The average car weighs more than 3,000 pounds, making it likely that any collision will carry a serious risk of injury or death for an unprotected person in a pedestrian accident. In fact, pedestrians are statistically more likely to be killed in an accident than the passengers in the car. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle collision, an experienced Nashville car accident attorney can evaluate whether you have a claim. Matt Hardin has helped accident victims throughout Tennessee assert their right to compensation.
All Tennessee drivers need to be aware of pedestrians and respect their rights. People in a crosswalk or school zone have the right of way. Even if a pedestrian is jaywalking and does not have the right of way, moreover, drivers must try to avoid hitting that person. They are expected to be particularly careful if children are nearby.
A driver can be held liable for a pedestrian accident when the victim or his or her family can show that the defendant owed a duty to the pedestrian, the driver breached this duty, the breach actually and proximately caused injuries to the pedestrian and actual damages were incurred as a result. An experienced Nashville injury lawyer can help you assess these elements relative to your case.
All drivers owe a duty to people around them to act in a reasonably safe manner for the road conditions. Tennessee Code section 55-8-134 requires individuals to yield the right of way to any pedestrian who is in a crosswalk or school zone and stay stopped until the person walks off the road. Drivers should be alert for people who walk into or near the road, and they should be moving at a reasonable speed that would provide time to stop if that happens.
In some cases, a pedestrian crosses without a right of way or in the dark or in the rain. Except where there is a restrictive statute or ordinance that says otherwise, a pedestrian in Tennessee is permitted to use any part of a street or highway and cross it either directly or diagonally as long as he or she uses ordinary care for his or her own safety. However, when a pedestrian looks out for approaching automobiles, that person is presumed by law to see what he or she should have seen through reasonable observation. A pedestrian’s failure to look out for cars or trucks in that situation can constitute comparative negligence if an accident happens.
This state follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence, whereby the pedestrian’s own careless actions can reduce his or her recovery by how much he or she was at fault. As long as the jury assigns the pedestrian 49% or less of the responsibility, he or she can recover. However, the victim is barred from recovering at all if he or she is 50% or more at fault.
If you have been hurt near Nashville or the surrounding communities in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligence, an experienced lawyer can help you try to hold the responsible party accountable. A personal injury may cause serious disruptions to your life. You may have to miss work or even change jobs. Moreover, you probably will have medical bills to pay. Matt Hardin can advise you on whether you have a viable claim against anyone else involved in the accident. You can contact him by calling (615) 200-1111 or sending a message through our online form.