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Pedestrian Car Accidents in Tennessee

What you need to know about accidents and injuries involving pedestrians in Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis and throughout the Volunteer State

Many accidents in Tennessee today involve cars, but occasionally one also involves a pedestrian. Although people usually think of pedestrians as people walking, this designation also includes infants and children in strollers, people traveling by wheelchair, and technically even bicyclists. Basically, any person who isn’t traveling by a motor vehicle is considered a pedestrian.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

More than 70,000 pedestrians are injured in accidents every year and 4,000 of those are deadly, according to estimates from The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. To break these figures down further, this means a pedestrian gets injured every 8 minutes, and someone dies every 2 hours. Pedestrian accidents are 1.5 times more likely to end in a fatality than an accident between cars or trucks.

In Tennessee, a car crash is always something to take seriously. On average, over 1,000 people are injured in a pedestrian accident every year in this state. Many of these accidents are caused by distracted driving, which is becoming more common as connected devices and cars rise in use.

Tennessee Traffic Laws & Right of Way

Regardless of how and why a pedestrian accident occurs, the fact is that they happen all the time. When it does, it’s important to know how Tennessee traffic laws apply to those who are injured as pedestrians in this state.

While it’s true that pedestrians have the right of way in Tennessee, many drivers fail to follow this rule as they go about their business. One area where pedestrians commonly get hit is a crosswalk, where unruly drivers disregard the safety and rights of pedestrians.

According to the Tennessee.gov website:

Under Tennessee law, pedestrians have the right of way at all intersections and driveways. However, pedestrians must act responsibly, using pedestrian signals and sidewalks where they are available. When crossing the road at any point other than a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, a pedestrian has a statutory duty to yield the right of way to all vehicles on the roadway. It is the duty of pedestrians to look before starting across a highway, and in the exercise of reasonable care for their own safety, to keep a timely lookout for approaching motor vehicle traffic. On roadways where there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should always walk facing traffic.

Right of way laws aside, car accidents that cause serious injuries frequently result in serious injury such as paralysis, broken bones, and head injuries.

What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident

In the event of a car accident involving a pedestrian, follow these steps to make sure you have the best possible chance of recovering — both physically and financially:

  • Call for help as soon as possible, and don't assume someone else will call.
  • Exchange insurance information, including contact info.
  • Seek medical attention to get prompt treatment for injuries and follow doctor orders.
  • Report the accident within a few days to your insurer.
  • Contact a pedestrian accident attorney (especially if the driver is trying to place you at fault or their insurance refuses to pay).

When to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Tennessee car crash laws have a short statute of limitations, allowing just 1 year for a personal injury suit and 3 years for property damage. Damages that you can collect might include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

A pedestrian accident is a serious ordeal that can be difficult to recover from. It will likely disrupt your life in a major way. However, pursuing legal action may allow you to recoup some of the financial losses associated with the incident. Let our Tennessee car accident lawyers explain your rights and explore how we can help you.

Contact Gilreath & Associates today for a free consultation.

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