For many of us, our mobile phones and other electronic devices connect us to the outside world. We use our phones to check our banking, pay bills, answer emails, communicate with friends and family, explore products and services, and play games. It is no surprise that having everything at our fingertips can lead to distraction. In most cases, being distracted by your phone is harmless and allows for a temporary break from the demands of the day. However, it can be dangerous, especially for a pedestrian. If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident due to texting or other phone distractions, it is valuable to understand the different steps you can take.
In Georgia, pedestrian accidents are treated similarly to car accidents in that it is important to determine who is at fault. In most cases, the person who is found at fault is liable for injuries or damages. If someone is found to be at fault, it means the person’s actions or lack of action caused the accident.
Pedestrian accidents can be severe, especially when a vehicle is involved. Even a slight impact can result in extensive injuries. Every driver on the road has a responsibility to follow laws, stay attentive, and take extra precautions to care for pedestrians. Therefore, it is rare for pedestrians to be found at fault.
In Georgia, pedestrians have the right of way when crossing the road, and cars must yield to pedestrians. If a car is pulling out of a parking lot, garage, or driveway, it is the responsibility of the driver to be looking both ways for pedestrians before proceeding further. Even if a pedestrian is jaywalking, vehicle operators are responsible for yielding. Drivers are responsible for legally stopping or slowing down for a pedestrian even if they are on the road illegally.
While it is uncommon to find the pedestrian at fault due to the various laws putting the responsibility on the driver, there are still instances where the pedestrian could be at fault. This includes:
- Running into the road suddenly
- Walking in prohibited areas
- Walking while intoxicated
- Crossing against a traffic signal
What About Phone Distraction?
In many instances, you feel your phone buzz and pull it from your pocket to respond without a second thought. When you are traveling as a pedestrian, however, your phone could cause a distraction that leads to a pedestrian accident. An accident could result in serious injuries that can lead to extensive medical bills, loss of work, and other costly expenses.
If you are hurt while walking and texting, determining fault is the first step. In most cases, while it is important to be diligent while walking, the responsibility lies heavier on the driver of the motor vehicle. For example, if you looked up to see the crosswalk sign turn green and then put your head back down to look at your phone as you cross the road, someone running the light or turning without yielding would be at fault for an accident. This applies to walking on roads where no sidewalk is available or crossing near parking lots or garages. As a pedestrian, you do have the right of way, and drivers are legally obligated to watch for you and yield. There are certain exceptions to this scenario, though, which is why seeking professional legal assistance is important in these matters.
Work With Lamar Law Office, LLC
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to first take care of your health and safety by having any injuries treated and addressed. If you do intend to seek compensation for injuries and damages, contacting an attorney is the next crucial step. An experienced attorney can help examine the details of your case, providing you with insight into how your case would likely unfold. Let us help.