Pedestrian accidents Nashville TN

Nashville Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Help for people who have been hit by a car in Nashville and throughout Tennessee

Walking is good for you: it keeps you active, lets you stretch your muscles, and gives you a chance to admire some of the more beautiful parts of our fine cities. But walking in those cities can prove dangerous if the drivers around you aren’t paying attention. A pedestrian injured in a car crash can face serious, even fatal, injuries.

The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm helps protect injured pedestrians and their families after a car crash. We are widely recognized in Nashville, Hendersonville and throughout all of Middle Tennessee for our aggressive approach and our willingness to take a guilty party to court on behalf of our clients. If you were injured by a driver while you were walking, our team is ready to help.

Pedestrian deaths are on the rise

The number of fatal pedestrian accidents in Tennessee rose 11% between 2017 and 2018 – the largest increase in any kind of overall traffic fatality. We’re on track to see that number rise again for 2019, too.

But why?

According to researchers at Tennessee State University, it’s not for the reasons we think. This is due in part to the underreporting of pedestrian deaths – specifically, that news and media outlets don’t tell us much about crosswalks, whether or not there are sidewalks, if the streetlights work, and so forth.

Where are most pedestrian deaths happening?

In Nashville, The Tennessean reports, “About 80 percent of Nashville’s pedestrian deaths in recent years happened along state roadways, including the city’s major pikes…. Old Hickory Boulevard is another hot spot, she said. The deadliest stretches are typically wide thoroughfares with multiple lanes in each direction, and long blocks.” Per their interactive map, some of the most dangerous road for pedestrians include:

  • Church Street
  • I-24
  • Rosa Parks Blvd.
  • West End Ave.
  • 31
  • Gallatin Ave.
  • 431

Read more: Never Walk Along the Highway or Attempt to Cross a Highway

Common pedestrian injuries from car wrecks

Pedestrians have the least possible protection when it comes to accidents. As a result, they often suffer some of the most serious wounds, including permanent injuries that require medical treatments and care for the rest of their lives. Those injuries can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Crushed limbs, leading to amputation
  • Organ damage
  • Broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Neck and head injuries

In the most tragic of circumstances, pedestrians can be killed on impact, or sustain such severe injuries that they later succumb to them.

Common pedestrian accidents involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles

The sheer size of a car versus that of a person indicates just how dangerous a car crash involving a pedestrian might be – especially if the driver is speeding. Since the vast majority of car accidents involving pedestrians don’t involve cars on the sidewalk, a person who walks is more likely to be hurt because of:

  • Driver inattention. Drivers who text, read, talk on the phone, fiddle with the radio, or turn around to have conversation with their friends or their children are not devoting their full attention to the road. The longer their eyes are off the road, the greater the chance they may not see a pedestrian crossing the street.
  • Reckless behavior. Some drivers believe they have more of a “right” to the road than other people do. They weave in and out of traffic, run through red lights, and speed whenever they can. Some drivers get behind the wheel after having too much to drink, or impaired by drugs. This type of reckless driving behavior put everyone at risk, especially pedestrians.
  • Ignorance of the law. Most drivers are not familiar with the rules of the road when it comes to pedestrians. For example: a pedestrian always has right-of-way while in a crosswalk, but must yield to a motor vehicle when trying to cross in an undesignated area.
  • General politeness. Our good manner can put pedestrians at risk. A driver who waves a pedestrian on puts that individual in further danger, as cars coming from the opposite direction may not be able to stop in time once the pedestrian begins to cross.
  • Road defects. A poorly designed road can make life dangerous for those who walk. The city of Nashville is responsible for keeping roadways safe, which means putting up reflective road signs, ensuring streetlights are working, and warning people about potential dangers. If roads have an unsafe design, or are crumbling and in disrepair, the city could be responsible in the event of an accident.
  • Poor visibility. Many pedestrian-related crashes are the result of poor visibility. People who walk at dusk or at night, who wear dark and non-reflective clothing, who cross in between parked cars as opposed to as crosswalks, or who are trying to cross at a blind corner may all be at risk of an injury if the driver simply does not see the person in time.

What you should know about “distracted walking”

Remember the Pokémon Go phenomenon a few years ago? Kids (and adults) were wandering around Nashville, playing in groups and meeting new people. It was wonderful to see, except for one small issue: when your eyes are on your phone, they’re not on the road around you. There were multiple news stories about people walking into street signs, falling into holes, and walking directly into traffic.

This was not an isolated incident, either. While the majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by other people a recent study showed that approximately 13.5 % of accidents are caused by distracted walking.

E-Scooter and dockless scooter injuries

If you have spent any time in Nashville over the last few years, then you have noticed the rise of the e-scooter. Bird, Lime, and other scooter companies have introduced these dockless scooters to the city with much success.

However, these e-scooters have also been the subject of intense debate – mainly because how dangerous they are. Riders dart in and out of traffic, and then leave the scooters just about anywhere they want. This posed a real risk for pedestrians, who have been by:

  • Riders bumping into them as they leave the road and enter the sidewalk
  • Tripping and falling over the scooters when they are left on the side of the road
  • Hit by riders while both the pedestrians and the riders are crossing the street
  • Hit by cars that are swerving to avoid hitting the scooters

After the death of a 26 year old intoxicated scooter rider in May, Nashville’s mayor, David Briley, directed the city’s lawyers to draft plan to “terminate” existing scooter program, banning e-scooters and dockless scooters temporarily in Nashville. The ban will implement a plan to remove scooters from Nashville’s streets in order to give only two companies the ability to return if they are able to meet the new proposed requirements for safety and accessibility.

Until every e-scooter is off the street or until the city establishes and enforces some hard and fast safety requirements for both the riders and the companies, scooter injuries are still an imminent threat in Nashville. If you sustained an injury while using a dockless scooter, from tripping over a scooter, or have been involved in a collision with a rider, give us a call today.

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At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we understand how serious pedestrian accidents are, which allows us to build a stronger case from the ground up on your behalf. We also know what kind of injuries a pedestrian faces after a car crash, and what kind of recovery time can be involved, which spurs us on to fight even harder for your rights and your future.

When you’ve been hit by a car while walking around in Tennessee, you want Rocky McElhaney Law Firm on your side. Our Gladiators in Suits have represented thousands of car wreck victims in personal injury lawsuits, and supported families throughout wrongful death claims. When you are hurt and you don’t know what to do, let Rocky fight for you.

Special care for pedestrians injured in Middle Tennessee

The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm provides comprehensive care to Tennessee pedestrian victims and their families after a crash. To schedule your free consultation with one of Tennessee’s most trusted personal injury law firms, please call 888.619.4765 or fill out our contact form. We maintain offices in Nashville, Hendersonville and Knoxville  for your convenience.