August 3, 2019
Personal Injury Lawyer
When a car collides with a pedestrian, the injured pedestrian is entitled to seek compensation from the driver. A successful insurance claim will require proof that the driver was negligent.
Drivers are negligent when they drive carelessly. Looking at a smartphone screen instead of watching for pedestrians in the road is an example of negligence. Disobedience of a traffic safely law (such as speeding or running a red light) is usually sufficient evidence that the driver was negligent.
Allocating Fault in a Georgia Pedestrian Accident
Georgia law allows an injured pedestrian to recover compensation from a negligent driver unless the pedestrian was more negligent than the driver. For example, a pedestrian who unexpectedly darted into a busy highway might be more negligent than a driver who failed to stop in time to avoid a collision.
Georgia’s comparative negligence law requires a jury to assess the fault of both the driver and the pedestrian. If the driver’s fault was greater than the pedestrian’s, the pedestrian recovers compensation in proportion to his or her share of fault. For example, if the jury finds an injured pedestrian to be 40% at fault, the court will award 40% of full compensation to the pedestrian.
Georgia pedestrian accident lawyers present evidence at trial to prove the driver’s fault. While the lawyer will conduct a thorough accident investigation, there are many things an injured pedestrian can do to gather or preserve the evidence that will be needed at trial.
Working with the Police to Determine Fault in a Georgia Pedestrian Accident
Injury victims who are not taken to an emergency room in an ambulance may be able to gather evidence at the scene of the accident. Hit-and-run victims should try to get the license plate number of the car that hit them. Calling the police immediately and describing the car while it is still fresh in the victim’s memory may enable officers to identify the negligent driver.
Even if the driver obeys the law and remains at the accident scene, it is important to call the police. Georgia law requires every accident that causes an injury to be reported.
The officer who responds will conduct an initial investigation and will prepare a report. The injury victim and his or her lawyer will be able to obtain a copy of that report. It is important to review the report to make sure it is accurate. Most officers are willing to correct mistakes if it is clear that they made an error.
The accident report will contain important information, including the driver’s name, address, and insurance company. The officer might also draw a diagram of the accident scene. If witnesses observed the accident, the officer should include their names and telephone numbers in the report.
The officer who investigates will probably provide a card with the accident number. Accident victims should give that card to their attorney as soon as possible.
Obtaining Other Evidence to Prove Fault in a Georgia Pedestrian Accident
Since witnesses might not wait for the officer to arrive, it is helpful for the accident victim to ask them for their names and numbers before they have a chance to leave. Most witnesses are happy to provide that information to an injured pedestrian.
Before leaving the accident scene, try to pinpoint exactly where the collision occurred. If you have a smartphone or access to a camera, take a picture of that spot. Also take pictures of the vehicle that was involved in the collision, including dents or scratches that might indicate the part of the vehicle that struck your body.
Your pedestrian accident lawyer will want to investigate the accident as quickly as possible. You can help that investigation by explaining the accident to your lawyer while the details are still fresh in your mind. Delay in contacting a lawyer may allow important evidence to be lost.