The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that a vehicle kills over 4,000 pedestrians annually and injures over 70,000. Being struck by a vehicle can be a devastating experience, physically, emotionally, and financially. If you or a loved one have been injured by a car there are several steps to take to make sure your rights are protected.
Your Rights as a Pedestrian
According to Tennessee law a driver is required to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in both a school zone and a crosswalk. A driver must remain stopped until all pedestrians are completely off the road. The law goes on to state that a driver must always avoid striking an individual regardless of who has the right of way. The law says that if necessary, a driver must use the car horn. If it can be proven that the driver was negligent, you may be entitled to compensation. There are several ways that drivers can specifically be negligent besides disregarding basic laws. They may be speeding, running red lights, texting while driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured
Anyone who is involved in an accident should call the police right away and not leave the scene until assistance arrives. Like other types of accidents, it’s important to get as much information as possible from the driver. This would include the driver’s name, contact information, and the name of the insurance company if the driver is covered. If the driver was at fault there would then need to be proof of negligence. Sources of evidence to help make your case would start with examining the state’s motor vehicle laws. These are often posted online. Other sources of evidence could include the police report and witnesses.
How is Compensation Determined?
Compensation will depend on several factors including the extent of injuries received, how these injuries impact your daily life, and your chance for a full recovery. The defendant’s assets and the type of insurance both the pedestrian and the driver have may also have bearing on how compensation will be determined. It’s important to keep accurate copies of all medical records and bills that are related to the accident. Since Tennessee is a “fault” state, meaning the system will attempt to determine who is at fault in an accident, there are several options for pursuing compensation. A few include having the injured pedestrian file through his or her own insurance, filing a claim through the driver’s insurance, or filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Choosing Legal Assistance
If you or a loved one have been hit by a car it may be necessary to consult with an attorney to protect your rights. Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with and simply knowing you have an attorney may encourage them to act in a fair manner. Not only can a pedestrian accident be the fault of a driver, but sometimes it is the result of poorly maintained streets and sidewalks. A skilled attorney can help in determining the cause of the accident. Look for an attorney who has experience handling personal injury cases specifically involving pedestrians.