our firm prepares every case to go all the way to trial, even if it is ultimately resolved before the trial starts.
Why is an attorney important in a personal injury case?
Personal injury law can be complex, and filing a successful claim can require a great deal of time, effort and experience. A lawsuit often involves several other parties, including defendants, insurance companies and other attorneys. There are also many procedural rules that must be followed. Having experienced, skilled legal representation maximizes your chances of success.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.