As a pedestrian in Tennessee or northern Mississippi, you have the right of way in many situations when you cross the road. Unfortunately, drivers don’t always respect pedestrians’ rights or show little to no concern for their safety. The results can be deadly. According to recent pedestrian accident statistics, collisions between cars and pedestrians cause:
- 83 deaths per year in Tennessee
- 53 deaths per year in Mississippi.
If a car hit you while walking, or if you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, The Law Office of David E. Gordon can help you. David is a Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist who has practiced law in Memphis for more than 30 years, including working for insurance companies before he dedicate himself to helping injury victims. He will use his knowledge of how insurance companies work to protect your rights and pursue maximum compensation for you in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Don’t wait to take action after a pedestrian accident. Get started today. Call or reach us online for a free case review.
What Should You Do If Hit by a Car While Walking?
As you get ready for a free evaluation of your pedestrian accident case at our Memphis law office (or another location that is more convenient for you), we suggest that you take these steps:
- Get checked for injuries. An insurance company may claim that your injuries are unrelated to your accident or that you exaggerated the severity of your injuries. You should see a doctor as soon as possible in order to protect your health and ensure that you document your injuries.
- Order a copy of your accident report. If a local police agency responded to the scene, you can contact that agency or go online to the Tennessee Highway Safety Office or Mississippi Department of Public Safety to order a copy of your crash report. The report can play a helpful role in the investigation of your accident.
- Keep all accident-related documents. Gather and keep in a folder all bills, receipts, insurance company letters and other documents related to your accident. You can bring these documents to your free consultation.
- Report the crash to your insurer. You may need to file a claim through your own auto insurance policy. To protect your right to file this claim, you should comply with your insurance company’s reporting requirements.
- Refer the motorist’s insurer to us. If the motor vehicle driver’s insurer contacts you, asks for a recorded statement or makes a settlement offer, simply tell the insurer to call us. We will deal directly with the insurance company and advise you if the insurer asks for information or makes a settlement offer.
- Write down what you remember. Writing down what you recall about the accident can help you later on when you speak with an attorney. You should also write down the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed your accident.
If you cannot complete one or more of these steps, don’t let it stop you from getting the legal help you need after a pedestrian accident. Contact The Law Office of David E. Gordon today. In addition to providing you with a free consultation, our law firm will charge no fees unless we obtain a recovery for you.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help You?
When you work with our law firm after your pedestrian accident, you can expect attorney David E. Gordon to personally handle every aspect of your case. David will use the skills and insights he has acquired over three decades as a lawyer to pursue a result that protects your rights and fully addresses your losses.
For instance, as a former insurance defense lawyer, David knows how insurance companies often try to claim that the motor vehicle driver – not the pedestrian – had the right of way at the time of the accident. The insurance company’s goal is to minimize the amount of compensation that a pedestrian accident victim recovers for his or her injuries or to reject the claim outright. David won’t let that happen to you.
Generally speaking, under Tennessee and Mississippi pedestrian laws, you have the right of way when you cross a road at an intersection, regardless of whether the crosswalk is marked or unmarked. You must yield to a car driver only when you enter the road outside of a marked crosswalk or an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
David will conduct a thorough investigation of your case and consult with highly qualified accident reconstruction experts. He will determine who truly had the right of way at the time of your accident. If a driver failed to yield the right of way and harmed you, he will work tirelessly to hold that negligent driver accountable for your injuries.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
At The Law Office of David E. Gordon, we understand the life-changing injuries that pedestrian accident victims suffer. We know how victims may need extensive medical treatment. In many cases, victims may unable to work or enjoy life as they did before.
In your case, David will seek the compensation you need to get through this difficult time in your life, including damages that cover your:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and loss of expected future income
- Pain and suffering.
Keep in mind: If you are the parent of a child who was hit by a car, both you and the child may have separate claims for damages.
If the accident resulted in the death of a loved one, please see our section on wrongful death claims to learn more about the options and potential damages that David can pursue on your behalf.
Can You Bring a Lawsuit Against the Driver Who Hit You While Walking?
In most pedestrian accident cases, you would bring a claim against the driver who hit you. The claim would seek a recovery through the driver’s liability insurance coverage. In order to recover, you would need to show that the driver caused the collision. Examples of driver fault include:
- Failing to stop for a pedestrian at a stop sign or traffic light
- Backing out of a parking spot or driveway without looking
- Driving too fast and losing control of the car
- Failing to see a pedestrian due to alcohol impairment or distracted driving
- Passing without leaving sufficient room for the pedestrian
- Simply refusing to respect that the pedestrian has the right of way.
As a lawyer who has handled personal injury claims both for and against insurance companies, David knows how insurers will try to place blame on pedestrians. He will aggressively counter any attempts to put undue blame on you.
However, even if you were partially at fault, you may still be eligible to recover damages from the negligent driver who hurt you. In both Tennessee and Mississippi, your damages would be reduced according to the percentage of fault attributed to you. While Mississippi law places no limit on the amount of fault which can be assigned to you, Tennessee law would bar you from collecting damages in a personal injury claim if you were 50 percent or more at fault.
Can You Bring a Claim If You Were a Pedestrian in a Hit-and-Run Crash?
All too often, drivers who hit pedestrians flee the scene. If a hit-and-run driver injured you or a loved one, you may be able to file a claim through your own uninsured motorist (UM) policy. Whether you live in Tennessee or Mississippi, your UM policy should cover your losses (up to the policy limit) unless you rejected this coverage in writing.
Even if the driver stays at the scene, you may still need to file a UM claim. Nearly 40,000 crashes occur each year in Tennessee which involve an uninsured driver – one of the highest rates in the country.
Unfortunately, even your own insurer may challenge your right to a recovery when you file a UM claim. You will need a lawyer like David E. Gordon to stand up for you and fight for what you are due.
David can also assist you with filing an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim if the driver who hit you lacks insurance coverage that fully covers your losses.
How Long Do You Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
While you may have many things to worry about after getting injured as a pedestrian, you should not wait too long to seek legal assistance. You will have only a limited period of time in which to bring a claim. This is called the statute of limitations.
In Tennessee, you must bring a personal injury claim within one year from the date of the accident or within one year after a death occurs due to an accident. In Mississippi, on the other hand, you must file a claim within three years from the date of the accident (or within three years from the date of death).
In some cases, you may need to take legal action earlier. For instance, you may need to file notice of claim if the negligence of a federal, state or local government agency caused your accident. (For example, an agency may have failed to properly maintain a traffic signal.)
The sooner you get help, the better off you will be in the long run, giving your lawyer ample time to investigate and prepare your case.
Get Help from Our Memphis Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today
Don’t wait to take legal action after a pedestrian accident. Get help today from the experienced and compassionate legal team at the Law Office of David E. Gordon. We serve clients in Memphis and throughout surrounding areas in Tennessee and northern Mississippi. We are ready to provide you with a free case evaluation and get to work for you today.
Sources / More Information
- 2015 FARS/NASS GES Pedestrian Bicyclist Manual, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Tennessee Pedestrian Laws, Tennessee Department of Transportation
- Mississippi Bicycle and Pedestrian Program, Mississippi Department of Transportation
- Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities, Center for Problem-Oriented Policing