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If you’ve suffered injuries after a pedestrian accident, the attorneys at Cruz & Associates are here to help. Cruz & Associates has more than 25 years of experience handling all types of car accident cases in the Atlanta area, and we understand the catastrophic consequences that accidents involving pedestrians often have. Pedestrians typically suffer serious or even fatal wounds from these kinds of accidents, and it’s vital for injured pedestrians or their surviving loved ones to know what to do in these situations. Review the following information and contact our team of Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys if you want to take the next step with your case.

Is the Driver Always at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?

In almost all pedestrian accident cases, the driver will absorb liability for the pedestrian’s damages. The law holds drivers to a higher duty of care than pedestrians on the road, meaning that drivers have an expectation to watch for pedestrians and yield the right of way. Unless a pedestrian wanders onto the highway without paying attention or deliberately steps in front of moving traffic with no way for the driver to stop in time, the driver in a pedestrian accident will likely face liability for the resulting damages.

Georgia follows a contributory negligence law, however, so a pedestrian may absorb a percentage of the liability for a pedestrian accident. For example, if a pedestrian was jaywalking or crossed the street with a lit “Don’t Walk” sign and a car hits the pedestrian, the pedestrian will likely receive a fault percentage from the jury reviewing the case. As long as the plaintiff’s fault percentage is less than the defendant’s, the plaintiff may still collect compensation from the lawsuit. The jury will still hold the driver to a higher duty of care. Even though the pedestrian crossed inappropriately, the driver should have taken evasive action or braked in time, if the situation permits.

What am I Entitled to in a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrian accident cases often involve various types of damages, including:

  • Medical bills. Medical expenses, including hospital bills, ambulance fees, prescription costs, the costs of any necessary ongoing treatments or therapy, and surgical fees.
  • Pain and suffering. The jury awards pain and suffering damages based on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries. Every state uses different methods to calculate pain and suffering damages, but a good rule of thumb is to expect pain and suffering compensation to be several times more than the medical expenses claimed in the case. For example, a case involving $10,000 in medical expenses may lead to $30,000 or more in pain and suffering compensation.
  • Lost income. If an Atlanta pedestrian accident leaves a victim unable to work for an extended time, the victim can claim lost wages in his or her lawsuit. If a pedestrian accident leaves a victim unable to work anymore, the victim can sue for the future income he or she would have reasonably expected to earn had the incident not occurred.
  • Property damage. The plaintiff can sue for the costs of repairing or replacing any personal property damaged or destroyed by the defendant.

Securing compensation in a pedestrian accident case depends on the plaintiff’s ability to prove the defendant’s negligence. This means showing the court the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, failed to meet this duty, and the breached duty of care directly resulted in the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff will also need to prove causation, or that his or her damages resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.

What Should I do if a Car Has Injured Me or a Loved One?

If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries or other damages from a pedestrian accident in the Atlanta area, reach out to the team at Cruz & Associates to schedule a free case evaluation. We can meet with you wherever is most convenient for you to discuss the details of your case and let you know what to expect from a lawsuit.