On January 4, 2021, Gerald Walsh, age 74, was crossing the intersection at Slappey Blvd. and West Tift Ave. around 7 p.m. when he was hit by a Honda Accord driving north in the right lane on Slappey Blvd.
According to the Albany police, the driver said that by the time they noticed Walsh, it was too late. The incident report indicates that the Honda driver swerved left at the last moment in an attempt to avoid colliding with Walsh, but the right side of the bumper hit him and caused serious injuries.
Walsh was taken to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Emergency Center for treatment where he died of his injuries.
What’s the likelihood of a Georgia pedestrian accident?
According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, fatal pedestrian accidents have been increasing over the past 6 years. In 2019, nearly 1,500 traffic fatalities were reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of those fatalities, 236 involved pedestrians.
Who’s at fault?
Liability in a Georgia pedestrian accident is often determined by negligence, which is when a breach of “duty of care” has been found. A “duty of care” is defined by Georgia statute §40-6-93 as follows:
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.
If a driver fails to honk their horn or doesn’t yield to pedestrians crossing the road and injures them, then they could be held liable.
Another common cause of pedestrian-vehicle collisions is texting while driving.
More often than not, when a driver hits a pedestrian and says, “I didn’t see them,” it’s likely they were distracted by their phone or conversation going on inside the car.
Drivers can also be held liable if they were drowsy while driving, intoxicated, speeding, failed to slow at a crosswalk, backing up out of a parking spot, and failing to come to a complete stop at a light or stop sign.
If you’re distracted while driving, then you could be held liable for hitting a pedestrian.
But it’s not always the driver’s fault.
Sometimes pedestrians are the ones who could be held liable for an accident.
When is a pedestrian at fault?
Drivers aren’t the only ones who can be distracted while on the road. Pedestrians are just as guilty of looking at their phones while using the sidewalk or carrying a conversation with the person next to them.
As an example, if John is driving his car and approaches a green light at an intersection, he has the right of way. But if Jane is jogging on the sidewalk while listening to music and approaches the intersection without looking and crosses the road, John might hit her. But in this case, Jane might be held liable.
Other examples of when a pedestrian could be held liable for an accident include talking on the phone, walking while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, crossing the street outside of an intersection, ignoring street signs, and suddenly running into the middle of the road without looking both ways.
Are you the victim of a pedestrian accident?
You’re not alone.
If you or someone you love has suffered from another person’s negligence, our Georgia accident and injury lawyers can help. Our experienced advocates help Georgia residents receive the maximum amount of compensation.
At the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Hinson & Moseley, we have been serving Georgia and the Southeast for over 50 years. We have a proven track record to help you get the most compensation possible for your injury.