On the night of March 2, Florida man Bryan Alan Granison, 29, sat in the middle of the road near the Pio Nono and Glendale Ave. intersection in Macon, Georgia. Granison was struck by a Kia Optima and pronounced dead at the scene by Bibb Coroner Leon Jones.
“He got mad with his girlfriend,” Jones said, “and sat down in the middle of the road.”
Deputies were called to check on Granison after he was spotted sitting near the intersection, but tragically he was hit by the car before they arrived.
Who’s liable for a pedestrian fatality?
Georgia pedestrian laws clearly state that pedestrians have the right of way when they’re crossing the street, which means vehicles must yield in order to let them safely cross.
It’s rare for a pedestrian in Georgia to be at fault in a collision because pedestrians have right of way even if they’re jaywalking or the vehicle is pulling out of a parking spot. Plus, it’s legal for pedestrians to walk on roads with no sidewalks as long as they’re staying off to the side.
But what if a pedestrian is just sitting in the middle of the street, not moving or attempting to avoid traffic, when a vehicle hits them? Is the driver or pedestrian liable?
In order to determine who’s at fault, a Macon auto accident attorney will look at multiple factors—the first being if negligence was involved.
Can you file a wrongful death claim?
In order to determine if you can file a wrongful death claim for a fatal pedestrian accident, we recommend sitting down with a knowledgeable Georgia wrongful death lawyer who can discuss your case with you and provide a roadmap of the process.
Every state has its own wrongful death laws. If you live in Georgia and negligence was involved, you are entitled to seek compensation if you’ve lost a wife or husband, parent, or sibling. Unfortunately, you can’t file a wrongful death claim if your significant other was your boyfriend or girlfriend. So in this tragic accident in Macon, the victim’s girlfriend would be unable to file a wrongful death claim in Georgia.
Even if you’re living with your significant other for an extended period of time but aren’t legally married, you can’t file a wrongful death claim. Only a surviving spouse, child, or parent in the state of Georgia can file such a claim.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Georgia statute §40-6-93 states:
“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.”
Accordingly, drivers must do everything possible to warn a pedestrian of a potential accident and use particular care when driving near the elderly and children.
But if such an accident still occurs, and the pedestrian is seriously injured or killed because of the driver, they or their surviving loved ones may want to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim to help cover the cost of medical expenses incurred and any damage to personal property.
The Georgia statute of limitations outlines that Georgians have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim, which is the most common timeframe for these types of cases.
If your spouse, parent, or child was the victim of someone’s negligence and you decide to pursue a wrongful death claim after discussing your case with a Georgia lawyer, then you must file within 2 years as well.
Talk to a Georgia pedestrian accident attorney before it’s too late
Time often passes faster than we think, and the second anniversary of your accident can arrive sooner than you expect. Plus, when you wait, important evidence or details of the accident may be lost forever, making it harder to successfully prove your case.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an auto accident, don’t hesitate to call an experienced Georgia crash lawyer at the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson.
We want you to know that you don’t have to recover alone.
Our professionals will sit down with you during your free initial consultation to help determine if you have a valid claim after your accident. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve. Contact our offices at one of our convenient locations in Macon, Albany, and Warner Robins to discuss your case today.