Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers
When you have been seriously injured in a car accident, the last thing you need is a complex legal analysis of your situation. What you really need is help dealing with the police, towing company, body shop, hospital bills, and insurance adjusters so you can focus on getting the medical care you need to get better. There are plenty of out-of-state personal injury attorneys in who spend millions on TV and billboards just to treat you like just another number. At Weir & Kestner Injury Lawyers, we focus on you and take the time to understand your situation. Our goal is to take all the stress off of you, so you can focus on getting better.
What Makes Us Different
Our car accident lawyers used to work for insurance companies, so they understand what the insurance companies and insurance lawyers are trying to accomplish. However, our attorneys use this inside knowledge of the insurance industry to your advantage. Attorneys Joe Weir and Tony Kestner will fight to protect your right to a full and fair recovery from the negligent driver. Along with our top-quality personal injury legal services, we are unique in that we are dedicated to providing:
From day one, our focus is on relieving your stress and helping you get better. When you come to us, we will help you with your immediate needs rather than overwhelming you with legal jargon and deadlines. When you’re ready, we will make a plan for moving forward and help you understand every step we take.
We pride ourselves on our open lines of communication and our quick response time with clients. We treat each of our clients as if they are our only client and you will have direct contact with our attorneys. We take the time to answer all of your questions.
People are often surprised to learn that we are lawyers, and we see that as a great compliment. Unlike many attorneys, we are approachable and easy to talk to.
Who Can Be Held Liable For the Costs of a Car Accident?
“Negligence” is defined legally as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” The operative word in this definition is “ordinary.” If you drive around Nashville every day and are relatively familiar with traffic laws and common practices on our roads, then your conduct can be described as ordinary. If you drive around in your neighborhood without paying close attention (for example, distracted by your phone or driving under the influence), then that could be considered negligent in most circumstances.
Proving negligence in court involves four distinct steps:
- Showing that the other person in your lawsuit owed you a duty of care for your safety. (Any driver on the road assumes a duty of care for others.)
- Showing how the negligent party failed in their duty of care. They acted in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t have.
- Showing that your injuries resulted from the other person’s breach of care. In other words, the person’s negligent actions directly or indirectly caused your injury.
- Showing that you suffered financial loss as a result.
Understanding Modified Comparative Fault
There’s another complication to consider. Tennessee is a “modified comparative fault state,” which means that if any percentage of your own negligence contributed to the accident, it would reduce your recovery amount by that percentage. For example, if you’re found to be 25% at fault, then your recovery will be reduced by 25%. However, if you are more than 50% at fault, you can recover nothing. So when proving fault in a Nashville car accident, it’s essential to demonstrate that the other party was at least 50 percent at fault to receive a settlement.
While proving fault and negligence can seem daunting, the good news is that there are several ways you and your attorney can prove the other driver was at fault. These include:
- Gathering evidence. The invention of the smartphone has proven quite useful at accident scenes. Take photos of everything you can—the physical damage to the car, photos of your injuries, the position of vehicles after the collision, etc. Your attorney can also utilize forensic evidence during their investigation to determine fault.
- Eyewitness accounts. If there are witnesses to the accident, their written or recorded statements can confirm how the accident happened and whether the other driver was violating any traffic laws. (Traffic violations are a breach of care.)
- Police reports. When the police show up at the scene of an accident, they write out a report of their findings, often including an opinion of who was at fault. Obtaining a copy of this report can bolster your case.
- “No doubt” liability accidents. If the accident was a rear-end collision or left-turn collision (meaning the driver hit you while attempting a left turn), these are almost always categorized as 100-percent the fault of the driver who did it.
Top Ten Causes of Tennessee Car Accidents
These days, there is more traffic on the roads than ever before—and with more traffic generally comes more accidents. Of the roughly six million vehicle accidents that happen in the U.S. each year, between three and four million result in some form of injury. As a major crossroads for the nation, Tennessee is no stranger to injury car crashes and Nashville traffic congestion hit an all-time high.
The causes of these injury accidents are wide and varied, and in many cases, there may be several factors involved. One thing they all have in common is driver negligence. Let’s do a quick overview of the ten most common causes for car accident injuries in the Nashville area.
Of all the contributing factors to car crashes, distracted driving is by far the most common. Close to one million injury crashes per year are caused by distracted driving (mostly due to cell phone use). In Tennessee alone, driver distraction plays a role in at least 20,000 crashes per year.
Speeding is another leading cause of injury car accidents. When drivers go too fast, they have less time to react to sudden changes in the road or traffic, leading to more serious accidents. Speeding also increases the risk of injury because the impact of a speeding vehicle is much greater than one that is moving more slowly.
Driving Under the Influence
Despite tightening laws and stiffer penalties in just about every state, DUI remains a major issue on America’s roads, killing as many as 10,000 people per year in traffic accidents.
Aggressive drivers pose a serious threat to the safety of other motorists on the road. Rush hour traffic can be notorious for reckless driving as motorists are often in a hurry to get to work. Erratic patterns, quick lane changes, and sudden braking make other drivers less able to respond in time to avoid injury accidents.
Tailgating is another dangerous driving habit. It’s also one of the most common reasons for rear-end crashes, as motorists don’t give themselves enough room between vehicles to respond to quick slowdowns in traffic ahead. Tailgating is also a common cause of specific head/neck injuries like whiplash.
Inclement weather conditions often play a role in injury crashes, especially when drivers don’t use extra caution. Dense fog can seriously lessen visibility, while rain, snow, and ice reduce both visibility and tire traction on the roadways. Even a sudden gust of wind can topple trucks or cause a vehicle to swerve unexpectedly.
Improper Lane Changes
Every time a car changes lanes improperly, it increases the risk of an accident. Drifting lanes, misjudging the distance between you and other vehicles, passing on the shoulder, and even failing to use a turn signal all make collisions more likely. Sideswiping a vehicle makes it very easy for the driver to lose control completely, often resulting in serious injuries.
Other Moving Violations
Speeding isn’t the only moving violation that can cause injury accidents. Any time a driver violates the rules of the road, other drivers can’t anticipate their actions. Running red lights and stop signs, improper turns, failing to yield, and other violations often result in injury.
Ironically, swerving to avoid a collision can itself be a cause of a collision. Swerving too closely to other drivers can cause you to make contact with them, and swerving too suddenly or severely can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Not Wearing a Seat Belt
Despite being against the law, nearly 1 in 7 people still don’t wear a seat belt in the car. While failing to wear a seatbelt might not cause an accident, it is still worth including on this top-10. Seat belts reduce the risk of death in a collision by 45 percent and the risk of serious injury by half.
Read One Client's Experience Following Injuries Caused By a Car Accident
Tony and Joe was very attentive to my needs. Being in a car accident was scary enough, having to deal with the after math is what is mind boggling. I am new to the state so I don’t really know the ins and outs of the law so I am really glad I had them to help me! The process was soooooooo easy! Joe started the case and Tony finished. Seamless!
Written by: Joanna Finau
Weir & Kestner Injury Lawyers
5 / 5 stars
Overall rating: ★★★★★ based on over 100 reviews
Contact Tennessee Car Accident Lawyers Tony Kestner and Joe Weir
If you have been injured in a car accident in Tennessee, you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 615-220-4180 to schedule your free consultation. If you're not ready to talk, but still want to learn more about your rights, allow us to email you a complimentary copy of Car Accidents: 7 Steps to Compensation.