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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Although most car accidents are a result of negligent driving, some occur because of defective equipment parts. There are many situations in which a manufacturer or repair shop might be to blame. A particularly clear case is when your airbags do not deploy as they should. Car manufacturers are required to ship new vehicles with functioning airbag systems. They can be held liable if your car is found to have faulty parts or improper installation. If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, it is imperative that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney right away. Tennessee is an at-fault state, so a skilled attorney can investigate whether or not a car manufacturer or other parties are liable for your crash. 

Tennessee Product Liability Laws

Before explaining Tennessee’s product liability laws, you should understand the car dealership and private sellers’ responsibilities. Most states have lemon laws to protect consumers from defective vehicles. Tennessee’s lemon law only protects purchases from a manufacturer. The coverage does not apply to consumers who purchase used cars from dealerships or private sellers. Technically, unless the terms of a used car sale include a warranty or similar guarantee, the purchaser is responsible for the vehicle once it is in his or her possession. When buying a used vehicle, make sure that it does not need airbag replacements. 

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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 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 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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Campbell County auto accident injury attorney

During the winter months when the sun sets sooner and rises later, it is important for people to drive with their vehicles' headlights illuminated. Headlights are the most important equipment while driving in low-light conditions or darkness, because they allow the driver to see the roadway ahead. If a driver cannot see, he or she will be unprepared for obstacles in the road, in addition to other vehicles or pedestrians who are crossing the road. Not using headlights can lead to motor vehicle collisions and injuries that can range from minor to serious.

Tennessee’s Requirements for Using Headlights

According to Tennessee law, drivers must use their headlights starting a half-hour after sunset until a half-hour before sunrise. Lights must be visible from at least 200 feet away so that drivers have plenty of time to see each other on the road before getting too close.

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Campbell County construction zone worker injury attorney

The state of Tennessee was ranked as having the sixth-highest death rate of construction workers in the years of 2003-2017 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tennessee had 70 deaths within that time, contributing to a grand total of 1,844 nationwide. Studies show that speeding is the number-one cause of car accident injuries or fatalities in construction zones. In these work areas, the speed limits are decreased in accordance with Tennessee law. Those drivers who do not decrease their speed run the risk of hitting a worker on duty. This can result in at least a misdemeanor charge with a $250 fine or at most a charge of vehicular homicide, which comes with more serious punishments. By obeying the laws and safe driving practices, drivers can help reduce the likelihood of a construction zone accident. 

Tennessee Construction Zone Rules

Drivers in Tennessee are required to slow down when they pass through construction sites; however, it is up to the workers to make sure the proper warning is given so cars can reduce their speed. Signs should be placed along the road to give drivers an ample amount of time to slow down. These signals will usually appear as large orange signs, but they can also include:

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Campbell County car accident injury attorney

Every state has laws and rules to keep their roadways as safe as possible, but nowadays not everyone obeys the rules. Certain actions that drivers take on the road may be considered reckless driving that unfortunately can result in car accidents and serious injuries to other drivers or innocent bystanders. The state of Tennessee defines reckless driving as operating a motor vehicle -- car, motorcycle, or truck -- with wanton disregard for the safety of others on the road.

Examples of Reckless Driving

Since reckless driving is any action that puts others in danger, the violation can be a simple as speeding to as serious as not yielding to school buses. Other examples of reckless driving include:

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Campbell County hit-and-run car accident lawyer

Being involved in a car accident can be a scary ordeal, both for the person responsible for causing the collision and the occupants who may be injured. In some cases, a negligent motorist may think that leaving the crash site is the best way to stay out of trouble, but in fact, fleeing from the scene of a motor vehicle crash is against Tennessee law. If an at-fault driver does attempt to leave, the victim may wonder how to receive compensation for injuries and any damages done to their vehicle. That is why it is imperative to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. 

What to Do After a Car Crash

No matter what the circumstances of a collision are, both parties involved must stop immediately in order to assess damages and call the police. Both drivers should pull their cars to the side of the road and do the following:

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Campbell County automobile accident lawyer

The seasons are changing, and that means there will be more rainy days to come before winter sets in. Driving habits should change while on the road, or else serious car accidents and injuries can occur because of road conditions. Hydroplaning is the most common cause of car accidents in rainy weather. This occurs when a car is moving so fast that the moisture on the road causes the vehicle to lose traction. As a result, the car slides across the pavement, giving the driver little to no control. This can lead to cars veering off into other lanes of traffic, resulting in collisions with other vehicles and severe or fatal injuries.

Tips for Road Safety in Wet Conditions

According to a study by AAA, wet pavement leads to over one million car accidents annually nationwide. Although it is an instinct to want to drive quickly to make it to one's destination in a shorter amount of time, drivers should adhere to the following safe driving practices when traveling in the rain:

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Campbell County personal injury compensation lawyer

Tennessee law requires drivers and passengers of moving vehicles to wear safety restraints (seat belts) at all times while the car is in motion. Not only do restraint systems keep the occupants from moving around inside the car, but they also can help prevent an injury that can result from a car accident. While some restraints have been shown to cause injuries such as whiplash or broken ribs, seat belts protect against worse bodily damage and even can prevent death due to a collision. Whether or not an accident happens, a person can be ticketed for not using a seat belt while operating a motor vehicle. It is important to understand what the law says about seat belt use and how it relates to receiving compensation in a vehicle crash.

What Does Tennessee Law Say?

According to the law, drivers and passengers over the age of four years old are required to wear a seat belt if they are in a moving vehicle. The only exception to this law is for vehicles that are used as public transportation or livery vehicles such as limousines, which do not have seat belts available to passengers.

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Campbell County motorcycle accident injury lawyer

Some dogs become excited by loud or fast-moving objects. If properly restrained, the most a dog might do when it spots a car or motorcycle passing by is bark loudly, strain at a leash, or paw at a window. However, if a dog is set loose in a yard, it may run into the road, which could lead to damage to vehicles and/or the death of the animal. A car is much bigger than a dog. It is unlikely that anyone in the car would be injured if the vehicle struck a dog. However, motorcycles are different, because the drivers are exposed. A dog of considerable size could cause a serious accident if it attempts to chase down a motorcycle. The state of Tennessee has certain laws that regulate when dogs can be off-leash, which can determine liability if the pet causes a motorcycle accident with injuries. 

Tennessee's Leash Law Explained

In the state of Tennessee, no dog is permitted to be off-leash--also called “at large”--whether on private or public property. This is to avoid injuries to a person who is not the dog’s owner, and it is also meant to keep dogs safe from automobiles on the road.

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Jacksboro, TN motor vehicle crash lawyer

Most states, including Tennessee, have a required tread depth for tires on a motor vehicle. This is because the tread is what makes a car able to travel safely along the roadways. When ice coats the pavement, adequate tread depth is what can prevent cars from sliding around. Tires can wear out after several years of use and could eventually “burst” if the tread is completely worn away. When this happens, cars can spin out of control and possibly collide with another vehicle, resulting in personal injuries for any of the occupants.

Tire Tread Depth

On average, a tire can last three or four years before needing to be replaced. Tennessee law states that tire tread depth needs to be at least 4/32 inches deep for front tires and 2/32 inches deep for back tires. Other factors that can affect a tire's safety and performance include:

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Campbell County rollover truck accident lawyer

Truck drivers tend to carry a lot of goods on their vehicles when making deliveries. In Tennessee, trucks cannot weigh over 80,000 pounds, and drivers must make sure all cargo is secured before beginning their routes. While most trucking accidents occur due to distracted driving or other forms of driver negligence, crashes can still happen if cargo has not been properly tied down when traveling on roadways. If cargo shifts too much, the truck can become unbalanced, which may lead to a rollover accident. Truck drivers or trucking companies who do not properly secure cargo and cause an accident may be responsible for compensating any victims involved in the crash who suffer personal injuries.

The Reality of Trucking Accident Injuries

Accidents involving a truck account for 1 in 10 collisions on U.S. highways. In 2017, approximately 5,000 people were killed and many more were injured due to truck accidents, according to a report by Consumer Notice.

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Campbell County personal injury lawyer

Some people may like to ride in the back of a pickup truck for fun, but this can lead to injuries if a person is thrown or ejected from the truck bed. Each state has its own rules when it comes to truck bed passengers. In Tennessee, no child under the age of six years old may ride in the back of a pickup truck. Tennessee law also states that no minor under 12 years old is allowed to ride in a truck bed when the vehicle is traveling on an interstate or a highway. Those passengers who are older than the age of 12 are able to legally ride in the truck bed. However, if they are ejected and injured in a car accident, they can seek compensation from the at-fault driver.

What Can Cause a Passenger to Be Ejected From a Truck Bed?

Since there are no seat belts installed in pickup truck beds, it is more dangerous to ride in this area of the truck, especially in certain road conditions. A collision does not need to happen in order for someone to be thrown from a truck bed.

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Campbell County BUI injury lawyer

The state of Tennessee has strict laws against boating under the influence (BUI). Just one offense can result in a fine of up to $2,500 and a jail sentence of up to a year. Boating under the influence can also lead to consequences if one or more passengers are injured during a voyage. The driver of the boat is always responsible for the safety of the passengers and those around the boat. Since alcohol use slows a person’s reaction time, it can be difficult to stop an accident from happening, which is why someone should never operate a boat after consuming too much alcohol.

Common Injuries Resulting From BUI

Smaller boats are often overloaded, which can lead to the vessel capsizing--turning over--and dumping its passengers into the water. If someone enters the water while intoxicated, he or she is more likely to drown due to lack of mobility.

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Jacksboro, TN truck accident personal injury lawyer

Driving a truck requires an individual to take special classes for a commercial driver's license (CDL) before he or she is allowed to get behind the wheel of a big rig. Each operator of a truck must know not only how to drive the large vehicle, but also how to stay safe on the road to avoid collisions. A truck accident can occur as a result of negligence by the truck driver on the road. Unfortunately, most truck crashes also lead to serious injuries, including, but not limited to:

  • Whiplash

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Jacksboro, TN auto accident lawyer

Drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road and travel safely. With so many vehicles on the highways, everyone needs to be especially mindful when they change lanes. Whatever the reason for lane changing, a driver should check their side and rearview mirrors and wait until it is clear to move over. If the motorist does not do so, a sudden lane change can cause a collision with another car. Depending on the speed at which the crash happened, the accident could result in serious injuries to the drivers and passengers involved. 

Types of Injuries That Can Result from Lane Change Collisions

Depending on the rate of speed that both vehicles are traveling, there can be severe damage and injury caused by a lane change. Damage to the vehicles includes front-end bumper dents, damage to side doors and mirrors, and rear-end bumper and frame distortions.

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Campbell County, TN personal injury attorney

Parents have recently been capturing startling footage of cars not obeying traffic laws at school bus stops. Cell phone cameras have caught drivers nearly running over children who are boarding school buses, even when buses are stopped with flashing lights, a stop sign displayed, and a safety bar extended. Failure to stop when a school bus is picking up students can lead to serious injury of a child, and a driver will not only face criminal consequences, but they may be held financially responsible for the injuries caused.

According to Tennessee law, a driver may not pass a school bus when it is stopped, its lights are flashing, and it has a stop sign and safety arm extended, unless there is a median strip between the car and the bus. If a driver fails to stop, he or she can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which includes a fine of up to $1,000.

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