Some of the most dangerous collisions involve pedestrians because they do not have any protection or barriers between themselves and the force of a vehicle. Many of these crashes result in death, while others result in catastrophic injuries like paralysis, brain trauma, amputations, or internal organ damage. Knowledgeable injury lawyer Mark Hartsoe can represent you if you have been hurt in the Knoxville area or tragically lost a loved one to another party’s carelessness.Bringing a Negligence Claim for Compensation
Pedestrian accidents are often the result of distracted driving, reckless driving, road rage, or drunk driving. If there is no statute or ordinance to the contrary, a pedestrian in Tennessee is legally allowed to use any part of the street or highway and cross it either directly or diagonally. A pedestrian who has been injured by a driver may be able to seek compensation. To assert the right to damages, he or she will need to establish the driver's duty of care, the driver's breach of duty, causation, and damages.
More often than not, pedestrian accidents happen when a driver breaches the duty of reasonable care that is imposed on everyone who gets behind the wheel. Anyone who operates a motor vehicle is required to avoid posing foreseeable risks of harm to others and take the same precautions that an ordinary, prudent person would use in a similar situation. There are many ways to breach this duty, such as by failing to stop at a crosswalk, running a red light or a stop sign, or speeding so fast that it is impossible to stop in time for a pedestrian who has the right of way.
In many cases, the driver's insurer will try to pin blame on the pedestrian. However, Tennessee follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. That means if a jury finds a pedestrian 50% or more at fault for his or her injuries, the victim may be barred from recovery. If the pedestrian is 49% or less at fault, by contrast, his or her recovery will be reduced according to the percentage of fault assigned to each party by the jury.
For example, a person may be jaywalking at night and be struck by a driver who runs a red light while traveling over the speed limit. If a jury finds that the victim was 30% at fault for jaywalking, but the defendant was 70% at fault for speeding and running the red light, he or she could potentially recover up to 70% of the costs and losses caused by the accident. These often include both economic and non-economic damages, ranging from lost wages from missed work and the medical expenses caused by the injuries to pain and suffering as well as the loss of enjoyment of life. Family members pursuing a wrongful death claim after a fatal accident involving a loved one may seek damages based on their relationship to the victim.Discuss Your Options with a Knoxville Lawyer after a Pedestrian Accident
Attorney Mark Hartsoe knows that car accidents that involve pedestrians in the Knoxville area can cause devastating harm. If you have suffered injuries because of a careless driver, you may be able to bring a civil suit for compensation. If a loved one has been killed, you may be able to seek damages for wrongful death. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.