When a car strikes a pedestrian in a crosswalk, you may think the driver is automatically at fault. However, that is not always the case.
Careless drivers and their insurance companies often try to avoid responsibility for accidents involving pedestrians. To protect your rights, it's important to collect and preserve evidence of liability as soon as possible after the accident. It's also important to seek prompt legal advice.
In Georgia, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, regardless of where the crosswalk is located or whether it is marked. Crosswalks are often at intersections, but may also be found on busy roads, in shopping centers, and near schools or parks where children commonly cross streets.
Drivers are required to stop and remain stopped to allow pedestrians to safely cross the roadway when the pedestrian is on the half the roadway where the vehicle is traveling or within one lane of the driver's half of the roadway. "Half of the roadway" means the lanes that are going in the same direction as the vehicle. However, there are times when the pedestrian may be at fault for accidents:
- If the pedestrian crosses against a traffic control device
- If the pedestrian leaves the curb suddenly, entering the path of a vehicle when it is so close it is impractical for the driver to stop
Drivers often try to avoid responsibility by claiming the pedestrian crossed against the light or "darted" into traffic. Police officers responding to the scene may take the driver at his or her word and place fault on the pedestrian. It often takes a lawyer's help to collect and preserve evidence of driver liability. That evidence may include witness statements, intersection cameras, impact marks on the vehicle, and photographs of the accident scene.
To protect your rights to full compensation, it's important to seek prompt legal advice from a lawyer who is experienced in handling pedestrian accident cases. Perrotta & Cahn, Attorneys at Law in Cartersville, Georgia, offers a free initial consultation to discuss your accident case.