Thumbing through the New York Times this past weekend I came across another article on pedestrian injuries and this one stuck out. The writer suffered terrible injuries when hit by a delivery truck in the City and they realized that there were multiple other employees at the Times who had similar life threatening incidents.
The author has an interesting slant on her experience as being a member of an unlucky club. She described her horrific injuries and the slow recovery process but, almost in passing, she mentioned that although she was crossing at a crosswalk and with the light and the truck driver did not get a ticket. As she continued to describe the experiences of her companions, it became clear that they also were legally crossing while hit and yet the driver did not get a ticket.
This leads back to an ongoing problem in Georgia. Police officers almost approach pedestrian accidents looking to blame the pedestrian. If the pedestrian was not in a marked crosswalk, officers typically close the investigation at that point without speaking to eyewitnesses.
We have so many clients that come to us complaining that the officer did not even listen to their story. Part of the problem stems from the fact that traffic officers are not detectives. They do not have the time to go building a civil case for each and every pedestrian that complains of the ticket. Unfortunately, that job often falls to civil lawyers as they try to reconstruct what went wrong. One example of the fresh perspective counsel can bring is the law that dictates that a crosswalk is legally implied wherever two sidewalks meet at an intersection. Police officers seem to have missed that lesson in traffic school in Forsyth.
The reality is Georgia is a driver’s state. Cars resent pedestrians and don’t look for them even when pulling across a sidewalk. So what is a pedestrian to do? If the injury is serious, it’s an easy decision to call a lawyer and sit down to go over the facts.