In 2020, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Safety Report documented 1,217 traffic fatalities in Tennessee. The number is higher than the recorded cases of 1,136 in 2019. Motor vehicle accidents also caused 5,537 injuries in 2020.
For instance, the Middle Tennessee State University Sidelines reported a fatal hit-and-run on Northwest Broad Street. Multiple residents said the vehicle might have been recklessly driving around the area for days.
Interestingly, Tennessee’s 2020 Crash Facts stated that more than 6,000 motor vehicle crashes involved deer. These road accidents resulted in more than $90 million in costs. Most often, deer crashes happen between October to December. Deer mating season occurs during these months, and as they travel to their mating grounds, they may cross highways.
While deer may not be held liable for accidents, you may still be eligible to recover damages. Contact a car accident lawyer if you were involved in a Murfreesboro car crash. They can advise you on your rights after an auto accident and help you get compensation for your losses.
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Common Car Accident Injuries in Murfreesboro
Rutherford County, which includes Murfreesboro, recorded 2,378 traffic-related injuries in 2022. Common injuries due to car wrecks include whiplash, brain and spinal cord injuries, facial trauma, broken bones, and internal bleeding.
Car accident victims often suffer from whiplash, which is a neck injury that causes pain and neurological effects. Your doctor may suggest painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy to treat mild whiplash. But if the whiplash involves damage to the spinal cord, you may need surgery such as a corpectomy.
Car wrecks can also cause debilitating injuries to the brain and spine. Moreover, closed brain injuries often occur due to car crashes and falls. Unfortunately, its effects include memory problems, amnesia, paralysis, poor balance, hearing loss, and blurred vision. Hence, it affects almost all body functions.
Like brain injuries, spinal cord problems also need immediate medical attention. Its symptoms include loss of movement, loss of sensation, spasms, and paralysis. The Mayo Clinic reports that motor vehicle accidents are among the common causes of spinal cord injuries in the US.
Tennessee car accident victims may also suffer from facial trauma, affecting the upper and lower jaw, cheek, eye socket, and forehead. It can lead to deformed facial bones, difficulty breathing, and vision problems. Since people first notice the face, facial injuries can increase the risk of body image issues and anxiety.
Although bone fractures can affect anyone, most people with broken bones have been in auto accidents or sports. Most fractures heal in a few weeks. However, if you were in a high-impact car wreck, it may take months to move the affected part. Your personal injury attorney can help you receive maximum compensation for these injuries.
Wrongful Death in Murfreesboro Car Wrecks
In 2022, the Tennessee Traffic Crash Data reported 37 fatal crashes in Rutherford County, more than deadly accidents in 2021. Rutherford County also placed eighth in the overall crash rank.
One instance involved a Dodge Caravan that ran into a Freightliner semi-truck, resulting in the death of the Dodge Caravan driver. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the accident happened due to a vehicle driving in the wrong direction.
News Radio WGNS also reported an SUV that hit a pedestrian who was about to cross Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Unfortunately, the pedestrian died at the scene. Likewise, a head-on collision on New Lascassas Highway killed one person and injured five.
The immediate family of a person killed in a Tennessee car accident must contact injury lawyers to get compensation for their losses.
Possible Liable Parties in Murfreesboro, Tennessee Car Accidents
The possible liable parties include the at-fault drivers, auto manufacturers, and government entities. You need a Murfreesboro car accident lawyer to investigate the cause of the vehicle crash and prove liability.
The cause of the accident significantly affects who will be responsible for a car crash. For example, suppose a driver goes beyond the speed limit and hits another vehicle. In that case, the injured parties can file injury claims against the speeding driver.
According to Crash Facts, speeding crashes are four times more likely to cause death than non-speeding crashes. Moreover, road accidents during nighttime most likely involve speeding drivers.
Distracted driving can also cause car crashes, such as front to rear, angle, and collision with a stationary object. Crash Facts reports that inattentive driving caused more than 23,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2020.
Murfreesboro Police Department said that hundreds of crashes in South Church Street were due to distracted driving. These happen to drivers that lose their focus on the road. It may involve using mobile phones and thinking of other things while operating a vehicle.
Another violation that may lead to liability involves impaired driving. News Radio WGNS reported that the police arrested 14 motorists during the holidays for DUI violations in Rutherford County. An example of DUI’s effect involves the death of a fifth grader due to an intoxicated driver.
In establishing negligence, your personal injury lawyer must prove its four elements:
- Defendant’s legal duty
- Breach of duty
- Plaintiff’s injury
- The breach caused the injury
Here is a sample scenario: a driver using a smartphone while on the road breaches their legal duty to focus on driving. As a result of this violation, they collided with another vehicle and killed one passenger. In this case, the passenger’s immediate family can initiate a car accident case against the distracted driver.
Car manufacturers can also be liable in an auto accident. Your car accident attorney can use the product liability doctrine to establish the company’s liability. Its categories include manufacturing defects, design flaws, marketing defects, and breach of warranty. Your lawyer may also prove negligence to hold the auto manufacturers responsible for your injury.
One scenario pertains to the duty of auto manufacturers to produce safe auto parts and cars. When one sells SUVs with defective brakes, drivers who buy these vehicles are more likely to get into an accident. In this scenario, the SUV owners can sue the auto companies for manufacturing defects.
Fortunately, regulatory agencies and car companies announce recalls of faulty motor vehicles. For instance, General Motors recalled more than 630,000 Chevrolet and pickup trucks due to wheel-speed sensor issues. If the sensor fails, the recalled vehicles may pull to one side, increasing the risk of a car wreck.
Moreover, Ferrari recalled more than 23,000 cars due to a possible brake fluid leak. Since the affected vehicles’ reservoir cap may not be adequately ventilated, it may result in the loss of braking action. If it happens, the driver may lose control of their car.
States, cities, and government agencies
Local and state governments are generally immune to civil suits. However, you could file a claim against Murfreesboro or Tennessee if road hazards, such as potholes, caused the accident. You or your personal injury attorney must prove the following:
- Proof of the dangerous road conditions which caused the incident;
- Exact location of the accident and records of your vehicle repairs;
- The state of Tennessee was aware of the hazardous road condition before the incident happened; and
- The state could have repaired the road hazards but chose not to.
However, the Tennessee Department of Treasury approves only one percent of claims per year. For example, a man in Nashville spent $5,880.00 to repair his car, but the department denied his claim. The rejection letter stated that he did not prove the state’s prior knowledge of the dangerous road conditions.
In Murfreesboro, residents called the attention of authorities regarding Fortress Boulevard, which has been a constant accident scene. In the past two years, 20 people sustained injuries on that road. One resident said they want a traffic light on Fortress Boulevard to make drivers slow down.
Murfreesboro Auto Accident Laws
Drivers in Murfreesboro should know about relevant car accident laws to avoid penalties and protect their rights.
Reporting of the accident
Section 55-12-104 of the Tennessee Code (Code) requires drivers to report the incident to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. They have 20 days to file the report in the following instances:
- The accident resulted in injuries or death.
- The resulting property damage is more than $1,500.
- The damage to the government’s property is more than $400.
The department may suspend your driver’s license and registration if you fail to file a report.
Statute of limitations
An experienced attorney will guide you on the proper timeline for filing. For instance, Section 28-3-104 of the Code states that parties sustaining bodily harm have one year to file personal injury cases.
Similarly, Tennessee allows the filing of wrongful death lawsuits within one year. However, the period starts running on the victim’s death, which can be later than the accident. On the other hand, Section 28-3-105 provides a three-year limit for property damage cases.
Auto insurance laws
The insurance company must cover your liability if you are at fault in an accident. Tennessee sets the following minimum car insurance limits per accident:
- $25,000 for each injury or fatality
- $50,000 for all injuries or deaths
- $25,000 for property damage
The state can impose fines and suspend your driver’s license if you do not have auto insurance.
Modified comparative negligence system
Tennessee follows the modified comparative negligence system, reducing a claimant’s awards by the degree of your negligence. Moreover, the state operates under the 50 percent bar rule. Car accident victims who are 50 percent or more liable cannot claim compensation.
A sample scenario involves the total damages of $100,000. In this example, the plaintiff is 49 percent at-fault, and the defendant is 51 percent negligent. Since Tennessee follows the modified comparative negligence system, the plaintiff will only recover $51,000.
Recoverable Damages in a Murfreesboro Car Accident Case
Car accident lawyers can help you receive maximum compensation. In a personal injury case, damages include economic and non-economic.
Economic damages involve quantifiable monetary losses like medical bills, loss of use of property, and lost wages. On the other hand, non-economic compensation refers to non-monetary losses.
For example, accident victims can demand reimbursement for expenses due to surgeries, prescription medicines, and physical therapy sessions. The court can also order the at-fault party to pay for property damage. A property owner may ask for repair costs if a house or building sustained damage in a car wreck.
Since a vehicular crash affects your daily life, the court may award damages for lost wages. It refers to the salary, bonuses, and commissions you could have earned if the accident did not happen. You may also recover loss of earning capacity, which is your ability to make future income.
In a wrongful death case, your car accident attorney can help you seek reimbursement for funeral costs. Moreover, the immediate family can demand payment for medical bills, lost income, and loss of earning capacity.
A car wreck affects not only the physical but also the emotional and social aspects of a victim’s life. Some victims may never completely recover from the trauma, which can affect their well-being and quality of life.
As a result, victims may receive compensation for their pain and suffering. These non-economic damages may include emotional distress, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life activities, and loss of consortium.
To request these awards, your attorney must present psychiatric records and testimony from family and friends. This documentary and testimonial evidence can show how the accident affected your daily life.
Get Help From Murfreesboro Car Accident Lawyers
You would need experienced personal injury attorneys if you were in a car accident case. They can provide legal representation, so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Visit The Personal Injury Center to learn more about your rights after an accident. We can also match you with Murfreesboro injury lawyers. Book your free consultation now!
FAQs on Murfreesboro Car Accident Lawyer
How much do accident lawyers charge?
Most lawyers charge on an hourly basis or based on a contingency fee. An hourly cost may range from $200 to $500. But suppose your car accident attorney offers a contingency fee arrangement. They may take from 20 to 50 percent of the total recovery amount in that case.
What is a reasonable settlement offer for a car accident?
A good settlement offer depends on the specific facts of your case. For example, you may demand more if you need complex surgeries. However, you may receive a lower amount if you sustain minor injuries.
What should you consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer?
You must look for an attorney with years of experience and an excellent track record. They must also know the strategies for becoming a thorough investigator and persuasive negotiator. Moreover, they must be good listeners who show genuine compassion regarding your case.