Who is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?
When a pedestrian accident is caused by the negligence of multiple parties, who is ultimately responsible for any injuries incurred? In short, all negligent parties will be responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their actions. However, Georgia pedestrian accident law is more nuanced. An Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to help you understand the issue of liability and how it may affect your pedestrian accident case.Georgia’s Modified Comparative Negligence Laws
Georgia personal injury law follows a “modified comparative negligence” approach to adjudicating responsibility for the damages in a pedestrian accident. Under the Georgia law, the jury will apportion the “fault” to each of the negligent actors in the personal injury lawsuit. Then, each negligent party will be responsible for the percent of damages proportionate to their personal liability. Notably, if the person bringing the lawsuit - in this case, the injured pedestrian – is found to 50% or more at fault for the accident that caused the damages, then he or she will not be able to recover anything from the other liable parties. An Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer can provide more information about Georgia’s comparative negligence laws.Most Commonly Liable Parties in a Pedestrian Accident
While a pedestrian accident could be caused by the negligence of a potentially unlimited number of liable parties, here are the most common:
- The Driver of the Vehicle that Strikes the Pedestrian. Most commonly, pedestrian accidents occur when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle. If the driver was behaving in a negligent or careless manner – for example, if the driver was texting while driving or violating Georgia’s traffic laws – then he or she will be liable for the damages caused by the pedestrian accident.
- Party Responsible for Maintaining the Sidewalk. If a pedestrian accident is caused by the negligent maintenance of an Atlanta sidewalk, then the party responsible for maintaining the sidewalk will be liable for the pedestrian’s damages. Unlike many other cities, Atlanta requires homeowners and property owners to maintain their sidewalks. However, it is still possible for the City of Atlanta to be held liable in certain circumstances.
- Party Responsible for Maintaining the Road. With the notable exception of gated communities, the roads in Atlanta, Georgia are largely the responsibility of the government. Therefore, if the government has been careless or reckless in maintaining the road, then it could be held responsible for any damages caused by a pedestrian accident.
- The Pedestrian. Last, if the pedestrian behaved unreasonably and this unreasonable behavior caused, in whole or in part, the pedestrian accident, then his or her damages will be reduced in proportion to his or her fault. As stated previously, if the jury finds the pedestrian was more than 50% responsible for his or her injuries, then the pedestrian will not be able to recover anything from the other liable parties.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, then you should speak to an Atlanta attorney with experience in pedestrian accidents. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Atlanta will be familiar with state laws on the subject and can help answer all of your questions.