Comparative Negligence is found in a Hall County, Georgia Pedestrian Case and, therefore, the Pedestrian Gets Nothing for Injuries he Sustained when Hit while in the Cross Walk

cross walk signOn July 17, 2013, at approximately 8 p.m., the Plaintiff, Mr. Frank Day, then age 65, was in Gwinnett County, Georgia when he attempted to cross seven lanes of traffic for a newspaper and was hit while in the cross walk by the Defendant, Mr. Gregory McLaughlin. The Plaintiff suffered injuries and incurred $ 140,000 in medical bills of which $ 100,000 he tried to collect from the Defendant’s insurance company, Geico, but was offered only $ 25,000.

The Plaintiff, therefore, filed a lawsuit whereby there was a jury trial in Hall County, Georgia.  The case is Day v. McLaughlin, No. 2013 CV 2407-A.

In the consolidated pre-trial order there was no argument between the Plaintiff and Defendant that the Plaintiff was in the final lane of seven lanes in the cross walk when he was hit by the Defendant. What was at issue at trial, however, was whether it was the Plaintiff’s fault or the Defendant’s fault for the accident.

The jury, after a three (3) day trial, found that the Plaintiff was fifty percent (50%) at fault for the accident and the injuries that he sustained as a result thereof.  Under Georgia Law, as I have discussed in prior blog posts, this is called Comparative Negligence, and, as set forth under O.C.G.A. Section 51-12-33(g), if it is shown that the Plaintiff is fifty percent (50%) or more responsible for the injury or damages claimed, then the Plaintiff shall not be entitled to receive any amount of damages.

What is interesting in this case is the evidence presented at trial that appeared to show that the Plaintiff in this case was half (50%) at fault for the accident, and the Plaintiff’s approach in failing to educate the jury about the theory of comparative negligence that ended up barring him from any recovery.

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A 22-Month Old Boy was Run Over by His Father in the Family Driveway in Georgia; the young boy is expected to recover

pedestrian zone sign for may 28 blogThis past Saturday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend a child age 22-months had walked out of his garage and was standing behind the Trailblazer driven by his father when his father was backing out of the drive way, and the child was subsequently struck by the vehicle . The child was first struck by the back bumper and then ran over by the back tire.

The parents both rescued him from under the vehicle and then took him to the fire station where a helicopter was called, and the child was flown by Children’s Health Critical Care Helicopter to Egelston Hospital where he was immediately treated by the critical care team. The young boy is now reported in stable condition and expected to recover. The case is being investigated and no charges are anticipated in this incident.

My heart goes out to this family and I hope for the young boy’s speedy and complete recovery. These types of cases, which I have written about before in my blog post about a grandfather who ran over his grandson and killed him, and on my website, about Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents, are incidents can and do occur any where, any time, and even in our own driveways. These types of accidents can be devastating and many end in severe and deadly injuries.  As such, it is imperative that as both drivers and pedestrians that we use the best practices to watch out for each other on the roads to prevent these types of incidents.

As stated previously, we must teach our children about the rules of the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set for very specific rules that we as Parent and Caregivers can teach our children to make sure that our children are safe every time they leave the house, and the the NHTSA has provided the following informational material on it’s website that we can use to teach our children the best practices as Pedestrians on the Road:

1.) Everyone is a Pedestrian!: This is is a brochure that reiterates that whenever you are not in your vehicle, you are a pedestrian! This brochure offers tips for both drivers and pedestrians to stay safe while sharing the road.

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