Pedestrians have the right to use the road as much as any car, motorcycle, or bicyclist. However, pedestrians face more dangers than other road users, and they are more likely to be seriously injured or killed when they are involved in an accident with a vehicle. Many times, these collisions are caused by a driver who has carelessly failed to check their surroundings for others, or has otherwise acted negligently. The Nashville pedestrian accident lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC help victims injured in a pedestrian accident pursue proper action against the party responsible for their harm. As victims focus on healing, our attorneys focus on making sure that their legal rights are protected and furthered. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, you should contact our office today to find out more about your legal options.Dangerous Pedestrian Accidents
The Center for Disease Control has reported that, each year, over 700,000 pedestrians are injured across the U.S., and over 4,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents nationally. Even though pedestrians only account for 11 percent of travelers, they also make up 13 percent of traffic-related fatalities. Many of these collisions occur at night, between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight, when visibility issues arise, and drivers are also more likely to be under the influence of alcohol. Other common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Driver distraction, including by texting, grooming, navigational devices, or other focus-shifting activities inside or outside a vehicle
- Unmarked or unclear crosswalks
- Speeding, which does not allow drivers to respond quickly enough when encountering a pedestrian.
- Drivers focused on oncoming traffic instead of the presence of pedestrians when making a left-hand turn.
When a driver creates dangerous conditions for pedestrians, they should be held accountable by a pedestrian accident attorney in the Nashville area for the injuries that result.Liability for Injuries or Death Due to Negligence
Most pedestrian accidents are caused by a driver’s negligence. Negligence is established when a victim shows that a driver breached the duty of reasonable care owed to others on the road, thereby causing the victim’s injuries and resulting in damages. If a driver makes a left turn without exercising proper precaution, striking a pedestrian in a failure to yield accident, that driver would likely be found to have acted unreasonably, and therefore negligent.
Negligence per se, or ‘negligence as a matter of law,’ is a simpler legal theory under which a victim and a Nashville pedestrian accident attorney may bring a personal injury or wrongful death action. This only requires a showing that a driver has violated a law enacted to protect a certain group of people. Under Tennessee law, in order to protect motorists and other road users, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Therefore, a pedestrian hit by a drunk driver may invoke negligence per se in bringing their legal action.
In the devastating event that a pedestrian accident leads to a death, Tennessee law allows a victim’s surviving spouse, parent, or child to pursue a wrongful death action. Tennessee also allows such actions for a parent to pursue on behalf of an unborn child, if it can be shown that the fetus was viable and able to survive if not for the injuries sustained in the accident. Damages available in personal injury and wrongful death cases may include medical costs, lost income, diminished earning capacity, burial and funeral expenses, and pain and suffering compensation.Consult a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Nashville or Surrounding Communities
If you have been injured as a pedestrian or lost a loved one in a catastrophic accident, the Nashville attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC can help you pursue justice. Our firm also offers compassionate and seasoned legal representation for victims in Franklin, Cool Springs, East Nashville, Hermitage, and Sylvan Park, as well as elsewhere in Davidson and Williamson Counties. Contact our office today at 615-800-7096 or online to discuss your potential claim and learn more about how we can assist you.