Bristol, TN Attorneys Fight for Pedestrian Accident Victims
Helping you move on after a serious injury
Most Tennessee roads are designed for cars, not foot traffic. To make matters worse, drivers often fail to watch out for pedestrians when driving through congested areas, turning at intersections or backing out of driveways or parking spaces. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you need the experienced Bristol law firm of Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC to investigate the cause of an accident, negotiate aggressively with the insurance company and work diligently to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
Roads can be a dangerous place for pedestrians
A pedestrian is injured every eight minutes in the United States, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In 2011, 4,432 pedestrians were killed and 69,000 were injured in U.S. traffic accidents. Here in Tennessee, 187 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in 2010.
The risk for injury and death is greatest for children and the elderly. Older pedestrians (age 65+) accounted for 19 percent of all fatalities and 11 percent of all injuries in 2010. Children aged 15 and younger accounted for seven percent of the pedestrian fatalities in 2010 and 23 percent of all pedestrians injured in traffic crashes.
Drivers and pedestrians need to be especially cautious at night. Nearly 80 percent of the pedestrian fatalities in 2011 occurred at night. To avoid being hit by a car or truck, pedestrians should try to cross at marked intersections whenever possible. Almost four-fifths of deadly pedestrian accidents occurred at non-intersections.
Tennessee law requires drivers to look out for pedestrians
Tennessee law imposes certain legal obligations on drivers designed to protect the safety of pedestrians. For example:
- Drivers must exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and must give warning by sounding the horn when necessary
- Drivers must exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway
- Where traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle must stop to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk, or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk. The driver must ensure that the vehicle remains stopped until the pedestrian has passed the lane in which the vehicle is stopped.
- When any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with no marked crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.
Pedestrians also have obligations under the law. They must obey traffic-control signals at intersections. Also, pedestrians can’t suddenly leave the curb and walk or run into the path of a vehicle, making it impossible for the driver to yield.
Why pedestrian accidents happen in the Tri-Cities region of Tennessee
Even though required by law, many drivers fail to use due care. Pedestrian accidents in the Tri-Cities are commonly caused by:
- Careless drivers — Drivers may fail to:
- Observe posted speed limits
- Alter their driving behaviors for the conditions (i.e., poor lighting, traffic congestion or slick roads),
- Observe traffic signals
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the street.
- Drunk drivers — Alcohol impairment can severely slow reaction time, causing drivers to veer into sidewalks and otherwise put pedestrians at risk.
- Distracted drivers — Distracted driving most commonly takes the form of talking or texting behind the wheel. Drivers may be preoccupied by a number of tasks — eating, changing the radio station, programming a GPS or dealing with children in the vehicle.
These failures are considered negligence, and injury victims can pursue damages from an at-fault driver. Because all accidents are unique, an experienced injury lawyer at Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC can help you determine if you have a claim
Pedestrian injuries can be devastating
The human body is no match for the weight and force of a 3,000-pound car, never mind a larger vehicle like a truck, which can weigh more than 80,000 pounds. Subsequently, pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, contusions, broken bones and injuries to internal organs. The risk of serious injury or death increases substantially as speed increases. As with motorcycle accidents, pedestrian crashes can result in permanent disabilities, such as paralysis and brain damage.
When someone else’s negligence is to blame for a pedestrian accident, victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries. Damages may include medical expenses, loss of wages and pain and suffering. The family of a pedestrian killed in a crash may also recover compensation for their losses, from funeral expenses to the loss of the victim’s love, affection and companionship.
Call today to discuss your Tri-Cities pedestrian accident
At Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC, our seasoned lawyers help injury victims recover from serious pedestrian crashes. Whether negotiating with the insurance company or prosecuting your case at trial, we work tirelessly to win you full and fair compensation. Call our offices today at 423-797-6022 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Our office is conveniently located in Bristol, and we also offer hospital or home visits to accident victims and their families.