The high number of pedestrian fatalities is a common cause for concern in many states, including Tennessee. Usually, even if they survive, pedestrian injuries can be quite severe. This is why many traffic laws are designed to protect the public and reduce pedestrian accidents that occur every year.
Dealing with pedestrian accident cases can be complicated, especially when it comes to determining fault. Both parties are likely to claim innocence, which means the victims will need to hire good lawyers if they want to be compensated for the serious injuries they have suffered.
An experienced attorney will start by answering the question "What are the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Tennessee?" before determining who is at fault and attempting to recover compensation.
The Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The first step to reducing the number of fatalities in Nashville is to determine the main causes of pedestrian accidents. In this regard, the following are some of the main culprits:
Failing to Yield Right of Way
In terms of traffic law, right of way gives either a pedestrian or a motorist the right to go through intersections first. The most common way to determine who has the right of way is by using traffic signals, but not all road users obey the rules of the road at all times.
As such, a pedestrian accident can occur when either party tries to go through the intersections at the wrong time, causing a serious accident to occur. Many pedestrian accidents that result in fatalities happen this way.
Standing or Lingering in the Roadway
Also called jaywalking in some states, standing, lingering, laying down, sitting, or otherwise stepping onto the road in undesignated areas can cause a pedestrian accident to happen. Such traffic crashes can result in fatal pedestrian accidents because they happen in areas of the road where drivers are usually driving very fast and not expecting someone to be on the road.
Crossing a Roadway or Intersection Improperly
Even in designated crosswalks or intersections where pedestrians are allowed to cross, there is still a risk of being involved in an accident. In such cases, pedestrian accidents may be caused by pedestrians who do not know the proper way to cross busy roads.
Drugs, Alcohol, or Medication
Many pedestrian deaths are caused by the at-fault driver being intoxicated by drugs, alcohol, or strong medication. In such a state, intoxicated drivers may fail to see pedestrians walking on the road, and this may result in fatalities.
Poor visibility caused by extreme weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or mist can cause pedestrian accidents to occur because the driver has failed to see pedestrians on the road. Besides bad weather conditions, poor visibility may be caused by other cars parked along the road, pedestrians wearing dark clothes at night, vehicles with poor headlights, and pedestrians being blinded by bright lines from other cars.
Running Suddenly Into the Road
Kids suddenly running into the road in front of oncoming traffic while playing is another thing drivers need to be wary of. Most accidents that are caused by distracted pedestrians tend to involve children darting into the road when drivers least expect it.
Absence of Sidewalks in Certain Areas
Sometimes, pedestrian accidents happen because people are forced to walk right on the road due to the absence of sidewalks. In such cases where fast-moving vehicles share the same road with pedestrians, all it takes is one incident of distracted driving for pedestrian deaths to occur. The same applies to roads that have unmarked crosswalks and malfunctioning traffic lights.
Where Do Most Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas, with most being as a result of pedestrians walking or crossing open roads. Night-time is also the most dangerous time for pedestrians to be on the road, with the majority of accidents happening after the sun goes down. Poor visibility and pedestrians wearing dark clothing may be major contributors to night-time pedestrian accidents.
Why Are Fatal Pedestrian Accidents so Common?
Pedestrian deaths occur more often than the deaths of motor vehicle drivers due to the way pedestrians are exposed when on the road. When a negligent driver crashes into someone walking along the roadway, it is the pedestrian who will receive the brunt of the force. As such, if the pedestrians somehow avoid death, they are likely to suffer catastrophic injuries. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help with other questions such as Whose fault is it if a self driving car hits a pedestrian?
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
Knowing the right steps to take after a pedestrian accident can save the victim's life, as well as increase their chances of winning their pedestrian accident claim. Victims who have been injured due to driver negligence can take the following steps:
Seek medical treatment
Gather evidence, such as pictures of the accident scene
Talk to any witnesses who saw the accident
Collect all the receipts from medical bills, physical therapy, psychological evaluations, etc.
Hire an experienced lawyer with in-depth knowledge of personal injury lawsuits
Who Is Responsible for a Pedestrian Crash?
The biggest job Nashville pedestrian accident lawyers will have when dealing with pedestrian accidents is to determine who the at-fault party is.
This is not an easy task because each case has its own particular circumstances. Also, in cases where the accident was caused by poorly marked and unmarked crosswalks, lack of a proper sidewalk, and absence of proper signage, neither party may be directly at fault. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer more questions like What time do most pedestrian accidents occur?
Lawyers also have to consider comparative fault laws in Tennessee that may be used by the defense to assign a portion of the blame onto the victim. This is why knowledge of the main causes of pedestrian accidents is very important when dealing with such scenarios.
An Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Is Just One Call Away
Victims of a pedestrian accident in Nashville, TN are entitled to fair compensation for any injuries, medical bills, lost wages, or property damage they may have suffered. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is a top-rated law firm that is ready to go to war for victims.