Nobody is more vulnerable on the street than a pedestrian. In 2015, 1,429 pedestrians were involved in traffic accidents in Tennessee. Pedestrians may suffer catastrophic injuries or even death if they are run down by a car or another vehicle. If you suffered injuries as a pedestrian, you may be able to sue the driver of the car that hit you for damages with the assistance of car accident attorney Mark Hartsoe. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Maryville pedestrian injury lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe can vigorously pursue the compensation that you need to move forward with your recovery.Pursuing Compensation for a Pedestrian Injury
In Tennessee, pedestrians have the right of way at intersections and driveways, but they are supposed to obey traffic signals and use sidewalks when possible. Under Tennessee Code section 55-8-134, a driver is supposed to yield the right of way by stopping or slowing if a pedestrian is crossing a road within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is so close that they could be endangered or is on the side of the road where the vehicle is traveling. Pedestrians have a duty to yield the right of way if they are crossing the road at somewhere other than a crosswalk. Pedestrians are also supposed to use reasonable care to protect themselves by looking out for cars and other vehicles.
As a pedestrian who is injured, you usually will need to establish the driver's negligence to recover damages. This means that you will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the driver owed you a duty of care (to drive safely), breached that duty (by acting carelessly), and caused your injuries and damages (medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, and so on). Generally, duty and damages are easy to establish in a pedestrian accident case. However, breach of duty may be more challenging.
A driver is likely to be found to have breached a duty if you were hurt in a crosswalk when the driver failed to yield the right of way, as required by law. Liability becomes more confusing if you crossed in a place where there was no crosswalk. In such instances, it may be especially beneficial to have an experienced attorney on your side who can show that the driver breached their duty to use reasonable care in some other way, such as by talking on the phone or driving while fatigued.
Tennessee follows the rule of modified comparative negligence. This means that a defendant may argue that a pedestrian was partly at fault for the accident. In such cases, the jury will determine the total damages and assign percentages of responsibility to all of the parties who were partially or fully at fault. The plaintiff's recovery will be reduced by their percentage of fault as long as it is below 50%.
After an accident, you may receive a call from the insurer for the at-fault driver. Although that person might seem friendly, in most cases, they are trying to obtain an admission of fault to use against you to either limit or prevent your recovery. It is important to consult your own attorney at Hartsoe Law Firm before speaking to a driver's insurer.Contact a Pedestrian Injury Lawyer in Maryville
Motor vehicle collision lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe is ready to fight for compensation on your behalf if you were struck by a car or another vehicle. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or use our online form to schedule a free consultation with a Maryville pedestrian injury attorney. We represent injured people throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.