Don’t Underestimate the Dangers
Nearly every day, people in Tennessee are struck and seriously injured while they are walking, crossing intersections, jogging, and standing near the road. A pedestrian is much more vulnerable to injury than a driver or passenger in a car or other motor vehicle. Drivers are legally required by Tennessee law to keep a lookout for pedestrians and exercise due care to avoid striking them. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to stay alert for pedestrians and cause serious injuries.
The Nashville pedestrian accident lawyers at Bill Easterly & Associates believes that if drivers act negligently and cause serious injuries to pedestrians through carelessness or disregard for their safety, then the drivers should pay just compensation for the injuries they cause. We have more than 25 years of combined legal experience and have recovered millions of dollars for injury victims. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident in Nashville or anywhere in Middle Tennessee, let us review the specifics and discuss how we may assist you. There is no charge for the initial consultation.
Why You Should Hire Bill Easterly & Associates
After any serious injury accident, it is important to hire a respected law firm that has years of experience handling personal injury cases similar to yours. You want a lawyer who can lead you through the legal process, keep you informed of developments in your case and provide trusted guidance. You want a lawyer who will treat you with compassion and negotiate aggressively on your behalf. We often assist clients who come to us from another law firm because they were not receiving the representation they expected.
At Bill Easterly & Associates, we provide personalized legal representation for victims of accidents caused by the negligence of others. We are often able to secure some compensation within weeks after opening a case file to help relieve the financial pressure a client is facing from unexpected medical bills. Over the years, we have recovered millions of dollars for injury victims just like you. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured and someone else was at fault, let us review the facts of the pedestrian accident and explain your legal options.
Types of Compensation You May Receive After a Pedestrian Accident
Our attorneys will analyze all the potentially responsible parties in your accident and sources of insurance compensation. You may be entitled to file a pedestrian accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Some of the types of damages that you may be entitled to receive after a pedestrian accident in Nashville include:
- Compensation for all medical bills and physical therapy and for future medical care related to the injury
- Compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of consortium with a spouse
- Lost past income and future income
Tennessee requires motorists to carry insurance coverage to protect against uninsured and underinsured motorists. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident by a hit-and-run driver or an uninsured motorist, you are eligible to receive compensation through the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage in your own liability insurance policy.
If you have medical payments coverage as part of your auto liability insurance, it may provide payment for reasonable care for injuries after a pedestrian accident regardless of fault. Getting your insurance company to pay for your medical bills after an accident caused by another driver often requires persistence and negotiation by a knowledgeable attorney.
Contributing Factors to Pedestrian Accidents
Each pedestrian accident has its own unique set of facts. A person on foot hit by a moving vehicle may sustain serious head injuries, spinal injuries, and hip or leg injuries, among others. Recovering from a pedestrian accident may require months of medical treatment and physical therapy to get back on your feet.
Vehicle speed is a significant factor in all types of traffic collisions including pedestrian accidents. If a vehicle is traveling at high speed, the pedestrian’s head and upper body are more likely to strike the hood and windshield of the vehicle. More than 70 percent of fatal pedestrian accidents in Tennessee occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 40 miles per hour or higher compared to only 4 percent on roads with speed limits of 30 miles per hour or less, according to the 2014 Dangerous by Design Report.
Motorists turning at intersections may fail to yield to pedestrians who are lawfully crossing the intersection in a crosswalk. Older adults are more vulnerable to being struck by a vehicle when crossing a street. Seniors move more slowly and react less quickly to avoid being struck by an oncoming car.
Many pedestrians are struck at night when people on foot, particularly those wearing dark clothing or not carrying a light, are difficult to see.
In 2014, 86 people died in pedestrian accidents in Tennessee including 14 pedestrian deaths in Nashville and Davidson County, according to federal traffic data. Many more were seriously injured, and many of the accidents were caused by negligent motorists. The common contributing factors in pedestrian accidents include:
- Motorists’ failure to yield right-of-way
- Inattentive driver
- Pedestrian improperly standing, walking or playing in the road
- Not visible
- Improper crossing of roadway or intersection
- Darting into roadway
- Driver vision obscured by rain or snow
- Driver or pedestrian under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication
If a negligent driver caused you to have a pedestrian accident, talk to an experienced Nashville pedestrian accident attorney.
What to Do after a Pedestrian Accident
There are some fundamental steps that you should take if you have been hit by a car while on foot to look out for your health and protect your financial and legal interests. We will review them below. Failing to follow these steps could undermine your claim for compensation and slow your recovery.
- Seek Safety – Collect yourself and move to a safe location such as a sidewalk, if your injuries allow you to move. Suppress the urge to vent your emotions at the driver who hit you.
- Call Police – Call 911 and report the pedestrian accident, even if you think that you are not seriously injured. Your minor injuries may turn out to be more serious after the rush of adrenaline wears off. Remain at the scene of the accident and wait for the police or state highway patrol to arrive. Describe to the police what occurred. Get the name of the police officer and ask how you can get a copy of the police accident report and when it should be available. A police report describing the pedestrian accident may be crucial to building a compelling case for compensation.
- Ask the Driver to Stay Until Police Arrive – Obtain driver’s license and insurance information from the driver and provide the driver with your identification and insurance information. It is all too common for motorists to drive off if the pedestrian appears uninjured. You can use your phone’s camera to photograph it if you do not have a way to write down the information. If you were struck by a hit-and-run driver and you have auto insurance, your uninsured motorist coverage should cover your injuries up to the limits of your policy.
- Take Photos – Photographs documenting the accident scene can provide strong evidence to bolster your claim for compensation. If you are able, take photos of your injuries, damage to the vehicle that struck you, the position of traffic signals, and any skid marks or debris in the road. Photograph the license plate of the automobile. You cannot take too many photos of an accident. It is best to take photos immediately after the accident.
- Seek Medical Attention – Pedestrian accidents are a common cause of broken bones and head injuries, with the severity depending on the force of the impact. Some head injuries may not be apparent immediately after the accident, but can be serious if left untreated. It is crucial to your health to visit a doctor promptly for a full medical evaluation. Be sure to tell the doctor that you have been involved in a pedestrian accident. In addition to protecting your health, a doctor’s report detailing your injuries can provide important evidence linking your injuries to the pedestrian accident. That is crucial. Insurance companies will give weight to a doctor’s report in assessing your claim for compensation.
- Contact the Driver’s Insurance Company – Do not count on the motorist who hit you to inform his or her insurance company about the pedestrian accident. Contact the insurance company, inform them that you were hit at a specific day and time. You want to give notice to the at-fault driver’s insurance company of the accident, but do not discuss your injuries or other details. Do not give a recorded statement or discuss whether you are under a doctor’s care. It is best to have your attorney deal with the insurance company to avoid making a comment that could undermine your claim.
- Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer – It is important to understand your legal options after any pedestrian accident. Do you have a legal right to seek compensation from the insurance company of the driver who hit you? Are there other options for obtaining compensation to cover your medical bills such as Med Pay? It depends on the specific facts of the accident and the types of insurance coverage available. It helps to have a knowledgeable attorney review all the details with you. Take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation with a Nashville pedestrian accident attorney at Bill Easterly & Associates to understand your legal options.
Following the steps outlined above will help you protect your health and your legal interests after a pedestrian accident. Contact a Nashville personal injury lawyer experienced at handling pedestrian accidents and get an explanation of your legal options.
How Can You Afford a Lawyer After a Pedestrian Accident?
The injury attorneys at Bill Easterly & Associates provide legal representation to victims of pedestrian accidents on a contingency fee basis. We know that you are going through a difficult time if you have been seriously injured and your monthly income has likely been reduced. You do not need more bills to pay. If we agree to take your case, you will not pay any upfront legal fees. We will receive payment for our legal services only if we succeed in obtaining compensation for you through an insurance settlement or a jury award. Then we receive an agreed-upon portion of the settlement or award. A contingent fee arrangement shows that we are dedicated to putting clients first.
It is important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible because Tennessee allows only a certain amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit after a pedestrian accident. Talk to a knowledgeable lawyer today.