Typically, pedestrians in Tennessee have the right-of-way. However, if a driver disregards this, they risk hurting a pedestrian and causing an accident. If you have been hit by a car, you presumably have many inquiries regarding how to obtain compensation after the incident.
The Memphis pedestrian accident attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi are here for you and to help you obtain the compensation you need.
Who Is Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?
There is a good possibility that the driver broke a traffic rule or was not driving safely if a car hits a pedestrian on the side of the road, in a crosswalk, in a parking lot, or somewhere else. Although some incidents involve pedestrians, the driver was usually at fault and should have yielded, most of the time. Additionally, accidents frequently leave pedestrians with disabling injuries or even emotional pain.
There’s a good possibility an injured pedestrian can and should hold the driver accountable—both legally and financially—if you were a pedestrian injured by a car. There may be compensation in a settlement for pain and suffering, missed wages, and all medical expenses related to the injuries sustained from the accident.
For a free legal consultation, call (901) 526-2126
How do You Prove Fault After a Pedestrian Accident?
When a pedestrian is struck by a car, the other motorist is frequently to blame for the mishap. To legally operate and register a vehicle, nearly all jurisdictions require drivers and auto owners to maintain a minimum level of insurance. A motorist is negligent and accountable for accident-related losses if they strike a person, another vehicle, or a stationary object while in violation of the law.
If the owner of the vehicle is not the driver, a claim will be made with both the driver’s insurance company and the owner’s insurance company after a pedestrian accident. The pedestrian must prove the vehicle was at fault for the collision and consequently liable for the injuries in order to submit an insurance claim or pursue a lawsuit. They have a responsibility as a driver to act in a way that protects other road users, including pedestrians like you, from injury.
The easiest way to ascertain fault following an accident is to file a police report, which will often include who was at fault and the relative amounts of blame placed on each person. If the driver is found to be at fault for the collision, they (or their auto insurance provider) will be responsible for paying your settlement fees.
What About Shared Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
The best way to show fault is to obtain as much information as possible. There can be gray areas after an accident, especially when both parties may be to blame. Fault can be displayed through evidence including, but not limited to:
- Bills and other paperwork related to the accident.
- Medical records
- Pictures of the scene and injuries
- Police reports
This information will typically help show who is at fault. The driver is not always the person at fault in a pedestrian accident. There are some instances when the driver and pedestrian, or both, are at fault. The investigation at the scene may show that a pedestrian was not in a crossway or walkway, that they may not have had a walk signal, or that the pedestrian jumped into traffic.
Drivers have a duty to stop for pedestrians, but when this is made impossible, the pedestrian will typically be at fault for the accident. In these situations, the driver will also still bare some fault for the accident unless it is shown that the driver had no way of stopping or seeing the pedestrian, which is very hard to prove.
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What Are Comparative Negligence Laws in Tennessee?
Each state adheres to one of four fault systems, which set forth rules for determining whether the plaintiff’s fault will have an impact on the outcome of a claim. In some states, the wounded party cannot receive compensation if they contributed in any way to the accident (even if it wasn’t entirely their fault).
The comparative negligence rule is used in Tennessee. The parties involved in an accident will both be given a certain percentage of their liability. The wounded party is not entitled to compensation if they contributed more than 50% of the fault in an accident. They may be awarded reparations lessening their percentage of fault if they are 50% or less at fault. Meaning that if a person is 40% at fault for the accident, then their damages will be lessened by 40% of the total 100%.
As an example: if a court finds that both parties shared fault in a pedestrian accident, they will then assign the percentage of liability. In this example, the court says the pedestrian was 25% liable and the driver 75%. The total cost of injuries that are being sought is $200,000. Therefore, the pedestrian will only be able to collect up to 75% of the $200,000, which is $150,000.
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What Are Some Pedestrian Accident Statistics?
According to the National Highway Road Administration, around 76,000 pedestrians were hurt, and 6,205 were killed in traffic accidents in the United States during the most recently reported year.
Over the past ten years, Tennessee has seen an overall increase in the number of accidents involving pedestrians, according to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Nearly 42% more pedestrian accidents occurred between 2009 and 2019 than there were in 2009. The two groups of people most likely to sustain injuries in a pedestrian accident are young children and adults over the age of 65.
Contact the Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC
Getting the necessary medical care should be your top priority if you or a loved one has been hit by a car. After that, you should think about how our lawyers can help maximize the compensation you are owed.
We handle every case involving a personal injury or auto accident on a contingency basis. This means that until we win a settlement or verdict on your behalf, our Memphis pedestrian accident attorneys will not collect legal fees. Our phones are answered every day, all day long. You can reach us anytime online as well.