We know that the last thing you expect when you are out walking around is that you will get injured. However, there are times when the negligent or careless actions of a driver can cause serious injuries. Pedestrians are vulnerable, and if you have been involved in a Georgia pedestrian accident, you likely want to know if you can use car insurance to cover the expenses.
In most cases, you will be able to use car insurance to cover your pedestrian crash injuries. However, you should speak to a knowledgeable and experienced Georgia pedestrian accident attorney to walk you through the steps you need to take to get the compensation you deserve.
What if a driver is at fault in a Georgia pedestrian accident?
Both drivers and pedestrians play an important role in pedestrian safety. Pedestrians have certain rights legally afforded to them in Georgia. Drivers must exercise “due care” to avoid striking pedestrians, and they must yield to pedestrians who are using crosswalks and intersections with a walk light. Pedestrians also have the right-of-way on sidewalks.
A recent study by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that pedestrian crashes are increasing across the US. They also say that the increase in pedestrian crashes in Georgia is outpacing the rest of the country. Though they did not pinpoint an exact cause of the increase, they say that the booming economy and population growth in this state will cause more and more pedestrian crashes. The AJC says that even though overall traffic crash fatalities in Georgia are decreasing, pedestrian crashes continue to increase.
Common causes of pedestrian crashes include:
- Distracted drivers: we know that the rise of smartphones has correlated with a rise in pedestrian crashes. As more people spend time watching videos or reading emails and text messages, they are watching the road less.
- Impaired drivers: drug and alcohol-impaired drivers pose an extreme danger to pedestrians. Impaired drivers often travel at high rates of speed and do not slow down before an impact with a pedestrian.
- Failing to yield: many pedestrian crashes happen when drivers fail to yield to pedestrians as required by law.
Will the at-fault driver’s insurance cover a Georgia pedestrian accident?
Just like a regular Georgia car accident, the insurance of the at-fault driver should cover your injury-related expenses through their bodily injury liability insurance. You will have to file a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Please understand that the minimum requirement for bodily injury liability insurance in Georgia is only $25,000. Severe pedestrian injuries can easily cost much more than this.
If your injury-related expenses go over the driver’s personal insurance bodily injury insurance minimum, you may be able to use your own car insurance as well. If you have purchased uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim through your insurance to cover the difference. This insurance can also be used to file a claim for coverage if the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident.
There may be times when a driver acting in the course and scope of their employment causes a pedestrian crash. In these cases, an injury victim may be able to file a claim against the business’s insurance policy.
What to do after a Georgia pedestrian accident
Pedestrian accidents can cause severe injuries and leave you wondering what to do next. Your first step should be to contact a skilled Georgia pedestrian accident attorney who can walk you through every step you need to take. The at-fault driver’s insurance should cover you in most cases, but that does not mean their insurance company will make it easy to get the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will work to investigate the crash, work directly with insurance companies, and receive fair treatment.