When we think about common traffic accidents occurring in Tennessee, a collision between vehicles comes to mind. Seldom do we think about how cars, trucks, and SUVs threaten pedestrians’ safety as they take a brisk morning jog, walk to school, or walk through a parking lot. Yet, pedestrian traffic accidents happen all too often—and the consequences are usually more severe than accidents that happen between passenger vehicles.
If you or someone you love suffered serious or fatal injuries in a pedestrian accident because of someone else’s reckless behavior, you can count on OEB Law, PLLC, to help you get through this tough time. Contact us at 865-546-1111 for a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Knoxville. We have helped many area residents get justice and financial reimbursement after an accident.
Should I File an Insurance Claim or a Lawsuit?
Before we can determine the best way for you to proceed, we will speak with you about the circumstances of your pedestrian accident. If your loved one died in the crash, for example, you may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover compensation for funeral and burial costs, and other expenses. If the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement for your claim, we may recommend filing a lawsuit and taking your case to court.
Our investigation into your accident will help in this decision-making process.
What Type of Investigation Will a Law Firm Conduct?
During our investigation into your accident, we will collect evidence to determine how the accident occurred and who was at fault for the crash. We do this because Tennessee is a fault state, which means the driver who caused an accident is responsible for the injuries and other losses that occurred.
When we examine the cause of a pedestrian accident, we may discover that the driver:
- Failed to yield the right of way to the pedestrian at an intersection or crosswalk;
- Failed to see a pedestrian crossing a road or walking along the road in the dark;
- Failed to see a pedestrian while backing out of a parking space or driving through a parking lot;
- Was operating a vehicle under the influence of drugsor alcohol;
- Took their eyes off the road to read or send a text message; or
- Ignored the speed limit.
We will also obtain the police report of your accident. This document usually identifies the at-fault driver and includes statements and contact information from eyewitness to the accident.
In Tennessee, State Laws Hold Drivers Responsible for Their Actions.
After identifying the at-fault driver, we must prove four legal elements of negligence before we can hold them responsible for your losses. We must show:
- The driver owed you and other pedestrians a responsibility to drive with reasonable care;
- The driver breached that duty;
- The driver’s negligent actions caused an accident; and
- You suffered actual damages.
With the evidence that we obtain, we will not only show that the driver violated Tennessee’s negligence laws, but also Tennessee’s pedestrian laws. These require every driver to:
- Drive carefully to avoid colliding with any pedestrian on the road;
- Warn pedestrians by blowing their horn;
- Exercise proper precaution when a child, a confused person, or an incapacitated pedestrian is on the road;
- Maintain the speed limit in effect at the time;
- Follow all traffic signals; and
- Observe the right-of-way rules.
A violation of the pedestrian laws may lead to misdemeanor charges and more serious charges when an accident involves a pedestrian death.
What If the Driver Claims I Contributed to the Accident?
Expect the driver’s auto insurer to challenge your claim, especially if the driver says you were negligent. Drivers sometimes claim that pedestrians place themselves in danger by crossing in the middle of the road unlawfully instead of using a crosswalk.
If you contributed to the accident in any way, Tennessee’s comparative negligence law may apply to your claim. This will decrease your total compensation amount based on the percentage of fault assigned to you. If, for example, you stepped into a roadway suddenly and a speeding car hit you, you may bear 20 percent of the blame for the crash. In that case, you would only be able to recover 80 percent of your total damages.
Even if a court finds you contributed to the accident, we advocate on your behalf to make sure you receive the maximum compensation possible.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
A pedestrian accident can lead to a variety of damages. Many victims face extensive out-of-pocket costs to treat their injuries. In most cases, you may pursue reimbursement for such economic damages as:
- Medical bills;
- Ambulance transportation from the accident scene to the hospital;
- Prescription medication;
- Physical therapy;
- In-patient rehabilitation;
- Assistive medical devices, such as wheelchairs, walkers, or canes;
- Home health care;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning potential; and
- Funeral expenses, if a loved one died because of the accident.
Additionally, you may pursue non-economic damages, such as:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Mental anguish;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
We negotiate your claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurer to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We want to take the burden off of you while you recover from your injuries.
During the negotiation process, insurance adjusters often try to deny valid claims or offer low settlement amounts. We understand the tactics insurers use to lessen liability and we know how to defend you against these practices.
Contact OEB Law, PLLC, for a Free Claim Evaluation.
If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, contact OEB Law, PLLC, today. We work on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay for our services unless you recover compensation through an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Call us now at 865-546-1111 to get the help you need to recover.