Tennessee Personal Injury Law: Pedestrian Injuries
In the state of Tennessee, any person who is using public sidewalks or traveling across roadways without the use of a motor vehicle qualifies as a pedestrian. In most cases, this includes bikers, skateboarders, and other such individuals. These are usually the most fatal types of automobile collisions due to the unprotected nature of pedestrians compared to the incredible mass and collision speeds of vehicles. Furthermore, almost every motor vehicle incident involving injury to a pedestrian involves the accident’s fault being placed on the driver of the vehicle causing the incident, so legal representation is often crucial for cases involving such injuries.
Tennessee Statistics for Pedestrian Accidents
A yearly study conducted by the state of Tennessee found that the average automobile, trucks and cars both accounted for, weigh anywhere from three thousand to thirty thousand pounds (3,000 – 30,000 lbs). Even the smallest size of automobile is thus extremely likely to result in severe injuries or fatalities in the event of collision with pedestrians.
The yearly toll for pedestrians in motor vehicle related accidents is reported to be approximately four thousand (4,000) deaths, with almost seventy thousand (70,000) reported injuries to pedestrian victims. These are extremely high numbers when compared to accident statistics for other types of automobile accidents that involve only drivers. The sad fact is that pedestrians are ill equipped to withstand impact from a car or truck, and yet about one injury occurs every eight minutes in the United States.
Children also account for an enormous portion of the injury statistics in both Tennessee and in the nation. They are the most vulnerable age – their developing bodies and naivety in regards to traffic regulations and safety make them likely targets for inattentive or negligent drivers. Child deaths make up a whopping forty percent (40%) of pedestrian deaths from motor vehicle accidents in the United States.
Dangers Of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are still at risk when they are in areas shared by automobiles due to the fact that no possible precaution other than attentiveness can be taken in order to prevent negligent behavior on behalf of drivers. A pedestrian has no way of knowing whether drivers are reckless or distracted until it’s too late. So, although persons using sidewalks or crossing the street are advised to maintain a careful lookout, drivers still carry most of the responsibility in terms of preventing collisions with pedestrians. Tennessee law states that reckless, unreasonable, inattentive, distracted, or otherwise inhibited behavior while driving is unacceptable and punishable if they are the cause of an accident. Driving under the influence, another main cause of pedestrian collisions is of course also unacceptable under legislation.
Almost half of all vehicular accidents involving pedestrians occur after or while the sun is setting. The twilight hours of four to eight in the evening (4:00-8:00pm) provide the highest likelihood of decreased visibility for drivers. Persons operating a motor vehicle who do not slow down during this time, or give heed to their lessened capacity for sight, are far more likely to cause a traffic accident involving unseen pedestrians.
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Liability And Pedestrian Accidents
In Tennessee, most even accident involving pedestrians happen at the fault of the driver responsible. Even in situations in which a pedestrian is guilty of jaywalking, the driver who caused the collision will still be held liable for compensatory damages for injury due to their own inability to acknowledge proper safety protocol on the road. Drivers must yield to pedestrians at all times, without exception, even if this means use of a horn to communicate their presence to pedestrians. This “right of way” should be especially considered for those driving in residential areas, or in places where there are likely to be children. Liability typically falls on the driver regardless of the pedestrian victim’s age, but damages are far likely to be higher if the victim is a minor child.
Hire an Experienced Pedestrian Injury Attorney
In the event that you or a loved one has suffered harm as a pedestrian in traffic related accident, especially if there were fatalities involved, you should contact our office to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. It’s almost guaranteed that you are entitled to compensation for your suffering. Our team of skilled attorneys has the experience, connections, and resources suited for acquiring a successful settlement in a wide variety of vehicular incidents involving pedestrians. The sooner you start gathering evidence, the stronger your case will be – so don’t wait! Set up your first consultation with one of our skilled lawyers and get the help you need to receive the compensation you deserve.