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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Despite the pandemic putting many of the usual activities of life on pause for the greater part of 2020, the Tennessee legislature did manage to pass a few laws that take effect in January of 2021. One such law took root in House Bill 1593 and Senate Bill 2207. These bills were primarily meant to tax peer-to-peer car-sharing programs, in which a car owner lends his or her car to someone else who will borrow it to drive using the program for a fee. It is the gig economy’s version of a car rental company in much the same way Airbnb is the hotel or timeshare of its age in this “sharing economy.” But what happens if you suffer a personal injury from a car accident involving a driver who is borrowing an automobile through a peer-to-peer car-sharing program? The 2021 peer-to-peer car-sharing program law has a lot to say about the insurance process, but what if the auto insurance policy does not fairly compensate you for your injuries or damages?   

What to Do After a Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Program Accident in Tennessee

Essentially, as a personal injury victim, you will want to handle a peer-to-peer ride-sharing accident in much the same way you would any other car accident:

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

DUI charges during the winter holidays can be a frequent occurrence and accidents caused by drunk driving are also very common, but there are plenty of other reasons that drivers in Tennessee might be involved in car accidents this winter holiday season. Here is an overview of the data concerning the most common reasons for car accidents in Campbell County. Keep them in mind should you ever be involved in a car accident with personal injuries. Doing so will help you better understand whether you have a strong case, what type of compensation you might be entitled to, and how an experienced attorney can help you with your claim.

Frequent Reasons for Car Accidents in Tennessee

While driving drunk, texting while driving, driving recklessly or aggressively, and countless other reasons for car accidents are common across the nation, they are not nearly as common as the following categories are in Campbell County, TN, at least over the last decade. Each of these reasons for car accidents has resulted in hundreds of times more accidents than most other reasons:

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Campbell County personal injury attorney

Whether you have been in a vehicle collision, truck accident, motorcycle crash, or any other type of accident and sustained a personal injury as a result, you are probably going to want to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages in court, especially if the costs of medical bills and your own trauma are preventing you from moving forward with your life. However, before you proceed with hiring a personal injury attorney, you should know what to expect from them to ensure they are working in your best interests.   

What to Expect from Your Personal Injury Attorney 

From analyzing your case to determine compensation to filing paperwork and arguing your case in order to expedite its settlement, your personal injury attorney can do many important things for you to make sure everything goes smoothly and you obtain the best possible outcome. Here are a few examples of how your personal injury lawyer can assist you:

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

As the technology for self-driving vehicles continues to improve and such vehicles become more common on the road, especially for commercial purposes, the likelihood of being involved in an accident with a self-driving vehicle increases. While the general argument for using self-driving vehicles is safety since the majority of vehicle accidents are caused by human error, there have been instances over the last five years when pedestrians and other drivers were either injured or killed by self-driving automobiles. Self-driving accidents might include car collisions and truck crashes, and more. Fortunately, Tennessee law has defined self-driving vehicles in order to assist with personal injury cases that result from such accidents.

Self-Driving Vehicles = Automated Driving System (ADS) in Tennessee

In Tennessee, self-driving vehicles are defined under the umbrella of “automated driving systems.” Automated driving systems (ADS) are vehicles with advanced technology installed that have the capability to take full or partial control of a vehicle without intervention or supervision from a human operator. In this sense, the driving of ADS vehicles can be completely automated (self-driving). 

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Campbell County personal injury attorney motorcycle accident

In most personal injury cases, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents, testimony might be provided by experts for both sides of the case. Professional experts are critical to just about any case, but they are especially important in accident-related cases because they can help provide context and clarify the circumstances of the crash. Combined with the guidance of a qualified personal injury attorney, they may increase your chances of receiving compensation for your pain and suffering as a victim of a collision. Below are a few examples of the types of experts you might encounter in such cases. 

Subject Matter Experts 

In addition to the police, the victim(s), specialists, and other professional experts can be called into personal injury accident cases to bolster an argument. These subject matter experts may include:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney car accident

Tennessee is a “fault state,” so whichever driver in a car accident is found to be at fault will be responsible for paying any damages. If you get into a car accident, it is up to you to prove that the other driver is at fault if he or she is to properly compensate you for any property damage or personal injury. If there are no medical issues that should be addressed immediately, you should try to secure testimony from any witnesses in the area. This is not as simple as approaching witnesses and asking them if they will offer their statement in your defense. There are several strategies you can employ to improve your chances of stating your case to the police or in court. Capitalize on any testimonies that you gather by working with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. By staying proactive in proving that you are not at fault for a car accident, you have a better chance of being compensated by the other driver’s insurance provider.

How to Approach a Car Accident Witness

The atmosphere at the scene of a car accident can be chaotic and disorienting. To help ensure detailed testimony from witnesses, ask for their contact information so that you and your attorney can communicate with them in the near future when they may be calmer and more focused. Although it can work in your favor to reach out to witnesses after the accident, remember not to wait too long. You want to get their perspectives while they still clearly remember the accident’s details. 

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

If you are in a car accident, you may suffer serious to life-threatening injuries depending on several factors, such as speed or the size of the vehicles involved. Although you might feel fortunate that you are not in pain after an accident, some common crash injuries have delayed symptoms. That is why it is important for you and your passengers to seek medical attention, without exception. The medical aftermath of a car accident should be your top priority, so alleviate other stresses and work with a personal injury attorney you can trust to learn your options for seeking compensation. 

Delayed Injuries and Symptoms

Car accidents frequently cause non-superficial injuries that include internal bleeding, blood clots, concussions, or spinal injury. These types of injuries do not typically exhibit symptoms immediately. Instead, symptoms arise after a few days. A doctor can usually detect these injuries before they become symptomatic, but common symptoms for delayed injuries may include the following:

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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

Being a defensive driver is one of the best ways to stay safe on the road, so it is important to stay up to date on how a lot of people are driving in your state so that you do not get careless. The coronavirus pandemic has changed how and how often people drive, and it will not hurt to be aware of how these changes render the driving of others and potentially even your own unpredictable. If you ever get into a car accident, you will be able to better fight for the damages you are owed if you work with an experienced car accident attorney in your area. 

COVID-19 and Car Accident Rates in Tennessee

Believe it or not, even though COVID-19 has resulted in fewer concurrent drivers on the road at any given time, car accident rates are rising. Compared to 2019, car accident fatalities rose 18.5 percent this March when compared with the previous year. Officials theorize that this could be due to a few reasons. First, with fewer cars on the road, more drivers could be encouraged to speed. Second, this increase in speed combined with the lack of a seatbelt could easily explain the rise in fatalities. Also, many drivers have not been behind the wheel in days, weeks, or maybe even months. That unfamiliarity could pose significant threats to safety.

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Before you lend your vehicle to someone, carefully consider what the consequences could be if he or she gets into an accident. There are various outcomes if the person borrowing a car has an accident, including minor to serious injuries. Therefore, it is important for any vehicle owner to understand his or her rights and responsibilities. Regardless of whether or not you know what your auto insurance policy covers or the nature of the accident, it is important to work with an accomplished car accident attorney to help secure the best outcome.

Tennessee Liability Laws

In general, the owner of the vehicle will be held financially responsible for any damages in a collision. Whether or not you are a passenger at the time, your insurance policy will most likely be the one to cover damages. This rule is known as ownership liability. In some situations, if your car is totaled by another driver, your insurance policy will pay up to its limits and then the driver’s policy will carry the rest of the burden. However, this all depends on what kind of insurance policy you have. Some do not allow for this sharing of financial responsibilities, and you may end up owing more than your insurance covers.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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