Tennessee is a dangerous state for far too many pedestrians
The State of Tennessee is one of the most dangerous states in the country for pedestrians – especially in metropolitan areas like Memphis and Nashville. Over the past five years, an average of 83 pedestrian deaths were caused by accidents involving automobiles. In 2014, the number of pedestrian deaths caused by auto accidents was 88 – more than 17 times the number of cyclist deaths caused by motor vehicles. Many more pedestrians do not die as a result of auto accidents, but instead suffer permanent, debilitating injuries. When you or a family member is injured or killed by a pedestrian-involved auto accident, you need passionate advocates to fight for you. The Murfreesboro pedestrian accident attorneys at Pate & Knott have the knowledge and compassion to properly represent you and your family in the event that a pedestrian-involved auto accident causes serious injury or death.
Drivers are obligated to exercise caution when pedestrians are present but often fail to do so
Under Tennessee law, drivers must adhere to all of the rules of the road. This includes following all traffic signals, driving at a safe speed, and staying vigilant for all possible dangers. Additionally, drivers owe certain duties to pedestrians, such as:
- Yielding to pedestrians at designated crosswalks and not passing other vehicles stopped at such cross walks.
- Being prepared to stop in pedestrian-heavy areas like schools.
- Yielding to pedestrians with special needs.
- Exercising due care in not striking pedestrians traveling near or adjacent to roads.
All of this might seem like commonsense, and it should be. However, many pedestrian-related accidents occur anyway. Often, the driver who causes the accident is not necessarily intoxicated or acting in an intentional or reckless manner. Rather, the driver is not paying attention and breaches these basic duties, which is also known as negligence. Whether a pedestrian is struck by an intoxicated, reckless, or negligent driver, the harm to the pedestrian victim is still devastating. At the law firm of Pate & Knott, we help those who are victims of pedestrian-related auto accidents in the Murfreesboro area understand their rights and their options.
How can I receive compensation for my injuries?
Because of how popular culture and the entertainment industry portray legal proceedings, some people believe that all cases – and especially personal injury or criminal cases – go to trial before a court. In truth, a very small percentage of cases go to trial. When it comes to personal injury situations, most cases are negotiated between the victim and their counsel, the people or entities responsible for the injury, and the respective insurance companies of the parties to the case. Much like a case litigated at trial, settlement negotiations are complex and nuanced. When they fail, a case can go to trial. But both settlements and trials are impacted by the amount an injured party in entitled to recover in the event of a jury verdict in favor of the victim. In Tennessee, there is no limit on the amount of “economic damages” the injured party may recover. Economic damages include lost wages, the cost of medical care, and anticipated future life care expenses as a result of injury.
In Tennessee, “non-economic” damages are capped at $750,000 or $1 million – depending on the severity of the injury. Non-economic damages represent the value of pain, suffering, and loss of companionship. Because motor vehicles are so large and dangerous in the context of a pedestrian-involved accident, catastrophic injury or death often results, and the $1 million cap may apply. Additionally, punitive damages are available in Tennessee. These damages serve the public purpose of penalizing wrong-doers and deterring similar harmful activity in the future. Punitive damages are capped at $500,000 or twice the amount of other damages, whichever is greater – unless intentional conduct, drugs, or alcohol cause the accident, and then the amount may be higher. Death and lifelong injuries create enormous financial burdens for you and your family. The attorneys at Pate & Knott will advocate for your fair compensation in the event of a pedestrian-involved auto accident.
Contact our experienced Murfreesboro pedestrian accident attorneys today
When you are a victim of a pedestrian-involved accident in Murfreesboro or the surrounding area, the experienced, hard-working attorneys at the law firm of Pate & Knott are here to fight for your rights and your best interests. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation, contact our law office at 615-848-1221 or contact us online.