With the area’s beautiful natural areas and deep history, Greeneville is a great place to explore on foot. However, the area can also be highly dangerous for pedestrians. If you have been injured in a crash while on foot, please contact The Terry Law Firm to learn about your legal options.
Since 1960, our experienced personal injury lawyers have been helping pedestrians and other victims of serious accidents fight for justice and maximum compensation for serious injuries. We’ve helped hardworking people in Greeneville and throughout East Tennessee recover top dollar settlements and verdicts for their injuries and losses.
At The Terry Law Firm, we’re committed to providing clients with exceptional legal skills and serving them with excellent customer service. You can trust that we have your best interest in mind because we treat clients like members of our family and do all we can to help victims achieve the best possible outcome for their cases.
If you are suffering from a serious pedestrian accident, don’t wait a moment longer to get on the road to recovery. Contact our Greeneville pedestrian accident lawyers right away to set up your free consultation. The initial case evaluation is free, plus you pay us nothing unless we help you recover compensation for your case.
Call The Terry Law Firm today or contact us online.
Tennessee Laws for Pedestrians and Motorists
Several laws in Tennessee guide who is at fault in pedestrian accidents, what you have to do to prove fault, and how much money you can get in a claim.
Under Tennessee law, pedestrians usually have the right of way. Motorists have a responsibility to drive carefully, avoid distractions, and watch out for people walking by or across the road. The law requires drivers to take precautions like stopping at red lights before turning right and slowing down for yellow lights. Drivers must also stop at non-intersection crosswalks when pedestrians are present.
While pedestrians also have a duty to watch out for traffic, people who are walking don’t have the same kinds of protection as those in cars, and they are much more vulnerable to devastating injuries than drivers. Motorists have a particular responsibility to watch out for defenseless pedestrians like children, people walking with a guide dog or cane, and anyone who looks incapacitated.
Any motorist who hits a pedestrian can face steep penalties, especially if the driver was violating a traffic law like running a red light when the accident occurred. Drivers often have to pay pedestrians for any injuries or damages they cause. Additionally, if a driver kills a person who was walking, then they typically have to pay damages to the deceased’s loved ones, plus they might face jail time and significant fines.
Tennessee law also requires pedestrians to act responsibly. If a pedestrian wants to cross somewhere besides at a crosswalk or driveway, then they must look before crossing and yield to vehicles.
If crossing at a crosswalk with a pedestrian-control signal, pedestrians should wait until they have a “walk” sign before they walk across the road. Additionally, pedestrians must stay on sidewalks when available, and if they’re walking on a road without a sidewalk, they should walk in the direction that is opposite of the flow of traffic.
In order to file pedestrian accident compensation claims, pedestrians must prove that the motorist who hit them or another party was liable for the collision and they acted negligently in some way. Victims must show that the liable party had a duty to protect them, they failed to uphold this responsibility, and their negligence or wrongdoing caused the accident that led to the victims’ injuries and other damages.
For example, a pedestrian hit by a motorist must prove that the driver had a duty to drive safely in order to protect them and everyone else in the road, and they failed in this duty by doing something like violating a traffic law, driving drunk, or texting while driving.
Pedestrians must typically show that they were injured through no fault of their own. However, even if the pedestrian was partially at fault for the accident, they might still be able to recover some compensation.
Under Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence rules, insurance or the court might reduce the amount of compensation partially at-fault pedestrians can receive according to their percentage of fault. For example, if the total damages from an accident was $100,000, but you were 15 percent to blame for the collision, then the most money you could recover would be $85,000.
Tennessee’s statute of limitations puts a time limit on when pedestrians can file lawsuits. Pedestrians injured in a motor vehicle accident usually have one year from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries. If a motorist kills a pedestrian, then the deceased’s loved ones typically have one year from the date of the pedestrian’s death to file a wrongful death suit.
After these deadlines pass, victims usually cannot seek compensation for their accidents, no matter who was to blame for the crash. However, there are some narrow exceptions to these laws that might impact your particular case. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help you understand the options that might be available to you under Tennessee law.
Common Pedestrian Injuries in Greeneville
Some of the most common injuries that pedestrians face in accidents include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Serious head and brain damage like skull fractures, concussions, and traumatic brain injury
- Paralysis or permanent disability
- Shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord damage, herniated discs, and other serious back injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Abdominal injuries
- Emotional distress
- Broken ribs or other serious chest injuries
- Neck injuries
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Facial disfigurement or scarring
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Internal organ damage or internal bleeding
- Torn ligaments or tendons
- Damage to the hands, wrists, knees, elbows, ankles, and feet
- Road rash, scrapes, lacerations, cuts, or bruising
- Pelvic fractures and hip damage
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Drivers who are distracted by things like texting, adjusting the air conditioner or radio, checking email, tending to children, or talking on the phone
- Motorists who forget to check for pedestrians in a crosswalk before making a left-hand turn without a protected arrow at an intersection
- Parking lot accidents
- Fatigued drivers
- Accidents where drivers don’t see someone behind them while they’re backing up
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Aggressive drivers
- Lack of a clearly defined and marked crosswalk at an intersection
- Weather conditions
- Motorists to fail to make a complete stop at stop signs or red lights
- Hit and run accidents
- Drivers that speed, fail to follow traffic laws, don’t slow down in school zones, or act recklessly in some other way
- Broken or faulty traffic lights, including pedestrian signals
Compensation for Your Pedestrian Accident
The amount of compensation that you can receive after a pedestrian accident will depend on the details of your case. A knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney can help calculate how much your case might be worth.
The categories of compensation that victims in these types of accidents can typically recover may include:
- Outstanding medical bills related to your accident, such as ambulance transportation, hospitalization, medical exams, anesthesia, diagnostic tests, treatments, and surgeries
- Loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, or loss of consortium
- Wages lost while you were unable to work during your recovery
- Replacement services if you’re no longer able to perform housework, such as cleaning and taking care of the yard
- Future medical expenses, including follow-up visits, medication, therapies, rehabilitation, in-home care, specialized devices, and medical equipment
- Loss of ability to work in the future or to earn comparable wages due to your injuries
- Disability accommodations, such as renovations to your home or modifications to your car
- Pain and suffering, mental anguish, or emotional distress
If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, no amount of money can fully make up for your loss. However, you might be able to recover damages in a wrongful death suit to help ease some of the financial burdens you’re facing due to the accident.
Compensation in these types of suits can often help cover things like the loss of the deceased’s income, funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and the loss of other contributions made by your family member, like companionship and consortium.