Few details were available after a predawn vehicle-on-pedestrian accident that sent a man to a local hospital in critical condition.
The wreck occurred on SR 120 in Cobb County.
Multiple layers of advanced safety systems protect vehicle occupants during collisions. Pedestrians have no such protections. As a result, serious pedestrian injuries usually include:
- Head Injuries: When pedestrian accident victims fall, their brains slam against the insides of their skulls. These multiple, violent impacts cause permanent injuries. Medical professionals can address head injury symptoms, but they cannot “cure” these injuries.
- Broken Bones: Shattered arm bone, leg bone, and other such injuries are usually permanent, as well. Since doctors must surgically reconstruct these broken bones, the victims usually must deal with permanent loss of motion in their knees, shoulders, and other joints.
- Nerve Injuries: As pedestrian accident victims fall, they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. This natural reaction usually permanently damages nerves in the brachial plexus bundle under the arm. This permanent damage usually causes permanent facial paralysis.
Speed is an extremely important factor in this area. At impact speeds under 25mph, the pedestrian fatality rate is under 10%. At impact speeds above 55mph, the pedestrian death rate skyrockets to over 90%.
A Marietta personal injury attorney connects pedestrian accident victims with top-notch doctors who charge nothing upfront for their professional services.
Evidence in Pedestrian Claims
Proof is often hard to come by in pedestrian accident claims. The police report, which is normally a pillar of evidence in personal injury claims, is a good example.
As mentioned, high-speed pedestrian crashes are normally fatal. Since these victims obviously cannot give statements to emergency responders, their reports are one-sided. Very few tortfeasors (negligent drivers) lie about the events leading up to a crash. However, our memories are not video cameras. We remember things selectively.
Fortunately, other sources of evidence are available. These sources include medical bills and witness statements.
Additionally, a Marietta personal injury attorney often uses electronic evidence, such as a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder. This gadget, which is a lot like a commercial airplane’s black box flight data recorder, measures and records vehicle speed, steering angle, and other critical items.
The evidence must not only be strong enough to build a bare-bones negligence case. It must also be strong enough to refute insurance company defenses. Comparative fault and sudden emergency are two of the most common insurance company defenses in pedestrian accident claims.
Comparative fault basically shifts part of the blame from the tortfeasor to the victim. Essentially, an insurance company lawyer argues that the victim didn’t stop and look both ways before s/he crossed the street. Comparative fault is an affirmative defense. Therefore, the insurance company must prove every element of this defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
A sudden emergency is basically comparative fault on steroids. Tortfeasors are not legally responsible for wrecks if they reasonably react to sudden emergencies.
Generally, a jaywalking pedestrian isn’t a “sudden emergency.” Instead, a jaywalking pedestrian is an everyday hazard, like a stalled car, which the duty of care requires motorists to avoid. Therefore, this defense does not legally apply, at least in most cases.