In Georgia, every year there are more than 130 pedestrian fatalities that result from traveling on or near a roadway. An attorney must be knowledgeable in Georgia vehicle law and Georgia pedestrian law to properly evaluate this kind of legal matter and protect clients from insurance companies.
When collisions kill or seriously injure a pedestrian, the insurance company and their attorneys typically find ways to blame the pedestrian. Georgia law places responsibility to avoid a collision on both the driver and the pedestrian. For the driver, Georgia law requires that, “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, shall give warning by sounding his horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person.” The insurance company and its attorneys will do everything in their power to make it seem that the pedestrian violated a law or did not protect himself or herself.
Specific laws apply when a pedestrian is traveling along the road. First, a pedestrian must use a sidewalk if there is one present. If there is no sidewalk, the pedestrian must travel on the shoulder of the road as far from the edge of the road as possible. If there is no sidewalk or shoulder, a pedestrian must travel as near as possible to the outside edge of the road, and AGAINST TRAFFIC on the left hand side of the road.
Under Georgia law, a driver must stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. However, pedestrians in a crosswalk also need to protect themselves and avoid vehicles. If a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, sees a vehicle and does nothing to avoid the vehicle, their legal case will be very difficult. If a pedestrian is not traveling in a crosswalk, he must "yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway unless he has already, and under safe conditions, entered the roadway."
When a pedestrian is crossing the street in a location that is controlled by a pedestrian control device, a pedestrian must follow the device.
Bicycle Wrongful Death / Injury Matters
In 2013, in the United States, more than 900 bicyclists were killed, and an estimated 494,000 suffered injuries that required emergency room visits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that in a single year, non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion. It takes an attorney who is knowledgeable in Georgia vehicle law and bicycle law to properly evaluate this kind of legal matter and protect the impacted clients.
In Georgia, a bicycle is legally a “vehicle.” This means that a person riding a bicycle on the road must follow the same traffic laws that a car must follow, except for some laws that make specific qualifications for specific classes.