Tennessee Car Accident Lawyer
Anti-lock brakes, air bags, and overall design improvements have made many modern cars safer than their predecessors. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes an overall decline in fatal crashes in late-model vehicles. But there are still a large number of dangerous vehicles – and drivers – on the roadways.
Motor vehicle accidents killed 35,369 people in the U.S. in 2013. In Tennessee more than 100,000 people were injured in traffic crashes between 2005 and 2015. Many fatal and serious crashes could be avoided if drivers followed rules of the road and exercised caution. But drivers who are careless or reckless continue to cause car accidents, and when they do, the people they hurt could be entitled to compensation.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, you might be able to collect damages. Find out if you have a case. Call a Tennessee car accident lawyer today at (931) 962-1044.
Carelessness behind the wheel
Most people understand that driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is extremely dangerous. But they might not recognize the potential consequences of other, seemingly harmless behaviors. For example, sleep-deprived drivers may have slow reaction times and impaired judgment. A person who has been awake for 24 hours experiences the same level of impairment as someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent (higher than the Tennessee legal limit of 0.08 percent).
Drivers may overestimate their own ability to pay attention to the road while handling other tasks. Particularly when tired, when using a cell phone, or when eating, drivers might be increasing their risk of a crash. All of those behaviors fall under the broad definition of distracted driving, which causes approximately 10 percent of fatal car accidents and 18 percent of injuries.
Text messaging while driving is known to increase a driver’s crash risk, especially for teen drivers.
In 2013, texting while driving results in approximately 3,000 deaths and 300,000 injuries among teens annually.
Some states and municipalities have laws prohibiting teens from texting while driving, or restricting the use of cell phones, in general, for any motorist. Texting while driving is illegal in Tennessee and is punishable by a fine of $50. But if a texting driver causes an accident that injures others, the costs and consequences can be much higher.
When a vehicle malfunctions while in motion, the results can be deadly. Bald tires, faulty brakes, and defective air bags are among the worst malfunctions that can occur while driving. Many of those problems can be avoided through regular maintenance, and a driver who fails to take good care of his vehicle could be at greater risk for an accident, and at risk of being found negligent, if he causes a crash with injuries.
Some crashes result from a manufacturer defect, and those defects may be unknown until a pattern of accidents emerges. There have been cases of a manufacturer’s issuing a recall of a vehicle model or part years after a car was originally built.
In one of the most notable, widespread recalls in recent history, 11 automotive companies that use Takata air bag inflators in their vehicles have issued recalls. The inflators can cause air bags to rupture without warning, sending metal shrapnel into the interior of the car. As of June 2015, this defect was believed to have caused 100 injuries and more than seven deaths.
In 2013, Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 reported federal agents seized a shipment of counterfeit air bags that was en route to a local used car dealership. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found in testing that counterfeit air bags consistently malfunction in potentially deadly ways, and that people who buy used vehicles and don’t know the vehicle’s history could be at risk. The NHTSA has compiled a list of vehicles for which counterfeiters have designed compatible air bags.
How to get help
Usually, there are several underlying causes for a car accident. And when you are injured in a crash, a lawyer will attempt to determine what all of those causes are, and whether someone is liable for your injuries.
There is a statute of limitations in cases involving personal injury, so if you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, don’t wait to ask for help. Call a Tennessee car accident lawyer today at (931) 962-1044, or fill out our online contact form.