Pedestrian accidents involve a collision between a person on foot and a vehicle, and they can result in severe injuries or even fatalities.
While vehicles come with various safety features, pedestrians are vulnerable and often lack the same level of protection. This makes them particularly at risk of suffering harm in accidents involving vehicles, whether on the road, pavement, or crossing.
Sadly, Georgia has seen hundreds of pedestrian fatalities in recent years, with 2018 recording the highest number of deaths at 261. At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., our Bainbridge pedestrian accident attorneys understand the devastating impacts of such accidents and are dedicated to helping victims and their families.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accidents can be very serious and often result in severe injuries or even death. Many victims may become unconscious or disoriented after the accident.
If you are conscious and able to think clearly after being hit by a vehicle, whether it’s a truck, van, or bike, it is important to follow specific steps to protect your legal rights. These steps are crucial and can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Here is what you should do after a pedestrian accident in Bainbridge, Georgia.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately!
Pedestrian accidents can result in severe injuries or even death. Victims involved in these accidents may be knocked unconscious or left dazed. If you’re conscious and thinking clearly after being hit by a vehicle, it’s crucial to follow certain steps to protect your legal rights.
First, try to collect yourself and step away from the road if your injuries allow. Move to a safe location like the sidewalk, but make sure to remain at the scene.
Next, contact emergency medical services to get immediate assistance. Pedestrians involved in accidents may experience physical and emotional shock, which can make it difficult to register pain and injuries. It’s important to get a full medical evaluation even if you feel fine.
Contact the Police
In the event of a pedestrian accident, it is essential to contact law enforcement, whether the driver is at the scene or it’s a hit-and-run. Even if there are no visible signs of severe injuries, calling 911 is necessary as some injuries may manifest later. Once the police arrive, describe what happened without assigning blame and wait for them to file a police report.
If there is reasonable suspicion that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer may arrest them after filing the report. It is also important to get the responding officer’s name and badge number and inquire about obtaining a copy of the police report and when it will be available.
It’s important to document the events of the accident as soon as possible, even if you have already reported the incident to the police. However, it’s understandable that after being in a physical and emotional state, you may not be able to recall every detail or have a pen and paper with you.
This is where the police report comes in handy as it documents the events of the crash and the officer’s professional opinion on who was at fault.
If the driver involved in the accident stops, make sure to obtain their details such as insurance data, license plate number, address, mobile number, and any other relevant information.
However, if the driver involved in the accident did not stop, you may still be able to file a pedestrian accident claim if you have sufficient evidence, such as the vehicle’s license plate number. It’s also essential to collect the names, addresses, and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident occur.
Additional evidence can be gathered through eyewitness testimony.
Record the Scene
It is crucial to take photographs of the scene of the accident as they can provide strong evidence to support your compensation claim. If you are able, use your phone to take photos of your injuries, the position of traffic signals, the damage to the vehicle that hit you, and any debris or skid marks on the road.
Keep in mind that taking too many photos can be overwhelming, so it is best to take photos immediately after the accident to preserve critical evidence.
Document Your Injuries
It’s essential to take a personal inventory and additional photos of your injuries upon contacting emergency medical services after a pedestrian accident. Assess which parts of your body are in pain, and check if your clothes are torn. Torn clothing may reveal an injured body part that is not in pain at the time. Examine your face and head for any signs of blood, and take note of any injuries and pain you feel.
Report your injuries to the emergency medical staff as soon as they arrive. Keep all records and documentation of your medical treatment, medication, and therapy after receiving medical care. Every detail and document related to your injuries is vital if you intend to pursue a legal claim against the at-fault driver.
In pedestrian accidents and other personal injury cases in Georgia, it’s crucial to have every shred of evidence available to prove negligence.
Do Not Discuss Fault at the Scene
It’s important to remember that you may not be familiar with the laws surrounding pedestrian accidents, regardless of the specific details of the incident. Therefore, it’s crucial to be careful with what you say at the scene, as anything you say could be used against you in legal proceedings.
Resist the urge to vent your emotions or assign blame for the accident, and only discuss the events with your lawyer and medical professionals. It’s best to avoid speaking with the driver, eyewitnesses, or the driver’s insurance company until you’ve sought legal counsel.
Contact a Bainbridge Pedestrian Accident Lawyer!
Pedestrian accidents can result in severe injuries that can impact a person’s life physically, mentally, and financially. Insurance providers may attempt to deny any claims made by placing blame on the victim or offer a settlement that undervalues the victim’s suffering and future difficulties. To protect your legal rights and livelihood, seeking professional legal assistance is essential.
The experienced Bainbridge, GA pedestrian accident lawyers at Joe Durham Jr., P.C. offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and provide guidance on how to proceed. Don’t let the other party and their insurance provider take advantage of you, contact Joe Durham Jr., P.C. today to protect your rights.
How Is Liability or Fault Established for Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia?
Pedestrian accidents often occur due to distractions on either the part of the driver or the pedestrian. While there are cases where the pedestrian may be at fault, such as if they were texting while crossing the road, it is typically the motorist who is responsible.
In Georgia, the party that breaks the law is usually at fault as it is an at-fault state. To prove negligence in pedestrian accidents, there are four criteria that the harmed pedestrian(s) must meet.
Duty of Care
The first criterion to prove negligence in pedestrian accidents is to demonstrate that the driver had a duty of care toward the pedestrian. In Georgia, all drivers are required to act reasonably on the road, which includes taking reasonable care to avoid causing harm to other road users, including pedestrians.
Breach of Duty
Demonstrate that the driver failed to fulfill their responsibility to act reasonably while driving, either through their actions or lack of action. Breaking any of Georgia’s pedestrian safety laws would be a breach of duty.
Demonstrate that the injuries sustained by the pedestrian were a direct consequence of the driver’s breach of duty or failure to act reasonably while on the road.
Prove that the driver’s careless actions or inaction directly caused harm or damage to the pedestrian.
Joe Durham’s pedestrian accident attorneys have a proven track record of successfully representing injured pedestrians. If the fault in your pedestrian accident case is not clear, our team will thoroughly investigate the incident to determine whether you have a viable case.
We pride ourselves on being honest and transparent with our clients about the potential outcome of their cases.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Assist With My Claim?
If you work with a reliable Bainbridge pedestrian accident lawyer, they can help you with the following.
Once you become our client, we will immediately begin collecting vital evidence, such as photographs of the accident scene, dashcam footage, and witness statements. We will also gather evidence related to the financial impact of your injuries and assist you in filing a pedestrian accident injury claim.
Our team will take on the responsibility of contacting the at-fault party’s insurance company and presenting evidence to support your claim. We will then negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement offer for your injuries and other damages.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Our attorneys will provide representation and support throughout the legal process, even if the case goes to court. We will also engage expert witnesses to bolster the case.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Pedestrian Injury Claim in Georgia?
In Georgia, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury compensation claim is typically two years from the date of the accident.
Therefore, it’s essential to act quickly and contact our Bainbridge pedestrian accident lawyers at Joe Durham P.C. to begin the compensation claim process.
If you have any concerns or inquiries about pedestrian accidents, please call our Georgia law firm at 229-351-5320 for a free case review.