When a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car, You Need a Competent Attorney
Most of us accept one common fact: That vehicles on the road shouldn’t, under any circumstances, collide with and injure a pedestrian. That’s why, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, people often think that the case is an easy one—that there is just no way to lose a case, if the victim is a pedestrian hit by a car.
But that turns out to be pretty untrue. It turns out that in many ways and for many reasons, winning a case where a pedestrian is hit by a car, is harder than winning a case where two vehicles collide with each other.
Blaming the Victim
The first reason why pedestrian cases can be difficult to win is that in many cases, pedestrians don’t follow the rules of the road when it comes to pedestrians.
Sometimes that’s intentional—we’ve all been in a hurry and just crossed a road where there’s no designated crosswalk, or crossed when we had the red “don’t walk” signal.
Other times it’s accidental—many people simply don’t know the rules that govern pedestrians on the roads, and where pedestrians can legally cross roadways and where they can’t.
This is a big deal: If a pedestrian crosses the road in an area that the pedestrian wasn’t supposed to be, and gets hit and injured by a car, and a jury finds the pedestrian to be more than 49% responsible for the accident, the pedestrian victim can recover nothing, under Tennessee comparative negligence statute.
Sympathizing With the Driver
There may also be an inherent bias in juries when it comes to pedestrian accidents. As a general rule, more of us ride cars than walk when we go to work, to school, or to run errands. As drivers, many of us—including people on an eventual jury—relate to, and empathize with the car driver. When a car driver says that a pedestrian “bolted out in front of me,” a juror may think “yeah, that’s happened to me also in the past,” and may relate to and sympathize with the car driver.
Reconstructing the Accident
It is also harder to reconstruct pedestrian accidents, because there is no correlation between the damages on the pedestrian’s body and the way the accident happened.
In a normal, car on car accident, expert reconstructionists can look at damage to the car, or skid marks on roadways, or the way a car ended up after the accident, and can use all of this data to determine which car did what, and thus, which driver was at fault.
That doesn’t exist with pedestrians. The damage to a pedestrian’s body, or the eventual landing spot of a pedestrian’s body after an accident, simply doesn’t tell us much about where the pedestrian was, at the time he or she was hit by a car.
If you were hit as a pedestrian, you can win your case–you just need to be careful to pick attorneys that understand how to handle pedestrian accident cases. Call the Clinton and Knoxville pedestrian accident lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today.