The US faces a growing traffic fatality problem, with traffic-related deaths hitting a 20-year high in the first quarter of 2022. In the state of Tennessee alone, the government recorded 314 fatal car crashes in the same year.
The numbers above show that roads in the state and its cities remain dangerous for drivers. If you or a family member got hurt in a crash, you need an experienced Nashville car accident attorney.
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“According to a report by the Medical Malpractice Center, about 15,000 to 19,000 medical negligence lawsuits are filed in the U.S. every year.”
Common Causes of Car Crashes in Nashville
Poor weather conditions and negligent driving are two common causes of auto accidents in Nashville. In this section, we will look at these causes so you can avoid getting involved in dangerous accidents in the future.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) information shows 3,142 casualties involving distracted drivers in 2020. In Tennessee alone, distracted drivers caused over 9,400 car crashes in the same year.
The numbers indicate that distracted driving strongly contributes to the country’s traffic safety problem. Unfortunately, some drivers are still unaware of the dangers this driving habit could cause.
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes away the driver’s attention from the road. The following are examples of distracted driving:
- Using your phone while driving – Talking to or texting someone on the phone while driving can be dangerous. Sending a text may take just five seconds. However, moving at 55 mph for that long is like going the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Moreover, it also requires you to take one of your hands off the wheel. This habit can be dangerous because it will make it harder for you to stay in your lane.
- Listening to distracting noises – Music, conversation with a passenger, or phone calls can impair your ability to focus. Loud noises can also drown out the sounds of hazards outside of your car.
- Looking at distractions on the road – Also called rubbernecking, this habit can be dangerous since it pulls your eyes off the road ahead. It can also make your head and body turn when you look back, which can pull your hand holding the wheel in the same direction. Your mind also wanders to the sight you are looking at, which can slow your reaction time.
- Doing small tasks – Small tasks like eating, fiddling with the radio, or drinking water can take your attention away from the road. These actions can impact your mental, visual, and motor skills.
Improper lane changes
Improper lane changes can lead to fatal accidents. The following are examples of dangerous ways to change lanes:
- Failing to use your car’s turn signal
- Misjudging the distance between your car and other vehicles
- Sideswiping another car on the lane next to you
Speeding is another common cause of car accident injuries. When people drive too fast, they have less time to react to emergencies on the road or in traffic.
Slow reaction times can lead to serious accidents. Moreover, speeding increases the risk of serious injury because the impact is much more significant than traveling slower.
Fast cars need a longer distance before they can fully stop. If they are speeding, the driver will also have a harder time controlling the vehicle in bad weather. The wheels can slip on wet roads, or the driver can lose control if they hit a pothole.
Unfortunately, there are still many drivers that go over the speed limit. Drivers speed because of the following reasons:
- They speed as a force of habit
- They drive faster because they are late for an appointment
- They go over the speed limit simply for the thrill of it
Tailgating or driving too closely after another car is another dangerous habit. Tailgating is one of the most common reasons for rear-end accidents.
When motorists do not have enough space between vehicles to respond to sudden slowdowns, they could crash into other cars. Rear-end collisions can cause specific head or neck injuries like whiplash.
Poor driving conditions
Improving roads and highways can help address the traffic safety problem in the country. However, drivers still encounter various road hazards that could lead to serious accidents. The following are examples of driving hazards:
- Poor road design like deadly curves, sharp turns, narrow bridges, and insufficient lighting
- Potholes that could blow out tires, which could make drivers lose control of their cars
- Construction sites that pose driving hazards and lack proper road signs
- Maintenance defects like missing signage, insufficient reflectors, and faded paint lines
Drivers also need to consider environmental hazards when they are on the road. Rain can make roads slippery, making car wheels spin or skid when braking. In Nashville, ice and snow can cause cars to lose tire traction when moving.
Thick fog can disrupt visibility, especially during nighttime. It can even prevent drivers from seeing further than one car length in front of them.
What type of compensation can car accident victims recover in Tennessee?
Those injured in a car accident in Nashville could get compensation if a negligent driver caused the collision. This section outlines the types of payments victims can get after a car wreck. After reading, you will have a clearer idea of the compensation you can get if you get hurt in a motor vehicle accident.
Economic damages refer to losses that are easy to prove and quantify. Payments for economic damages are for monetary losses that the injured party sustained because of the accident.
These include the following examples:
- Medical expenses -This includes payments for medical treatments, including therapies and long-term care. The at-fault driver will have to shoulder the medical costs and future bills the injured party requires. Your Tennessee car accident lawyer will work closely with your medical team to determine future medical costs. The doctors can help you understand how spinal and brain injuries affect your future. Their testimony may also be invaluable when looking for medical expense compensation.
- Income loss – In a car accident resulting in injury, you may be unable to return to work. This incident can result in lost income and future earnings. Fortunately, your attorney can calculate the loss of past wages and future profits, including benefits, raises, and promotions. They will include any income you would have received had the accident not occurred.
- Property damage – You can seek reimbursement for repairing or replacing any property the accident destroyed. Properties you can get replaced include your vehicle and other personal belongings inside, such as car seats, laptops, cell phones, and aftermarket stereo components.
The at-fault party must also pay for non-economic damages, also known as “general damages.” They are to compensate for the non-monetary effects of a motor vehicle accident. These types of damages include the following:
- Pain and suffering – This claim can be subjective and difficult to prove. The value of someone’s pain and suffering will depend on various factors. These considerations include the type of injury, medication prescribed, recovery time, and permanence of the injury.
- Emotional distress – Accidents can also cause emotional pain and suffering, which can be challenging to quantify.
- Loss of consortium -If a loved one cannot provide the same love, affection, and companionship due to an accident, you can seek compensation for these losses.
Unfortunately, compensation for general damages can be difficult to claim. However, keeping records and testimony from people familiar with the accident and recovery can be helpful.
Courts award punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, to punish the at-fault party and prevent similar behavior in the future.
This compensation is only available in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly bad. Tennessee law also dictates clear guidelines about punitive damages. Under Tennessee Code 29-39-104, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant acted maliciously, fraudulently, or recklessly to be eligible for this type of compensation.
In the US, each state has damage caps that limit the compensation victims can recover. Tennessee has a $750,000 personal injury cap for non-economic damages. However, there’s a higher cap for injuries involving the following:
- Severe burns
- Paralysis due to spinal cord injury
- Wrongful death of the parent with a minor child
How a Car Accident Lawyer in Nashville, TN, Can Help
Victims of car crashes can get compensation with the help of an experienced Nashville car accident lawyer. Read on and learn how an attorney can help you after a car accident.
Recovering from a car crash can be an overwhelming process. You will have to cooperate with the investigation and handle other legal processes if any. You will need the help of a lawyer to get you through this challenging time.
With an attorney, you have someone to guide you through filing a car accident claim. Lawyers will also gather details and information about the crash. They can provide legal advice and represent you in court if needed.
Having a lawyer’s experience and knowledge can be better than addressing all your legal problems yourself.
Moreover, an investigation into the car crash might be one of the most significant components of your car accident. This process can prove who the at-fault driver is and can affect your compensation.
Your lawyer might seek various pieces of evidence to strengthen your claim. Evidence can include photographs, police reports, or surveillance videos. They might ask for witness testimony, black box car data, vehicle manufacturing details, and other information to prove liability.
Talk to insurers
After exchanging contact information with the other driver at the crash site, you will have to talk to your insurance provider. It will help set your expectations if you appreciate that insurance companies are businesses. They do what they do to make money.
One common strategy that insurers do is offering low payouts early in the process. Since most personal injury victims are desperate, they take the offer without realizing the actual value of their case.
If you choose to wait to get a better offer, insurance companies can make the process more stressful for you. This process means more stress and more work. Some representatives might refuse to cooperate and fail to respond to your messages.
Another problem you might encounter is dealing with multiple insurance companies. Things can get complicated if you and the other driver’s insurers get involved.
Fortunately, you can avoid all this stress by hiring a car accident lawyer. Visit a law office and hire a legal team to handle insurance companies. They will know if you are getting baited into taking a low payout.
Remember that regardless of the type or extent of your injuries, you deserve fair compensation. Suppose someone else’s negligence caused the accident. In that case, you could file a personal injury claim and demand payment from the other party’s insurance company.
Even if insurance companies try to deny your claim or reduce your compensation, you can have legal protection if you have a good lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer can ensure that insurance companies cannot take advantage of you after your accident.
Help handle medical bills
In Tennessee, hospitals and other medical centers can file liens to recover bills car crash victims incur from accidents. Unfortunately, some hospitals overbill and file liens higher than they are entitled to recover.
Fortunately, car accident lawyers can determine the proper compensation to treat your injuries. Personal injury attorneys with several years of experience know how to protect their clients from unfair overbilling tactics.
Visit The Personal Injury Center To Get Your Life Back on Track
The days following a car accident can be emotionally draining and stressful. Fortunately, you can rely on a personal injury attorney to take care of your legal issues. With a good lawyer, you will have the legal representation and support you need to file a claim.
You can visit many personal injury law firms with Davidson County, Murfreesboro, Brentwood, or Nashville offices. Some offer a free case evaluation or free consultation in the initial meeting to help you understand your car accident case.
If you want to know how a personal injury attorney can help your case, visit The Personal Injury Center today. Our blog is full of informational content that can help victims get their life back on track after a car accident. We can also help you connect with a competent car accident lawyer in Nashville.
FAQs on Car Accident Lawyer Nashville
Most car accident cases end with a settlement. However, if the parties involved do not reach an agreement, they can take the matter to court. You will need an experienced lawyer to represent you in front of the judge and fight on your behalf.
After a car accident, you want medical attention even if you do not have apparent injuries. Some car crashes can cause serious internal injuries, and you might need a series of medical tests for a proper diagnosis.
In Nashville, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is one year. This means you only have a year from the accident date to file a lawsuit.