Gatlinburg Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
For the most part, the roads in Gatlinburg were designed to move vehicle traffic as quickly as possible from Point A to Point B. That design goal usually means features like short red lights and multiple, wide lanes. As a result, it’s difficult or impossible for many people, especially those with any mobility impairment, to safely cross the street. Even if a pedestrian accident victim didn’t have the right of way, a negligent driver could still be legally responsible for damages.
An experienced Gatlinburg pedestrian accident lawyer at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, Attorneys at Law routinely handle these matters in Sevier County and nearby jurisdictions. Since we are familiar with all local rules, including the informal and unwritten rules, we are well-suited to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. Basically, we obtain the money that pedestrian accident victims need to put their shattered lives back together.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
Driver impairment causes a significant number of the pedestrian accidents in Tennessee. Common forms of driver impairment include:
- Drugs: Marijuana and prescription pain pills are the most common kinds of impairing substances among Tennessee drivers. These drugs might be legal to take, at least in some cases. But it’s always illegal, and always dangerous, to drive under the influence of these and other substances.
- Alcohol: Since the early 1990s, authorities have steadily cracked down on drunk drivers. Lawmakers have passed tougher laws and courts have approved tougher enforcement mechanisms. Despite all these efforts, this crackdown has largely failed. The percentage of alcohol-related fatal wrecks is almost as high today as it was thirty years ago.
- Fatigue: Almost half of drivers admit they drove while they were so sleepy they had trouble keeping their eyes open. The effects of fatigue, like the effects of alcohol, begin long before that. Driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours, which is like driving home after a long day at work, is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for some operators in Tennessee.
Operational errors, such as ignoring a traffic control device, making an unsafe lane change, and speeding, also cause a significant number of crashes. Because of the negligence per se rule, these tortfeasors (negligent drivers) could be liable for pedestrian accidents as a matter of law.
Possible Insurance Company Defenses
If a Gatlinburg pedestrian accident lawyer is to obtain maximum compensation in an injury case, the claim must be strong enough to withstand some common insurance company defenses. Comparative fault and sudden emergency are two common defenses in pedestrian accident claims.
Comparative fault defenses, like distracted walking, essentially shift blame for the incident from the tortfeasor to the victim. Basically, the insurance company argues that the victim was so immersed in a device that s/he wasn’t watching where s/he was going.
After jurors hear the evidence in these trials, they must divide fault between the pirates 50-50, 80-20, or otherwise. Tennessee is a modified comparative fault state with a 50 percent threshold. Victims who are less than 50 percent responsible for an injury are entitled to a proportionate share of damages.
Sudden emergency is basically an enhanced form of comparative fault. This legal loophole excuses negligence if the tortfeasor reasonably reacted to a sudden emergency.
This defense doesn’t apply to most pedestrian accident claims. A jaywalking pedestrian is not a “sudden emergency.” Rather, a jaywalking pedestrian is an everyday hazard, like a stalled car, that drivers should be prepared to avoid
Reach Out to a Dedicated Sevier County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Gatlinburg pedestrian accident lawyer, contact Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, Attorneys at Law by going online or calling 865-500-HURT. You have a limited amount of time to act.