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What Are My Legal Options If I Lost A Loved One in a Fatal Pedestrian Accident?

A wrongful death attorney can help you pursue justice and accountability

Each year across the United States, thousands of pedestrians lose their lives after being hit by motor vehicles. The sudden loss of a loved one in a pedestrian accident is a devastating event that leaves families grappling with grief and confusion.

If a loved one died in a fatal pedestrian accident in Middle Tennessee, you may be experiencing emotional and financial devastation. While you’re mourning the loss of your loved one, you shouldn’t have to deal with the legal headache of pursuing a claim and holding the at-fault party responsible for their actions. Fortunately, a caring and compassionate wrongful death attorney at the Law Office Of Eric Beasley in Nashville is here to help. Read on to learn about your potential options for seeking compensation after a pedestrian death.

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    What are the leading causes of pedestrian deaths?

    Pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise in recent years, with a total of 172 in 2020. That’s a significant jump in pedestrian deaths from 149 in 2019.

    Unlike motorists, pedestrians don’t have the protection of seatbelts, airbags, or vehicular frames. Even a low-speed crash can lead to serious and potentially fatal injuries. In most cases, pedestrian deaths are the result of driver error and, sometimes, a combination of negligent driving and poor infrastructure. The most common examples include:

    • Drivers distracted by their phones, other passengers, or various in-car technologies.
    • Speeding and aggressive driving.
    • Alcohol and drug use.
    • Drivers not yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks.
    • Non-compliance with traffic signals.

    What should I do if I lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident?

    If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident in Tennessee, you may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. This is a legal action that you can initiate when the negligent or wrongful actions of another party have caused your loved one’s death.  First, to be eligible, you must be an immediate family member (e.g., spouse, child, parent, or sibling) or the personal representative or administrator of the deceased's estate

    You should then consult an attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Tennessee is only one year. Courts will reject cases filed past the one-year statute of limitations, with few exceptions.


    However, the sooner you act, the stronger of a case you’ll likely have. Evidence can disappear, and witnesses can forget important details after a while. An attorney at the Law Office Of Eric Beasley can gather evidence promptly and begin building your case.

    What are the elements of a wrongful death claim in Tennessee?

    To have a solid wrongful death claim after a fatal pedestrian accident, there are four key elements to consider:

    1. Duty of care: The at-fault party must have owed a duty to the deceased, such as the duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely.
    2. Breach of duty: The driver must have breached that duty through negligence or wrongful action, such as speeding, driving under the influence, or ignoring traffic signals.
    3. Causation: There must be a direct link between the driver’s breach of duty and the death of the pedestrian.
    4. Damages: The death must have resulted in quantifiable damages, such as funeral expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship.

    Duty of care is typically simple to establish. Everyone who shares the road has a duty of care to uphold, and clearly, someone who is driving has a duty to avoid hitting pedestrians. However, establishing the other elements may require a thorough investigation. An attorney can gather strong evidence such as the police report, witness statements, camera footage, and the driver’s cellphone records.

    If fault still isn’t fully clear, a lawyer may call upon a crash reconstruction expert to reconstruct the accident scene and provide testimony. Additionally, an attorney can calculate all the damages accrued as a result of the fatal pedestrian accident. This may include:

    • Medical expenses incurred by the deceased before their death.
    • Funeral and burial expenses.
    • Loss of income the deceased would have provided had they lived.
    • Loss of services the deceased would have provided (e.g., childcare, household chores, etc.).
    • Loss of consortium.
    • Pain and suffering the deceased endured before their death.

    What is the average settlement for a wrongful death claim in Tennessee?

    The average wrongful death settlement after a fatal pedestrian accident in Tennessee ranges from tens of thousands of dollars to multi-million dollar settlements. It often depends on factors such as:

    • The circumstances of the death: How clear it is that the death was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party can significantly affect the settlement amount.
    • The age and health of the deceased: Younger victims who are in good health and have high earning potential typically result in higher settlements due to the expected future income and contributions they would have made.
    • The financial and emotional impact on the survivors: The more dependents the deceased had and the greater their reliance on the deceased's income and services, the higher the potential settlement.
    • Medical and funeral costs: These expenses are reimbursed and can add significantly to the settlement depending on the costs incurred prior to death.

    Common challenges when pursuing wrongful death benefits after a fatal pedestrian accident

    Pursuing a wrongful death claim isn’t easy, even if you’re eligible and it’s clear that your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence. In many cases, the at-fault party’s insurance company will try to dispute your damages or the liability of the driver who hit your loved one.

    This is why letting an attorney handle all communications with insurance companies is important. This way, you don’t provide them with a recorded statement that could potentially hurt your claim.

    An experienced wrongful death lawyer can use the evidence gathered to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney can prepare for litigation, presenting evidence and calling on witnesses before a judge and jury. Fortunately, most wrongful death cases are settled out of court.

    Take your wrongful death claim seriously from the start

    If you lost a loved one due to a pedestrian fatality, the Law Office Of Eric Beasley is here to help. We understand the pain and devastation you may be going through. We take a compassionate and inclusive approach to handling these cases.

    For over 20 years, attorney Eric Beasley has secured meaningful results for families in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee, including:

    • $2.5 million for a pedestrian death caused by an impaired driver.
    • $450,000 for a pedestrian fatality that involved a food delivery truck.

    Our firm handles wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, meaning there are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs for our services, and you pay nothing unless we win your case. We also provide free, no-obligation consultations for families affected by wrongful deaths, car accidents, and other personal injuries. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and find out how we can assist you. We’re here to listen to what happened, understand what you’re going through, and explain how an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help with your potential legal case.

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