If you or somebody close to you has been hurt—or worse, killed—in a pedestrian accident, you need an attorney who specializes in these types of cases and knows how to get you the compensation that policy dictates. Here are some things to look for when finding the best Columbia, TN pedestrian accident lawyer that suits your case.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Here are the five most common causes of pedestrian accidents.
1. Distracted Drivers
If a driver hits you while they are distracted, you may be able to get money for your injuries. Distracted driving is when drivers are looking at their cell phones or other things instead of the road. This can happen if they are talking to someone else in the car too. Distracted drivers might not see a pedestrian crossing the street, especially if it is not at a crosswalk.
2. Drunk Drivers
Unfortunately, drunk drivers are one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents. NHTSA reports that in 2018, alcohol-impaired driving caused nearly 50% of all fatal pedestrian accidents. If you were hit and injured by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to not only compensation for your injuries but also punitive damages.
Jaywalking—or crossing the street rather than utilizing a crosswalk—is one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents, unfortunately. According to research by NHTSA, about one-third of all fatal pedestrian accidents were caused by jaywalking. Even though it may not seem harmful, jaywalking can have tragic consequences. If you get hit while jaywalking and try to sue for damages done unto you, more often than not insurance companies or courts will find that you are partially at fault for causing the accident– thus reducing any compensation payout due to being less innocent.
4. Poor Weather Conditions
Poor weather conditions—like rain, snow, or ice—unfortunately, can lead to pedestrian accidents. Slippery roads and low visibility often make it hard for drivers to see pedestrians walking nearby, which creates the opportunity for an accident. Even if you were hit by a driver in poor weather conditions, depending on the circumstances of the accident itself, you may still be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
5. Driver Error
Out of all the causes of pedestrian accidents, driver error is the most significant. Drivers can make mistakes in various ways, such as speeding, driving without proper care, or failing to yield and make turns correctly. If you were unlucky enough to get hit by a driver behaving erratically like this, then you might be entitled to receive compensation for your damages.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
There are a variety of injuries that pedestrians can sustain when they are hit by a car. Some of the most common include:
• Head injuries: These can range from concussions to traumatic brain injuries and can have long-term effects on your health.
• Neck and back injuries: Whiplash is a common neck injury that often occurs in pedestrian accidents. Back injuries can range from herniated discs to spinal cord damage.
• Broken bones: Because pedestrians do not have the same level of protection as those inside a car, they are more likely to sustain broken bones when they are hit by a car. Broken bones can take weeks or months to heal properly.
• Internal bleeding: Internal bleeding is another serious injury that pedestrians can sustain when they are hit by cars. If not treated promptly, internal bleeding can be fatal.
• Soft tissue damage: This type of damage includes bruises, lacerations, and contusions. While soft tissue damage might seem minor, it can still result in significant pain and suffering for the victim.
About Pedestrian Accident Claims
If you were recently involved in a pedestrian accident, you might be wondering what to do next. Here is an overview of pedestrian accident claims in Tennessee so that you can make informed decisions about your case.
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
If you were struck by a car while walking, jogging, or running, there are key steps you must take to protect both your physical and legal health. The primary step is seeking medical attention for any injuries received. Additionally, try to gather evidence at the scene of the accident if possible; this could be taking pictures of the accident site and acquiring contact information from witnesses who saw the incident happen.
The next step following a pedestrian accident is to contact an attorney who can help you with the legal process and ensure that you receive adequate compensation. At Tennessee Accident Law, we have years of experience managing these types of cases and will work hard on your behalf to get you the best possible outcome for your case.
Types of Compensation Available in Pedestrian Accident Cases
If you were pedestrian and got injured because of someone else, you could be compensated for medical bills, lost earnings, pain and more. The amount depends on how severe your injuries are and other aspects of the case. A lawyer who is experienced in these cases will evaluate your claim and give you an estimate of what it may be worth.
Who is Responsible for My Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
In Columbia, Tennessee, if you’re a pedestrian who was hit by a car and injured or killed, the driver may be held liable. If not, then it would depend on who owned or maintained the road where it happened.
If the Driver is at Fault
If the driver who hit you was careless or reckless, they may be held responsible for your injuries under Tennessee law. For example, if they were speeding, texting while driving, or ran a red light. If you can prove that the other driver was at fault in causing the accident and your injuries then You may receive compensation from them
If the Driver is Not at Fault
If the driver who hit you wasn’t at fault, you might still be eligible to get compensation from another person. For example, if the accident happened because of a dangerous situation on the road, then you could get money from the party who owned or took care of the roadway. Also, if the accident happened because of a broken traffic control device, like a stop sign or traffic light, then maybe you could recover damages from whoever made or installed that defective device.
What Does Tennessee Law Say About Pedestrian Accidents?
As you walk across the street, suddenly, you hear a screech and feel a jolt. You realize you’ve been hit by a car and are lying on the ground in pain. After the initial shock wears off, you start to wonder: who is at fault?
The laws surrounding pedestrian accidents can be murky, but in Tennessee, the issue is often determined on a case-by-case basis. While this answer may not satisfy everyone, some general principles usually apply to most situations.
If, for example, the pedestrian was crossing the street in a crosswalk and had the right of way, then it’s likely that the driver will be held responsible. However, if the pedestrian wasn’t following traffic laws (jaywalking, etc.), then they may be partially or wholly responsible for what happened.
If the driver was intoxicated or speeding at the time of the accident, they will likely be held responsible.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you may have to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other fees. These injuries can also make it hard for you to return to work or enjoy your life like before. If this is the case for you, talk to a lawyer who knows about pedestrian accidents as soon as possible so that they can help protect your rights.
The State in Which the Accident Occurred
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after being injured. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is one year from the date of the accident. For example, if you were involved in a pedestrian accident on January 1, 2020, you would have until January 1st 2021, to file your case.
The At-Fault Driver Was Uninsured
If the driver who hit you while you were walking did not have insurance, then it might be possible for you to get damages by suing the at-fault driver. Nevertheless, keep in mind that most uninsured motorists do not own much property. So, before taking any legal action, speak with a lawyer who has experience dealing with pedestrian accidents.
Don’t Talk to Anyone on the Other Side Before Speaking with a Lawyer
Insurance companies often try to lowball victims of pedestrian accidents by offering a quick settlement in exchange for signing away their rights. Don’t make any decisions before you understand the consequences of taking their offer.
These offers are usually a fraction of what you could gain if you took legal action. Also, once you agree to their terms and sign away your rights, there’s no turning back. For these reasons, it’s best to talk with a lawyer before speaking to anyone representing the other side.
Why You Shouldn’t Accept the First Offer
Insurance companies train their representatives to make low-ball offers after an accident because they want to save the company money, not give you what you’re entitled to.
If you accept an insurance company’s initial offer, that is usually the only money you will get. Many people think that the first settlement sum is a lot of money, but it might not be enough to cover all medical bills and expenses from lost wages. This could then create financial problems later on down the road.
What a Lawyer Can Do For You
No one deserves to have their insurance claim settled for less than it’s worth, least of all you. A lawyer can help make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ll review the facts of your case and determine how much your claim is worth. Then we’ll negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf so that you might receive what you’re entitled to—not just a quick settlement that leaves out most of what you should get
We will work tirelessly to make sure you recover the compensation you are rightfully owed, whether through negotiation with the insurance company or by bringing them to court. You won’t have to go through this alone–we will be with you every step of the way.
How are We Different from Other Firms?
1. We Have a Proven Track Record of Success.
At our law firm, you will always be working with a legal team that has consistently won advantageous outcomes for clients in and out of court. Our attorneys have successfully recovered millions of dollars through settlements and verdicts. Handling complex cases is one of our areas of expertise, so no matter the situation, we will do everything possible to help you walk away with a result that reflects your best interests.
2. We’re Compassionate and Caring.
At our law firm, we know how tough it is to experience a pedestrian accident- physically and mentally. You can always depend on us for legal guidance and emotional support every step of the way as you heal and regain peace of mind.
3. We’re Available 24/7.
Since we understand that time is of the essence after a pedestrian accident, we offer 24/7 availability to answer your questions and address your concerns. With us, you can always reach someone by phone or email, day or night.
4. We Offer Free Case Evaluations.
At our law firm, we want you to feel confident and comfortable when hiring us. That’s why we always offer free case evaluations. This way, you can learn more about what we can do for you without any obligation or pressure to continue working with us. If after the evaluation you decide that we’re not the right fit for you, then there’s no pressure to move forward further.
5 . We Have Extensive Resources.
We have the people and equipment necessary to put up a good fight for you. Our firm has access to multiple expert witnesses, investigators, and modern technology that can help us reconstruct the accident scene. With our team on your side, no challenge will be too great.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Pedestrian Accident Case?
Although you may think your injuries are minor, the first thing you should do after an accident is to go to a doctor or hospital. After that, try to get evidence from the scene of the accident. This could include photos of any damage done to your body or clothes, pictures of what happened, and contact information for anyone who saw it. Once you have all this evidence, you can decide if you need a lawyer.
Oftentimes, individuals seek guidance from lawyers after being in pedestrian accidents because they are uncertain of how to manage the insurance claims process by themselves—which is perfectly rational. It’s no secret that insurance companies can be quite challenging to work with if you don’t have any prior experience. Consequently, it can become very irritating and stressful rather quickly.
People also frequently hire lawyers because they want somebody to ardently defend them and make sure they’re being justly compensated for their injuries, especially if the pedestrian collision was due to someone else’s carelessness or recklessness. If, by chance, you were struck by a driver under the influence or someone who was texting while behind the wheel, it might be in your best interest to look into hiring a lawyer.
How Much Do We Charge?
If we can’t get you compensation, you don’t owe us anything.
How Contingency Fees Work
A contingency fee is an arrangement in which the lawyer and client agree that the lawyer will only get paid if they win the case. The payment usually comes as a percentage of any money won. If the lawyer doesn’t win, then the client does not owe them anything.
For example, if you were to hire a law firm to represent you in a pedestrian accident case, and the lawyer agreed to work on a contingency fee basis where they would receive 33% of any money recovered for you– should the lawyer be successful in obtaining a settlement or judgment for you, then they will receive 33% of that amount as their fee; but if the lawyer does not win your case, then you won’t owe them anything.
Why We Charge Contingency Fees
We mainly charge contingency fees because we strongly believe that everyone deserves access to justice, no matter their wealth. If we were to only accept hourly payments, then a great number of people wouldn’t be able pay for our help. However, by working on contingency fees, more individuals are capable of seeking the compensation they’re due.
Where Do I Start This Process of Pursuing a Recovery for My Loss?
Wondering how to start recovering from your losses? Here are a few tips to begin the journey.
Get Medical Attention Immediately
Your health should be your number one focus after a pedestrian accident. Many times, people involved in an accident believe they are unharmed only to find out later that their injuries were more serious than anticipated. It’s essential to receive a complete medical evaluation from a professional as soon as possible following the accident.
Once you have seen a doctor, follow their recommendations for care and treatment. This will help with your physical recovery as well as create evidence for your case.
Speak to an Experienced Attorney
The next logical step would be to contact a specialized pedestrian accident attorney for guidance. They will assess your specific case and let you know what the best options are for moving forward with possible recovery methods. If deciding to go ahead with a lawsuit, don’t worry about any of the legal paperwork or negotiations–that’s all on us. You should focus primarily on physical and emotional healing during this difficult time.”
Know Your Rights
In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, pedestrians generally have the right of way at crosswalks and intersections. If you were hit by a car while crossing the street in one of these areas, the driver is usually to blame—even if they had a green light. However, if the driver was speeding An accident victim’s guide, or running a red light, they may also be held liable for damages according to the law. Once you understand how the law applies to your case, you can pursue compensation more confidently.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, turn to an experienced attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Here at Tennessee Accident Law, we provide free case evaluations to all our clients.