Shoulder of Road Accidents

Car Crash Lawyer Serving Victims in Knoxville and Surrounding Areas

Many people have been in a situation when they need to pull over into the shoulder of the road. Whether it is used to take an emergency phone call or change a flat tire, the shoulder is intended to provide a safe place for motorists. Despite this, there are many collisions that occur in the shoulder area, putting people who need to use this space at risk of severe harm. Experienced Knoxville car accident attorney Mark Hartsoe can provide knowledgeable legal counsel to individuals who have been struck by a careless driver while using the shoulder.

Pursuing Compensation for a Collision on the Shoulder of a Road

Most lawsuits arising from car accidents require the plaintiff to establish that the defendant acted negligently. The first step involves showing the level of care that the defendant owed to the plaintiff at the time of the crash. Broadly speaking, each driver must operate his or her vehicle with the same level of skill and care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in the same situation.

Applying this standard to the context of shoulder use, most prudent drivers would reduce their speed when passing a vehicle in the shoulder, or they might change lanes to avoid coming too closely. According to TCA 55-8-152, motorists must operate their vehicles according to posted speed limits, and other provisions require motorists to reduce their speed when necessary to ensure the safety of other motorists. When someone is standing next to their car in the shoulder, therefore, it would be reasonable to expect another driver approaching them to recognize the potential hazard and adjust speed accordingly.

In some instances, a motorist who strikes someone on the shoulder may be deemed to have acted recklessly. Reckless driving is prohibited under TCA 55-10-205, and it may give rise to punitive damages if it is established by clear and convincing evidence. Punitive damages may be awarded in addition to compensatory damages if the defendant acted with a mental state more culpable than mere carelessness.

The next step of a personal injury case requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant’s breach was the cause of his or her harm. In some situations, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff was also partly responsible. For example, a driver may have stepped out of a car onto the shoulder without checking for approaching cars. When this happens, the jury may consider the negligence of both parties. However, a plaintiff still may be able to receive damages that are proportionate to the defendant’s degree of fault unless the plaintiff was 50 percent or more responsible for the accident.

Finally, the plaintiff must submit evidence supporting his or her damages, such as property damage, hospital bills and medical bills, the costs of future treatment, lost income and earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

Since a victim often is outside the vehicle and unprotected when on the shoulder, he or she may suffer a tragic death. In this situation, the victim’s family may bring a wrongful death action to seek certain types of damages based on their relationship to the victim, as well as costs related to the victim’s medical treatment and burial.

Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a Knoxville Attorney

If you or someone you love has been struck on the shoulder of a road by a careless or reckless driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Bringing a claim, collecting evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies can be a complicated process, especially if you are dealing with painful injuries and missed work while you recover. Knoxville car accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe can guide you through each step of the process and assert your right to the compensation that you deserve. For a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney, call us at 865-804-1011 or contact us online to set up an appointment.

Client Reviews
I was on my way to Atlanta and a huge truck rear-ended me and knocked me off the side of the road. I was scared. Didn’t know what to do. I tried working with the insurance company. They are just difficult to work with. I had to call somebody to take care of me. So, My brother told me to call Mark Hartsoe. As soon as I called Mark Hartsoe, he let me know real quick that everything was going to be okay and that he would take care of everything. And, he did. He got me a great settlement. He took the worry off of me. Mickey Anderson
I was hit coming home late at night by a drunk driver who took off. And the next day I was able to track down his vehicle and get the state police involved. At that point, a family friend recommended that I talk to Mark Hartsoe. Pretty much at that point, Mark handled the police, the insurance company and the guy who hit me. Settled with the actual person that hit me. Outside of that, everything came out great. Did not have to go to court. Got a great settlement. Got my car replaced. Got a check. Mark Hartsoe is my lawyer. Nate Holder
I was involved in a motorcycle accident. It was a head-on collision. I broke my arm, injured by knee. I was out of work for a long time and had medical bills, other expenses. A personal friend handed me a card for Mark Hartsoe. I called Mark Hartsoe from the side of the road and he took care of everything. My case was settled out of court. I received a great settlement. Bike was totaled, motorcycle was replaced. It was easy, painless. About as painless as something like this can be. This is why my lawyer is Mark Hartsoe. John Lusinger
I wanted to thank you for the excellent representation and your ability to handle the situation so well with such compassion and strength. We appreciate all of your help, concern and for answering my many questions. It has been a difficult road to travel but when we come across people like you, it really helps to lighten the load. We just wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you’ve done and your ability to handle the situation so well. S. Carter
Thank you so much for all the work you did on our case. We received more than we expected. You were great through the whole time from the first meeting until the last. Thank you so very much. Sam & Judy Kachar