Injury Claims Involving Drunk Pedestrians

pedestrian walking on roadside at nightIf you were hit by a car while walking, but you were drunk at the time, can you still pursue compensation for your damages?

This is a complicated situation, so it is best to discuss the situation with a qualified Savannah car accident attorney. The knowledgeable lawyers at Roden Law can explain whether you can still make a claim and how your alcohol consumption may impact things.

When a Pedestrian May Share Fault

People who drank too much may avoid getting behind the wheel so that they do not injure others. However, they may still be placing themselves or others at risk if they try to walk home drunk.

If an accident occurs, determining who is at fault could be complicated. Motorists are expected to follow all traffic laws, including staying within the posted speed limit, following traffic signals and giving the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks. However, if the pedestrian wandered out into the road when he or she did not have the right of way, the pedestrian could be partially to blame for a crash.

In some cases, both parties share some amount of fault for what happened. For example, maybe the driver was speeding and the pedestrian wandered out into the street outside of a crosswalk.

How Georgia’s Comparative Fault Law Could Affect Your Claim

Georgia’s comparative fault law allows injury victims to bring a case and pursue compensation against another party even if they were partially at fault for the accident. However, if the victim is 50 percent or more at fault, he or she cannot recover any compensation.

If the plaintiff is less than 50 percent at fault, his or her award is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. For example, if the pedestrian is found 20 percent at fault and suffered $100,000 in damages, the total award would be reduced by 20 percent, or $20,000.

The judge or jury is responsible for determining the percentage of fault of each party if a lawsuit is filed in the matter. If an insurance claim is filed, the insurance adjuster assigned to the case will likely try to reduce the potential award by the plaintiff’s own percentage of fault.

Traffic Deaths Involving Drunk Walking

While much attention has been given to the dangers of drunk driving over the years, drunk walking is also a serious safety concern. Pedestrians who are over the legal alcohol limit may suffer from side effects such as:

  • Severe motor impairment
  • Decline in ability to reason
  • Decline in depth perception
  • Difficulty using peripheral vision
  • Difficulty recovering from glare from vehicles
  • Being more likely to cross the road in undesignated areas and not be seen by motorists

Between 1991 and 2013, a higher percentage of pedestrians killed in accidents were legally drunk, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

To avoid these accidents, it is better for pedestrians to ask for a ride home from a friend or to use a ride-sharing service.

Contact Roden Law for Help with Your Claim

If you were intoxicated and walking when you were hit by a car, it is important that you seek medical attention. Then, contact Roden Law to schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential claim. We can discuss the circumstances surrounding your accident and inform you if you have a viable claim and how your intoxication may affect it.

Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.