Clarksville in Montgomery County, Tennessee, is one of the best places to visit, settle down, or retire. Aside from numerous parks, it’s home to the Austin Peay State University, stunning historical sites, and vast navigable waterways. Clarksville prospered from river trade in the 19th century and continues to thrive.
However, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows for Clarksville locals and tourists. Montgomery County ranked 14th among the 95 Tennesee counties when it comes to overall crash rate. Though it bagged 87th place in fatal crashes, it landed 10th for the prevalence of young driver collisions.
Local news also revealed that Clarksville commuters continue to get stuck in traffic because of the frequency of car wrecks on its highways. The police even confirmed that these wrecks continue to rise.
All these numbers and news suggest that it’s important to remain diligent while traversing Clarksville roads and highways. Motorists can minimize these devastating collisions if they follow road safety laws and stay in their lanes.
Accidents can still happen despite motorist diligence, though this isn’t an excuse to forgive careless drivers for their bad behavior. If you need help getting compensation for a car crash injury, visit The Personal Injury Center. They have legal resources you can browse through to prepare for the battle ahead.
You can also navigate the center’s database for competent personal injury lawyers if you need legal representation. Together, you can get the compensation you deserve for all the injuries you suffered.
Featured on the University of Missouri School of Law
The University of Missouri School of Law cites The Personal Injury Center, also known as the Malpractice Center, as a resource.
“The Medical Malpractice Center has compiled the laws of several states as they pertain to medical malpractice actions. This source is an excellent starting point, since it is written in plain language and is easy to understand.”
Learn more here.
What must you do if you were in a car crash in Clarksville?
If you’re a party in an auto accident in Clarksville, it’s essential to take action immediately. Here are the steps you should take.
Ensure you’re safe before checking on others involved in the motor vehicle accident. You can do more when you’re not the one in immediate danger. Stay away from the vehicles if you smell gas or if there’s a risk of more crashes.
When you’re ready to make the call, give the operator the following details:
- Where the accident took place
- What time it occurred
- Names and contact details of people involved in the crash
- Injuries possibly sustained, including their severity
- Color and type of vehicles involved
Get treatment for your injuries
See a doctor if you sustained injuries in the crash, regardless of the severity. You may suffer from injuries you may see right away, like broken bones or concussions. You may also suffer from internal injuries if you are not wearing your seatbelt. These are not so apparent.
Hence, it’s best to see a doctor to identify and remedy these hidden injuries. When undergoing medical treatment, ensure that you keep everything you need for your claim. This includes medical bills, doctor’s prescriptions, diagnoses, and anything that can prove your claim for medical reimbursement.
Report the accident to the police
Secure a copy of the police report since you can use this to establish liability for the car crash. The Tennessee Treasury Department outlined the steps when reporting auto accidents involving employer-owned, rental, and state-owned vehicles. Here are what you should do.
- Remain at the scene. Be ready to inform the state adjuster about what happened. You have to be very detailed with your narrative.
- Call emergency services like 911 and other police non-emergency numbers.
- Take a minimum of four photos of the following:
- Drivers of other vehicles involved in the crash
- All vehicles involved in the collision
- Other party’s insurance card
- License plates of all parties involved
- Parking situation of both vehicles
- All vehicles involved in the crash
- Other unrelated but notable damages
- Report the incident to the State of TN Auto Accident Call Center as soon as possible. Notify your supervisor and follow your department’s procedures.
- Don’t admit fault or promise reimbursement or coverage to anyone.
Without hard and convincing evidence, what you say will remain hearsay. This is precisely why you must secure proof that the other party was negligent.
You can use your phone to take photos of physical evidence. These can include the position of the vehicles after the crash, skid marks on the road, injuries of both parties, and damaged properties.
It would help if you also got statements from eyewitnesses. If there are no eyewitnesses, secure copies of the dashboard camera or CCTV footage. These clips are material in determining who was at fault in car accident cases.
Get a lawyer
You need to hire a lawyer as early as possible after an accident to cover your bases. Most of the time, the other party won’t admit to their fault and even argue that you’re partly to blame. Admission of guilt could reduce your chances of getting compensation, especially in Tennessee, where the principle of modified comparative negligence applies.
The modified comparative negligence principle suggests that if the plaintiff reaches a specific level of fault, they might be barred from claiming damages. This principle was laid down in the landmark case of McIntyre vs. Balentine. The judge or jury uses the 50 percent rule to qualify for a damage claim. Under this rule, the plaintiff can only claim damages if their fault is less than 50 percent.
Without the guidance of a lawyer, you can readily admit fault and accept lowball offers from insurance firms. A Clarksville car accident attorney ensures you get the compensation you deserve for all the injuries you sustained.
Important Clarksville Road Safety Laws You Need To Know
Drivers and pedestrians should know Clarksville road safety laws. Whether commuting to work or walking around town, knowledge of these rules is essential.
The state Department of Transportation and Tourist Development and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security launched “Hands-Free Tennessee.” The campaign aims to educate the citizens about Public Chapter No. 412 or the Hands-Free Law. The law took effect in 2019 and required drivers to avoid using their phones while driving.
Section 55-8-199 of the Tennessee Code (Code) bans the following for drivers:
- Holding a mobile device or cellphone
- Writing, sending, or reading text messages
- Reaching for their mobile device or cell phone when they’re not restrained by their seat belts or in an unsafe driving position
- Watching movies or videos on their mobile devices or cell phones
- Broadcasting or recording videos on their mobile devices or cell phones
When you violate the law, you can receive a traffic citation and be required to pay the following:
- $50: Fine for first-time violators
- $100: Fine for third-time violators and those with violations that resulted in a collision
- $200: Fines for violations that happened in marked school zones and work zones
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) law
Drunk driving has claimed millions of lives in vehicular accidents, including truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. The aftermath is always catastrophic.
Section 55-10-401 of the Code states that drivers are intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08%. If they’re driving a commercial vehicle, they’re considered under the influence of alcohol if their BAC reaches 0.04%.
Section 55-10-403 outlines the penalties for violating this law. They are as follows:
- First-time offenders: Starts at $350 but not more than $1,500
- Second-time offenders: Starts at $600 but not more than $3,500
- Third-time offenders: Starts at $1,100 but not more than $10,000
- Fourth-time offenders: Starts at $3,000 but not more than $15,000
Note that if a minor is with you at the time of the offense, you’ll be made to pay an additional $1,000.
Move Over Law
Section 55-8-132 of the Code states you must yield when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights on. You can do this by moving to the next available lane from the emergency vehicle.
The law further states that you must slow down when there’s no additional lane. The goal is to give as much space to protect and assist the emergency vehicle driver.
How can a Clarksville car accident lawyer help you?
You can claim compensation from the at-fault party when you or a loved one gets hurt in a car crash. The aim is not to take revenge but to protect your right to travel in a safe and non-hazardous roadway.
While you can run after the negligent party on your own, seeking help from a legal professional is advisable. Here are ways a Clarksville car accident lawyer help you after a crash.
Help you understand your options
It’s easy to give advice when you don’t stand to suffer or benefit from it. When you’re a party in an accident, your judgment might be too clouded to figure out your options. This is where a seasoned lawyer adds value.
Your lawyer can give objective and legally sound advice. They know the law, so they can suggest courses of action you can take to protect your rights. They can also assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case through the evidence at hand. They can ascertain whether or not it’s best to pursue legal action.
Gather evidence and build your case
The judge or jury who will be hearing and deciding your case was not there when the accident happened. You must persuade them to believe your story by presenting hard and convincing evidence.
You must also show that you have the legal standing to pursue the case. Without these, the judge might dismiss your complaint for lack of merit.
If you have a viable case, this will not happen when you have a lawyer by your side. They will hear and fine-tune your narrative to convince the court. They will also take care of the process’s substantive and procedural aspects to ensure your day in court.
Calculate the damages you should claim
There are different kinds of damages, and your lawyer knows what to include in your prayer. Some car accident victims believe that since the at-fault party caused their injuries, they can demand exorbitant damages. The court won’t allow this and could even decide to deny them altogether when there is no adequate justification.
A personal injury attorney knows that while you can run after the at-fault party, your claims must be conscionable. With the guidance of a car accident lawyer, you can make reasonable and legally acceptable estimations of these damages.
Prove that the other party is at fault
It takes work to prove negligence, especially with minimal physical evidence. However, a seasoned car accident lawyer will be up to the challenge.
They know how to establish negligence and refute arguments like “force majeure” or “contributory negligence” as causes of the crash. In the end, an experienced lawyer can attack a personal injury case and secure a favorable verdict.
Litigation can take years, so settling is in your best interest. However, insurance companies, adjusters, and at-fault parties might try to nullify your claim or make a lowball offer. Having a lawyer talk to these parties and advance your rights would be best. They can sit at the bargaining table and secure a fair settlement amount.
Represent you in court
If you can’t agree on a settlement amount, the last resort is battling it out in court. In this case, your lawyer will convince the judge that you’re entitled to the damages you want.
Fight for Your Rights With the Help of Seasoned Lawyers
In car accidents and other personal injury cases, the claimant must prove negligence. They must show ”by a preponderance of evidence” that the defendant caused their injuries. The bar is lower than “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, it can still be challenging for someone with little or no legal background.
You need to find a seasoned personal injury lawyer from The Personal Injury Center to fight for your rights. When you need a legal representative, you can rely on their database of tort lawyers. These lawyers have long years of experience providing private litigation services or working with esteemed law firms.
The center also has a massive collection of legal articles to help you learn more about your rights as an accident victim.
Check out The Personal Injury Center today and take advantage of its free consultation.
FAQs on Car Accident Lawyer Clarksville
Tennessee is considered a "fault state." Suppose you figured in a Clarksville car accident, and the other driver is negligent. In that case, you must prove fault to claim damages from them and their insurance firms.
Victims of personal injury cases have one year after the date of the accident or injury to file a personal injury claim. Otherwise, the statute of limitation will set in, and they will be barred from pursuing legal action. However, this one-year limit doesn't apply to cases involving the following:
- Absentee defendants
- Wrongful concealment
- Wrongful death
- Criminal charges
- Medical malpractice
The Tennessee Code sets federal limits to vehicles traversing Tennessee highways and roads. Here are the following limits:
- 70 miles per hour (mph): Interstate highways
- 65 mph: Other public roadways
- 55 mph: Municipal roads