red car about to hit pedestrian in crosswalk

Our Franklin and Murfreesboro Tennessee Attorneys Explain Nashville Area Pedestrian Laws and Liability for Accidents

At GriffithLaw, our experienced personal injury attorneys help people injured in Tennesseee pedestrian accidents recover damages and related expenses after they are involved in an incident for which a driver was liable. We provide pedestrians injured in accidents with the legal assistance they need to obtain the fair compensation they deserve. 

Pedestrian Laws and Responsibilities in Tennessee 

Just as motorists must follow laws for operating their vehicles, pedestrians must also follow applicable laws when navigating on foot. This includes such things as obeying the appropriate traffic signals, utilizing crosswalks, and yielding to oncoming traffic when not utilizing a crosswalk.

While pedestrians often have the right of way in Tennessee, this is not always the case. People on foot are obligated to take precautions to maintain their own safety, but drivers must also exercise caution and may be liable when they do not.

Driver Responsibility for Pedestrian Safety 

Following the rules can help people stay safe when they are walking, but it’s also important for drivers to do their part. When a pedestrian is hurt, it is often because a driver didn’t follow the law and was not watching for people who were walking near them. 

Pedestrian accidents can be caused by things like distracted driving or drunk driving, but these are not the only situations in which a driver could have liability for a pedestrian accident. Driver obligations for pedestrian safety include:

  • Exercising due care to avoid collisions with pedestrians
  • Maintaining a safe speed
  • Keeping their vehicle under control
  • Not allowing themselves to become distracted
  • Yielding to pedestrians
    • In crosswalks or at intersections (Under Tennessee law, all intersections are considered crosswalks, whether marked or not.)
    • Emerging from alleys or driveways
  • Stopping at all marked crosswalks in school zones
  • Yielding to pedestrians in all unmarked school zone crosswalks 

Establishing Liability for Pedestrian Accidents

When an incident leads to a pedestrian being injured by an automobile, an investigation is necessary to determine who is at fault. Because both parties are responsible for operating with care and either one failing to do so could lead to an accident, either one or both could be considered partially or fully liable for damages. Each party’s financial responsibilities would be assigned accordingly, under Tennessee law.

When to Contact an Attorney

If you were hit by a car while you were walking, it may be in your best interest to contact a personal injury lawyer before you talk to the attorney or insurance company for the driver who struck you. 

While Tennessee law allows accident victims to represent themselves, it can be very beneficial to work with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about pedestrian rights and responsibilities. If you do not talk to an attorney first, you might unknowingly say or do things that could prevent you from collecting the full damages you would otherwise be entitled to receive. 

In this type of case, damages may include things like lost wages, property damage, medical expenses, body changes (such as scarring, disfigurements, or impairments), pain and suffering, and future damages and expenses, as well as punitive damages in situations where the other party acted maliciously, fraudulently, or recklessly.

How an Attorney Can Help

GriffithLaw has a team of experienced personal injury attorneys who are familiar with Tennessee traffic laws, including pedestrian rights and responsibilities. Our team has been successful in helping many personal injury clients recover damages following a pedestrian accident. 

A knowledgeable attorney can provide legal support and assistance in many ways throughout your pedestrian accident case, including: 

  • Answering your questions
  • Knowing the details of the law as they pertain to your specific situation
  • Gathering evidence
  • Collecting witness statements
  • Requesting police reports
  • Sorting out jurisdiction questions
  • Ensuring that you are aware of all of the potential defendants who could be responsible for your injuries
  • Arranging for expert testimony
  • Making sure you don’t miss important deadlines in your case
  • Helping you properly prepare for deposition
  • Representing you in mediation or court if a settlement cannot be reached otherwise

Affording a Lawyer for a Pedestrian Accident

One reason some people do not hire an attorney immediately following a personal injury incident is that they are not sure they can afford one. At GriffithLaw in Nashville, Tennessee, we work on a contingency fee, which means that you don’t have to pay us unless you win your case. We also provide a zero obligation, free initial consultation so that you can find out right away if we will be able to represent you.