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Tennessee Pedestrian Accidents

Most people cross streets, walk to the market, or walk through a store parking lot on a daily basis. We cross the street on our way to work while our children cross the street on their way to school. Rarely do we consider that there is a real chance that we may be involved in a pedestrian accident. Nonetheless, the statistics regarding the frequency of pedestrian accidents are staggering. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, PLC (“NST Law”), we employ the latest cutting edge technology in litigating pedestrian accident cases. When a pedestrian is involved in a pedestrian accident, the resulting injuries are frequently catastrophic or life threatening because the human body does not typically fare well when it is faced with the impact of thousands of pounds of metal in the form of a car, truck, or SUV.

The statistics concerning the frequency and severity of pedestrian accidents are mind-boggling. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 70,000 people were injured and another 4,290 were killed in pedestrian accidents in 2010 in the United States. Consider a few more statistics that give a more complete picture of the risk of being seriously injured or killed in a pedestrian accident:

  • 46,390 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents between 2001-2010.
  • A pedestrian is injured in a motor vehicle accident every 8 minutes and killed every 2 hours.
  • There are approximately 69,000 pedestrian accidents per year.

A pedestrian who is injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident may seek compensation against any person or entity whose negligent conduct contributed to the accident. Potential parties that may be liable include any drivers at fault or a governmental agency, such as municipal, state or federal agencies responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the sidewalk, roadway or parking lot. Other drivers owe a duty to exercise “reasonable care under the circumstances” when driving a motor vehicle, while governmental agencies owe a duty of reasonable care in the safe design and maintenance of sidewalks, roadways and parking lots. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include the following:

  • Inattentive or preoccupied drivers
  • Failing to obey the speed limit
  • Failing to yield at a crosswalk
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals
  • Failing to signal when turning
  • Ignoring weather or traffic conditions
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

The sad reality is that if a pedestrian is involved in a pedestrian accident the probability of serious injury or death is very high. A pedestrian involved in a motor vehicle accident has an 85% chance of death when a car is traveling over 40 miles per hour. Pedestrian accidents also commonly result in catastrophic injuries such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and head/neck injuries. These types of pedestrian accident injuries affect the quality of life of the person injured, sometimes for the rest of his or her life. These types of injuries will typically require ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitative therapy with the injured victim never fully recovering from his or her injuries. Catastrophic injuries of this kind also mean a great deal of medical cost and rehabilitative care, not to mention the lost earnings from time off work.

At NST Law, we have handled many pedestrian accidents and know that the lawyers for a driver or the driver’s insurance company will routinely allege that the pedestrian who was injured or killed was at least partially responsible for his own injuries. Unfortunately, if the defendant’s attorneys are successful in establishing that a pedestrian did not act in a reasonably prudent manner for his own safety, a judge or jury may reduce a pedestrian’s recovery in proportion to the percentage of fault attributable to him or her.

The attorneys of NST Law will aggressively oppose attempts by defense lawyers to establish you should be apportioned fault in the accident that resulted in your injuries. We may use state of the art computer animations and the testimony of accident reconstruction experts to help establish that you were not partially responsible for the accident or to mitigate your proportion of fault.

There are common types of conduct by pedestrians that the attorney of a driver or the driver’s insurance frequently point to as evidence of a pedestrian’s own negligence. At NST Law, we have a great deal of experience addressing claims that a pedestrian’s recovery should be reduced and a degree of fault should be allocated to the injured pedestrian. Types of pedestrian conduct often used as examples of pedestrian negligence include the following:

  • Ignoring traffic controls: This would include entering a crosswalk against a “don’t walk” signal or yellow light.
  • Jaywalking: If a pedestrian crosses the street at an inappropriate or unexpected location (i.e. the middle of the block), a pedestrian puts himself or herself at a greater risk of injury.
  • “Darting” children/parents: Children often run out into the street without looking to chase a toy or pet. Alarmed parents will sometimes hastily follow to rescue a child and fail to check for traffic.
  • Walking on a limited access highway: This is an extremely dangerous but sometime unavoidable practice when a driver has car trouble. Generally, a pedestrian is well advised to stay off any roadway marked “No Pedestrians.” Drivers on these roadways are driving at high rates of speed and are not typically expecting pedestrians.

The presence of any of these types of conduct greatly complicates recovery in a pedestrian accident. The experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at NST Law can evaluate your case and present you with potential strategies and outcomes if any of these types of conduct are present in your pedestrian accident case. Super Lawyers, which rates the top 5% of lawyers in various practice groups, has recognized several attorneys at NST Law over the years. We at NST Law understand the potentially life altering consequences when you or someone you love is involved in a pedestrian accident; we pride ourselves on using the latest technology as well as novel and innovative strategies in litigating pedestrian accident cases. Call NST Law today for a free initial consultation on your pedestrian accident case.

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