Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Knoxville, Tennessee
In 2020, there were 172 people who lost their lives because of a pedestrian accident and hundreds more were injured according to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. If you have been a pedestrian hit by a car or have a loved one who was injured or lost their life this way, you know how traumatic these incidents can be and how complicated it can be to seek the proper compensation.
For help pursuing a wrongful death or personal injury claim due to a pedestrian accident, contact our team at Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC. At our firm, you can speak with a qualified pedestrian accident attorney and get help in and around the Knoxville, Tennessee, area, including Johnson City, Chattanooga, Crossville, and Sevierville.
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Tennessee Is a Fault State
When pursuing a personal injury claim, it is important to know the basics of Tennessee liability laws. For example, Tennessee is considered a “fault” state regarding accident claims. This means that the party responsible for causing the accident is also the one responsible for paying damages. Therefore, when an accident first occurs, you can file a claim right away with the driver’s insurance provider to get compensation.
That said, Tennessee also operates under a comparative fault model which means that liability can be shared between parties after an accident. So, if the pedestrian were found to hold any blame in the incident, their total compensation would be reduced by their share of fault (ex. if the pedestrian were 20% to blame the settlement would be reduced by 20%).
Pedestrian Laws and Determining Liability
One of the most important steps in a personal injury lawsuit is determining who is legally at fault in a pedestrian accident. This can be somewhat complicated, but luckily, there are pedestrian laws in place that can help determine liability.
Tennessee’s Pedestrian Laws: Among Tennessee’s laws for operating a vehicle on the state’s roadways, there are also laws regarding pedestrians—both for drivers and the pedestrians themselves. Your personal injury attorney should be intimately familiar with these so they are able to accurately analyze the situation and determine who was legally to blame for the accident and can therefore be required to pay damages.
Pedestrian’s Responsibilities: Although drivers are responsible for safe driving not just around other cars, but around people as well, there are certain “rules of the road” that pedestrians must follow to stay safe. If it is found they violated these laws, they could be the one held liable in an accident. For example, pedestrians should always use the sidewalk, unless one is not available, and they should yield to oncoming traffic anytime they are crossing the street in an unmarked crosswalk. Also, it is worth noting that pedestrians are not required to use a marked crosswalk unless there are adjacent signals or there is a posted ordinance prohibiting it.
Driver’s Responsibilities: Drivers must exercise caution anytime they are driving, but especially when there are pedestrians present. For instance, all drivers must yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing at a marked crosswalk or when emerging from an alley or driveway.
Other Circumstances: In some instances, the accident will not have been caused by either the driver or the pedestrian. Hazardous situations like adverse weather or damaged roadways can also be the cause of a pedestrian accident.
Statute of Limitations
Another important state law you will have to keep in mind is the statute of limitations for filing a claim. Tennessee only allows one year from the date of the accident to file either a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. This is not very long, especially considering the time it takes to file insurance claims, find a lawyer, and compile evidence.
No two accidents are exactly alike. As a result, there is no prediction of exactly what you may receive in damages. However, in a case like this, you can likely ask for compensation associated with:
Current and future lost wages
Pain and suffering
Loss of consortium
What Steps Should I Take Next?
The single best thing you can do for yourself is to contact a reputable personal injury attorney and this is true whether you are the victim or if you are representing a loved one who was incapacitated or lost their life. A skilled lawyer can help you through this process from day one and ensure you meet every deadline and build a strong case.
You will also want to document everything that happened during and since the accident. This could include obtaining copies of police reports, medical records, photos or video of the incident scene, and contact information for any witnesses who may have seen the accident take place.
Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Serving Knoxville, Tennessee
If you live in or around the Knoxville, Tennessee, area and you have recently been injured in a pedestrian accident, you need to get help right away. At Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC, we can provide you with a professional yet personable service to help you through this difficult time. Call today to set up a consultation.