Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Pedestrian fatalities account for between 10 and 15 percent of all car accident deaths. The National Highway Transportation estimates that a pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes in traffic. Unfortunately, it is not just adults that are likely to be hit by vehicles, but also children. While some pedestrian accidents are caused by pedestrian negligence or recklessness, driver negligence is often to blame.

Being struck by a vehicle is not the only type of danger that pedestrians can face. There are several other risk factors present on streets that can lead to serious injuries, including poorly constructed roads or unmaintained sidewalks.

What Are Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents?

Pedestrians are in a vulnerable position when crossing streets or walking near traffic, so it is important that drivers make every attempt to yield to pedestrians. Accidents involving cars and pedestrians often result in serious injuries, including the following:

  • Traumatic brain and head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Amputation of limbs
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Emotional and psychological trauma

Tragically, many pedestrian accidents can lead to death as well.

How Is Fault Determined in Pedestrian Accidents?

Pedestrians always have the right of way in a crosswalk. When a person is crossing the street in a marked crosswalk, a driver is required to wait for that pedestrian to stop crossing. If a car hits someone while in a crosswalk, the driver can be found liable.

While jaywalking is a traffic violation, it doesn’t dismiss drivers of their responsibility to drive carefully. If the pedestrian was not crossing in a crosswalk when hit, they may still have a case, even if they committed a minor infraction.

There are certain factors which may cause pedestrians to be found at fault in an accident. If the pedestrian is outside of a crosswalk, is in a crosswalk but goes against the “Do Not Walk” signal, or is walking across the street while under the influence, this will have a direct effect on a personal injury claim.

Drivers usually have a greater duty of care to children compared to adults. Young children cannot be considered negligent since they are legally not capable, so drivers need to proceed with caution when children are walking, particularly including areas around schools and parks.

Tennessee uses the modified comparative negligence system. When modified comparative fault is used, a judge or jury assigns a percentage of fault for each party involved and awards damages based on the percentage of fault.  If a person’s percentage of liability reaches over 50 percent, they cannot collect damages.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Pedestrian Accident?

If a pedestrian is seriously injured in a car accident, Tennessee Code section 28-3-104 states that the case should be filed in the civil court system within one year of the date of the accident.

If the accident caused a person’s death, and the family members wish to file a wrongful death claim, the lawsuit is subject to the one-year filing deadline as well.

What Types of Compensation and Damages are Recoverable in a Pedestrian Accident?

If you are injured as a pedestrian, you can seek compensation for your injuries from the other driver’s liability insurance. If this claim is denied, you can pursue a lawsuit for damages.

You may also be able to file a claim against your own medical insurance coverage. Your health insurance will pay your bills in the meantime but will eventually seek reimbursement from the liable party’s auto insurance.

Once you have exhausted your medical coverage benefits, you can also seek compensation from your own auto insurer.  Even if you were a pedestrian and not driving, your auto insurance policy (bodily injury coverage) may help pay for any damages.

The types of damages that you can collect if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident include the following:

  • Economic damages – Losses such as medical bills, damaged property, and lost wages from missing work can be recovered.
  • Non-Economic damages – These damages include losses for pain and suffering and/or emotional trauma caused by your accident.
  • Punitive damages – These types of monetary damages are awarded by a jury to punish an egregious offender and discourage future offenses of a similar nature.

The types of damages that you can receive depend on the circumstances of your accident and the nature of your case.

Are There Any Specific Factors That Impact the Value of a Pedestrian Accident?

As a rule, the factors that are most likely to influence a pedestrian’s car accident settlement include:

  • The Type of Injury. You will most likely not walk away unharmed from an accident with a motor vehicle if you are a pedestrian. The extent of the injuries that you have suffered will determine the amount of compensation and damages that you receive.
  • Lost Income. The amount of time you are unable to work because of your injury or recovery will be reimbursed.
  • The Length of Medical Treatment. If the accident caused you to need surgery, suffer physical rehabilitation, and require visits to specialists, you may receive additional damages.
  • The Circumstances of Your Accident.  The circumstances of your accident, including the type of vehicle that hit you, the speed at which the vehicle was driving, and the driver’s condition, can affect the outcome of your case.
  • Auto Insurance Coverage. The type and amount of insurance that you were carrying at the time of the crash will likely affect your case (especially if you are having trouble collecting payment from an insurer).
  • Liability. Tennessee comparative negligence laws can prevent victims from collecting damages if they are mostly at fault. Pedestrians are usually not found at fault for an accident, but you may receive a reduction in damages depending on the level of liability.
  • Driver Charges. If the driver was drinking while driving, speeding, or breaking the law at the time of the accident, your case will be stronger. If criminal charges are filed against the driver it can make the driver’s portion of fault larger, especially if they are convicted.
  • If You Suffer Permanent Disability or Disfigurement. If you have suffered permanent disability, disfigurement, or paralysis, it will affect the amount of damages received. An inability to live independently, return to work, or enjoy life can be rewarded as monetary damages for pain and suffering.
  • Wrongful Death. If a loved one dies because of a pedestrian accident, surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes damages for your loved one’s lost future income, funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, and other losses incurred between the time of injury and death.

The exact amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive will vary with all of these and other factors. The best way to find out what your case might be worth is to contact an experienced attorney.

How We Can Help

If you have been severely injured in a pedestrian accident, you may have financial and emotional burdens to carry. With more than 28 years of comprehensive personal injury experience, we can help you through the complexities of a pedestrian accident claim process.

The Law Offices of Luvell L. Glanton draws from our extensive experience and specializations in civil litigation to ensure that liable parties are held accountable for their negligent actions.  When we handle your claim, we will do whatever we can to recover the compensation that you deserve so that you move forward with your life. Our Nashville attorneys make themselves available 24/7 to offer genuine consultation and legal support for you so you can focus on getting better.

You need to place your trust in a law firm that truly cares about helping you rebuild your life. We will discuss your needs, help you voice your questions and concerns, and respond immediately to your requests. Not only is our legal team passionate and prompt with their service, but our compassionate, caring, and capable lawyers will help you through these difficult times. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation or call us at (615) 244-4511 to discuss your case.