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Campbell County auto accident attorney

If you get into an accident or are pulled over for any other reason in Tennessee, you will always need to provide proof of insurance. However, unless you buy your vehicle from a private seller and fail to get insured beforehand, you should always have some form of insurance on your vehicle. We will explain why below, but remember that if you face charges for any traffic violation or need to secure fair compensation after a car accident, seeking the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney can go a long way in achieving a favorable outcome. 

Temporary Insurance in Tennessee

Tennessee law requires that all drivers have auto insurance that covers at least the following: 

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Campbell County drunk driving defense attorney

When considering DUI laws, it is easy to forget that having an open container of an alcoholic beverage in your vehicle can have separate consequences. We will explain when and why a driver can be punished by Tennessee’s open container law, but know that if you are involved in any aspect of a DUI, it is imperative that you seek the legal guidance of an accomplished Tennessee DUI attorney. With a strong defense, you can protect your rights to the fullest extent. 

Tennessee’s Open Container Law

On paper, Tennessee’s open container law is fairly simple: If the driver has an alcoholic beverage that is open or the seal is broken and it is accessible, he or she can be punished. However, there is some fine print that should be understood about this rule. For instance, this law is designed to prevent a driver from consuming an alcoholic beverage while driving. It does not necessarily prevent passengers from having alcoholic beverages or for alcohol to be in areas of the vehicle that are inaccessible to the driver. 

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Campbell County drunk driving defense attorney

Perhaps you and a friend were enjoying a few drinks after work and your friend claims that he or she is sober enough to drive. However, you may wonder if you will be also held responsible if your friend is charged with a DUI? The short answer: Yes. Under Tennessee legislation, anyone who gets into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver is equally responsible in determining whether or not the driver is in a fit state to be behind the wheel. The details of this Tennessee law are explained below, but remember that if you are ever charged with a DUI, it is imperative that you seek assistance from an experienced Tennessee attorney to avoid a criminal conviction.

Tennessee’s DUI By Consent Law

Like in all areas of the country, Tennessee drivers who have blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit can face significant punishment that corresponds to how many times they have committed the offense. However, the driver may not be the only person subject to criminal charges. Any passengers who have agreed to let that person drive will be given the exact same DUI charges through Tennessee’s DUI By Consent law. For example, if a passenger and an intoxicated driver are both given their first DUI charge, they may face at least 48 hours of jail time, their licenses revoked, fined, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, and more. 

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Campbell County auto accident injury attorney

Drivers can do a lot to protect themselves and others on the road, and this includes making sure their vehicles are well-maintained. Too often, drivers only care about getting their car repaired when a warning light appears on the dash, but other symptoms also warrant a visit to a mechanic as soon as possible. If a driver has failed to properly maintain their vehicle, this can render it unsafe to drive, leading to a dangerous car accident. If you are ever involved in a collision with another vehicle, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights and determine how you can recover compensation for your damages.

The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance

A car's suspension keeps it balanced and upright. The struts, steering rack, anti-roll bars, control arms, and drive shafts work across the width of the car to provide the level of control that drivers need when they are behind the wheel. If any part of the suspension has a critical failure, a car could lose balance, and the driver may lose steering control. Thankfully, there are some clear symptoms that alert drivers to a possible problem with their car’s suspension.

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Campbell County BUI defense attorney

If law enforcement personnel suspect that you are driving under the influence in Tennessee, they will most likely ask that you take a Breathalyzer test to obtain an estimation of the alcohol levels in your body. They also might ask you to take other, more subjective field sobriety tests, such as the Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus tests. You are faced with an important choice when a police officer asks you to take a Breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests, so it is essential to know what the law requires of you at that moment, as well as following an arrest. Regardless of the circumstances of your arrest, you will want to work with an accomplished criminal defense attorney to aggressively defend your rights and minimize the potential consequences you may face.

Tennesse’s Implied Consent Law

In Tennessee, when motorists obtain their licenses, they automatically give consent to submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test if they are requested to do so by police. However, it is important to understand that implied consent does not apply to roadside breathalyzer tests or field sobriety tests. These tests can be refused, although this refusal may give an officer probable cause to arrest you on suspicion of drunk driving.

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Campbell County traffic violations defense attorney

The staggering amount of car accidents caused by distracted driving in Tennessee pushed lawmakers to institute a new law on July 1, 2019 that bans any kind of cell phone use while driving. Understanding this new law can help you avoid a costly ticket in addition to a serious crash. In some cases, the penalties for using your phone behind the wheel can carry costly fines and the loss of driving privileges. Regardless of the charges, it is critical that you present an aggressive defense to the court with the guidance of an experienced traffic violations attorney.

Distracted Driving Statistics in Tennessee

For the three years leading up to 2019, distracted driving by Tennessee motorists caused more than 24,000 crashes annually. Tennessee also had the highest fatality rate of any state for distracted driving in that time period. The national average was 1.49 fatalities per 10 billion vehicle miles, while Tennessee’s rate reached 7.2 deaths for that same mileage.

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Campbell County domestic violence defense attorney

The laws that determine police protocol when they are called to a domestic violence incident differ from state to state, and the procedure is particularly unique in Tennessee. It is worth understanding how police are told to act when they arrive on the scene and how this could affect your case if you are accused of domestic abuse. Most importantly, the consequences that you face as a result of domestic violence allegations can be severe. Therefore, it is crucial that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights were not violated during the arrest and help you determine the best strategy for defending against these charges.

Police Procedures for Domestic Abuse in Tennessee

When the police are called in for a domestic violence incident, they are highly encouraged to arrest the “primary aggressor.” If an officer thinks that he or she has probable cause to determine who may be the primary aggressor, it is a near certainty that an arrest will be made, regardless of the desires of the alleged victim. Police will also not assess the willingness of the alleged victim or other witnesses to testify in judicial proceedings.

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Campbell County motorcycle accident attorney

Tennessee is a state that requires all motorcyclists and passengers over the age of 21 to wear a helmet while riding on a motorcycle. If they do not, they will be violating the law, and this may make it more difficult to receive compensation for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. Since Tennessee measures the fault of each driver after a collision, a motorcyclist who was not wearing a helmet may still be able to seek damages if he or she was hurt. However, there are certain circumstances in which motorcyclists cannot collect compensation.

Tennessee’s Helmet Law

Not only are Tennessee motorcyclists required to wear helmets while operating their vehicles, but they cannot wear just any helmet. Their protective gear needs to comply with the following federal safety regulations:

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Campbell County auto accident attorney

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that in five years, 40 percent of car accidents in the United States will be caused by elderly motorists. However, it is a common misconception that older drivers cause more collisions than younger drivers. This is often based on the belief that older motorists have a decreased ability to operate their vehicles. While this may be true in some cases, the majority of accidents that involve an elderly driver are not the elder’s fault, and these drivers generally sustain more severe injuries than younger drivers.

Should Elderly Motorists Lose Their Driving Privileges?

Tennessee does not have a law saying that at a certain age, elderly drivers should cease operation of their vehicles. The state does require that all drivers over the age of 70 must renew their licenses every three years. It is up to the driver to decide when to stop driving. However, it is important to note that if a collision occurs as a result of the elderly driver’s negligent actions, the Tennessee Commissioner could restrict that driver from ever driving again.

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Campbell County boating under the influence attorney

The weather is starting to improve, and people will soon be able to participate in their favorite outdoor activities. Tennessee is rich with bodies of water for everyone to enjoy, whether it is just for an afternoon swim or a day of boating. However, just like on the roads, Tennessee’s waters are protected from those who use controlled substances before operating a watercraft. Boating under the influence (BUI) of drugs or alcohol greatly impairs a driver’s ability to safely maneuver the vessel. BUI is a crime, since boaters who choose to do this run the risk of hurting themselves or others. This is why anyone caught operating a boat while intoxicated can be charged with a misdemeanor offense, which carries significant criminal penalties if convicted.

What Is Tennessee’s BUI Law?

The state of Tennessee forbids those who operate any water vessel to do so while impaired. This includes using any of the following:

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Campbell County car accident attorney speeding

Drivers who operate their vehicles at a high rate of speed have less control of their automobiles than those who obey the traffic rules. In Tennessee, speeding can come with heavy fines depending on how far over the posted speed limit a driver is traveling. Unfortunately, a ticket will be the least of a driver’s worries if the violation causes a collision with another car, a motorcycle, or a pedestrian. In those cases, the offending driver will be responsible for the injuries and damage that was done as a result of the incident.

What Are the Tennessee Speeding Laws?

The state of Tennessee requires all drivers to maintain a safe speed on the road. This speed could vary depending on the conditions of the day and also in what county a motorist is traveling. Tennessee does have absolute speed limits for certain types of roadways:

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Campbell County motorcycle accident attorney

The state of Tennessee requires all motorcyclists to wear proper protective gear, including helmets while operating their vehicles. This is for protection in case of a collision with another vehicle on the road. However, motorcyclists cannot just wear any helmet. It must be a helmet that meets the safety standards of the Department of Transportation. One of the requirements for a proper helmet is that the gear is not permanently altered. This means a person cannot mount a camera onto the helmet by the use of drills or screws. However, GoPros are cameras that come with adhesive mounts sturdy enough to be worn on a motorcycle helmet. These are allowed on the road if mounted securely. In some cases, a GoPro camera’s footage can be used if the motorcyclist is pursuing compensation for injuries after an accident.

What Is the Tennessee Helmet Law?

When riding through the state of Tennessee, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet with the following safety regulations:

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Campbell County drunk driving defense attorney

The state of Tennessee punishes those who drive under the influence (DUI) harshly, even for first-time offenders. Penalties increase for subsequent DUI convictions against a driver, but they become even more severe if a person is injured or killed because of a DUI collision. Additionally, Tennessee punishes those who flee the scene after causing a drunk driving car crash, regardless of whether it caused injury or death to a victim.

Is Fleeing the Scene Considered a Felony?

Tennessee law states that any person who flees the scene of a collision -- whether or not alcohol or drugs are involved -- will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This includes accidents which take place on or at:

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Campbell County truck accident attorney

Every state has different restrictions when it comes to large trucks driving in the left lane -- known as the fast lane -- of a highway. Tennessee is one of the many states that does not allow trucks to drive in the left lane except when necessary. Trucks are restricted from the left lane to avoid collisions truck accidents with other vehicles that may be traveling a faster speed. Smaller cars also tend to get lost in a truck’s blind spots, and therefore, truck drivers must yield to other vehicles before safely moving into the left lane. In the event you are involved in a semi-truck accident, it is important to understand Tennessee’s traffic laws regarding trucks.

When Can a Truck Use the Left Lane?

Tennessee law states that, when traveling on a three-lane highway, trucks are allowed to be in the left lane only if they are passing slower traffic or if they are preparing to make a left turn. This rule is enforced with signs that are posted along the highway, reminding truck drivers to stay in the right two lanes. Other guidelines for this law include:

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Campbell County rear-end collision attorney

Tennessee has many rules of the road, which all drivers must learn before obtaining their driver’s license. However, not every motorist obeys all the traffic laws, and violations of these laws can lead to car accidents, which can cause serious bodily harm. Drivers should stay far enough behind the vehicle ahead of them that they will be able to stop in time to avoid colliding with that vehicle. In addition, Tennessee law states that drivers should not follow other vehicles "more closely than is reasonable and prudent." Not keeping this amount of distance is called “tailgating,” which can be charged as a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, tailgaters could face more charges if their actions cause a collision.

What Types of Injuries Can be Caused by Tailgating?

If a car follows another vehicle too closely, a driver risks hitting the car in front of him or her if that car slams on the brakes. The most common collision when a tailgater is involved is a rear-end collision. Even though this type of crash does not seem like it could seriously hurt a driver or his or her passengers, it can cause multiple types of injuries, such as:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney DUI

The legal drinking age across the country is 21 years old. Anyone younger than that who drives while impaired by alcohol will face serious consequences. Minors who drive drunk risk losing their driving privileges if caught, but they also put those around them at risk of serious injury or death. Tennessee takes underage drinking and driving seriously, and because of the potential risks, a child who drinks may not be the only one facing criminal punishment. Whoever provided the minor with alcohol or drugs may also face misdemeanor or even felony charges.

Consequences of Driving Drunk as a Minor

Tennessee has three main laws that attempt to control the number of minors who drink illegally. In instances when a minor is caught drinking or attempting to purchase alcohol, he or she can still be charged under these laws, even if he or she is not driving. Tennessee’s Driving While Impaired law applies to minors aged 16-20 who have not yet hit the age of legal alcohol consumption. If caught driving drunk, a minor will have his or her license revoked and pay a fine of up to $250. The court may also require the minor to complete community service hours.

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Campbell County traffic violations defense attorney

According to a recent survey done by TicketSchool.com, more than 50 percent of the driving community admits to not using a turn signal when changing lanes or making turns. Some of the reasons motorists gave for this were because they did not think they had enough time or simply because they did not want to use their signals. This is dangerous driving behavior, which can lead to collisions that result in serious injuries or even wrongful death. Drivers can also be pulled over and issued a traffic citation if a police officer sees the motorist failing to signal. The act can also be considered reckless driving -- which is a Class B misdemeanor in Tennessee -- because not signaling in which direction you are driving puts other motorists on the road in danger.

Why Is it Important to Use a Turn Signal?

Drivers cannot read each other’s minds on the road, and therefore, no one knows when someone is planning to change lanes or make a turn. That is why it is required by Tennessee law to use a signal before making a turn or decreasing speed suddenly. Not only is this a requirement under the traffic laws, but it is a common courtesy on the road. Using a turn signal can prevent:

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Campbell County first-time DUI defense attorney

Many people who drink do not realize how much alcohol can impair a person's motor skills, including the ability to drive a car. Therefore, they do not understand that drunk driving -- or even just “buzzed” driving -- is dangerous not only to themselves but to people around them. The state of Tennessee does not take a DUI charge lightly, regardless if it is a first offense or a fourth. Of course, punishments become more severe the more DUI convictions a driver has. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, a driver can face other consequences if he or she causes injury or wrongful death to any victims.

What to Expect After a First DUI Conviction

It is important to know that a DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor violation that remains on a driving record for the remainder of a motorist’s life. A DUI conviction does not become a felony in Tennessee until the fourth and subsequent offenses.

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Campbell County car accident attorney permit driver

The state of Tennessee requires all teenage drivers-to-be to go through a process before earning their Class D driver’s license. This is known as the Graduated Driver License program, and its purpose is to make sure young drivers understand the importance of safe driving. Car accidents involving a GDL driver who has not yet earned a driver’s license can lead to the driver being unable to earn a full license for a longer period of time. The young driver can also be held liable for damages done to another vehicle and/or injuries sustained during the accident.

The Graduated Driver License Program by Steps

There are four levels of the Tennessee GDL program:

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Campbell County motorcycle accident injury attorney

After receiving complaints from motorcyclists regarding wait times at stoplights, Tennessee joined 11 other states in legalizing safe crossing through red lights under certain circumstances. In 2003, Tennessee passed its law, which states that motorcyclists can pass through intersections with red lights after coming to a complete stop first. Of course, the law has limits to keep drivers safe from injuries as a result of collisions. Motorcyclists can only pass through red lights that are controlled by sensors, which in some cases can identify cars, but not motorcycles. Cyclists must proceed with caution to avoid causing a crash or being hit by another driver.

Understanding Tennessee Traffic Control Laws

Sensors that control traffic signals detect metal, and as motorcycles have evolved, more and more of these vehicles are manufactured using materials such as aluminum and fiberglass. As a result, sensors sometimes cannot detect when a motorcycle is waiting for the light to turn green. Therefore, motorcyclists have complained that the wait time at certain intersections was too long. Tennessee’s laws allow motorcycle drivers to cross through red lights only if:

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