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Determining Fault When A Pedestrian Is Hit By A Car

Posted by Harlene Labrum | Nov 19, 2020

Determining Fault When A Pedestrian Is Hit By A Car

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that 11% of all fatalities related to traffic accidents actually involved pedestrians. In most cases, the injuries suffered by a pedestrian are directly related to the negligence of a driver, however, there are certain situations where a pedestrian could also have liability for their own injuries. Determining fault when a pedestrian is hit by a car can prove legally challenging and complex. Call our experienced personal injury attorneys at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 for your free consultation today, and learn how much compensation you may have a right to receive under the law.

Making a Determination of Liability and Fault

When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the actions of both the pedestrian and the driver of the car must be taken into account and carefully analyzed. In many cases, an independent investigation is necessary in order to accurately determine the cause and circumstances regarding the pedestrian accident. In order to determine fault and liability when a pedestrian is hit by a car, the driver and/or the pedestrian may remain responsible or liable for the accident.

Driver Liability

Consider the following questions in order to better determine if the driver has responsibility and liability for injuries to the pedestrian due to their negligence or carelessness:

  • Did the police issue a citation against the driver for any reason? (Driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, failing to stop at a traffic light or stop sign, reckless driving, driving while texting, etc.)
  • Did it appear that the driver was distracted at the time of the pedestrian accident?
  • Did the driver appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol after the accident?
  • Did the driver engage in any reckless, negligence, careless, or dangerous behavior prior to the accident, or after the accident occurred?
  • Did the driver appear drowsy or fatigued?
  • Did the driver fail to yield to a pedestrian in the roadway?

If the driver appeared responsible for the accident due to their own action, they will likely have legal responsibility when the pedestrian is hit by their car.

Pedestrian Liability

There are certain circumstances where the pedestrian will have liability for their own injuries or for the injuries of the driver of a vehicle if their reckless or negligent actions caused the accident to occur. Consider the following questions:

  • Was the pedestrian in the roadway or near the roadway in a place they had a legal right to be?
  • Was the pedestrian crossing the roadway at an appropriate area designated for pedestrian crossings?
  • Was the pedestrian legally allowed to do what they were doing on the roadway?
  • Was the pedestrian engaged in any dangerous, negligent or careless activity?
  • Did the pedestrian throw anything at the vehicle, or endanger the vehicle or driver in any way?
  • Did the pedestrian intentionally distract the driver of the motor vehicle which resulted in an accident?
  • Was the pedestrian under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  • Was the pedestrian looking at a cell phone or mobile device while walking?

As evidenced above, there are circumstances in which a pedestrian may have liability and responsibility for their own injuries, or injuries to a driver if their actions were reckless or negligent.

Tennessee Modified Comparative Fault Law

The state of Tennessee follows a modified comparative fault law, under a Supreme Court law established in 1992. (MICHAEL S. BECKER ET AL. v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY). The modified comparative negligence law indicates that even if a pedestrian is at fault partially for an accident in which they received injuries, they may still have the legal right to pursue compensation from the other negligent party under the law. As long as the victim is under 50% at fault for their injuries, they will have the legal right to pursue compensation. The total amount of a settlement package or an award from the court will be based upon the percentage of fault assigned to the victim related to the accident. These types of cases can prove to be legally complex and complicated. Do not hesitate to contact the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at Labrum Law Firm to help you understand how much compensation you may have a legal right to receive, even if you were partially at fault for your own pedestrian accident.

Amount of Compensation When a Pedestrian Is Hit By a Car

The amount of compensation a victim will have the legal right to pursue when a pedestrian is hit by a car depends greatly upon the specific types of injuries suffered and their severity. Some of the more common types of injuries in pedestrian accidents include broken/fractured arms and legs, traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding and damage, spinal cord injuries including paralysis, bruises, lacerations, nerve damage, and death. The amount of compensation a victim will have the legal right to receive when they are hit by a car will depend on the following factors:

  • The seriousness and severity of the injuries
  • Whether or not the injuries are temporary or permanent
  • How much time from work the victim missed (or will miss in the future as a result of the injuries)
  • The pain and suffering of the victim
  • How the injuries impact the daily life of the victim and their loss of enjoyment of life or inability to engage in certain daily activities
  • The type of medical care and extent necessary to continue medical care and treatment
  • Whether or not the victim is expected to have a full recovery at some point in the future
  • Whether or not the victim is considered temporary or permanently disabled
  • Whether or not the victim has any scarring or disfigurement
  • Whether or not the victim died as a result of their injuries related to the accident

Contact an Experienced Tennessee Personal Injury Attorney Today

The laws in the state of Tennessee are challenging and complex as it relates to determining fault when a pedestrian is hit by a car. Ensure your legal rights are protected by contacting an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney at Labrum Law Firm today to visit with us for free about your case at (615) 338-9500. We look forward to visiting with you and helping you understand your legal rights.

About the Author

Harlene Labrum

Harlene is focused and passionate about helping those injured in car wrecks.  She earned her J.D. at Nashville School of Law and her Bachelor's degree at State University of New York at Albany, awarded with the highest GPA and high honors.  Harlene began her career in law as a personal injury par...

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