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Knoxville drunk driving accident lawyerGetting into a car accident can be a very scary experience, especially if you are hurt. It is not likely to make you feel any better if you step out of your wrecked vehicle and discover that the other driver is intoxicated. Drunk drivers are almost always responsible for the accidents they are involved in, and may be both criminally and civilly liable. Seeking emergency medical care as needed is always the first priority after a motor vehicle accident. 

However, if you are able, there are steps you can take right after the accident that can help when it comes time to seek compensation. Calling an attorney as soon as possible may also help you with preserving evidence and start you on the right path to recovering damages. 

Steps You Can Take After a Drunk Driving Wreck

After any motor vehicle crash, getting to safety is the most important thing. If anyone is seriously hurt, call an ambulance first. Always move accident vehicles off the roadway if possible and get yourself to a safe and well-lit area. There may be additional safety concerns after a crash with a drunk driver. Intoxicated people are prone to acting belligerent and even becoming violent, especially during a high-stress situation. Typical advice, like getting the other driver’s insurance information, may be impossible. When you can safely do so, follow these steps: 

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Knoxville motorcycle crash lawyerIt is well-known that motorcycles can be a bit dangerous. When you get into a crash in a car, you have some level of protection from the vehicle. When you get into a crash on a motorcycle, your body takes the brunt of the collision. This is why serious head, neck, and spinal injuries are common. Careless drivers are often to blame for motorcycle crashes, but the motorcyclist’s failure to wear a helmet may be partly to blame for the severity of his injuries. Even if it is clear that a driver’s negligence caused the crash, whether the driver is responsible for the full extent of a biker’s injuries is a separate issue. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, it is important that you begin working with a licensed personal injury attorney to maximize your chances of recovering full compensation. 

What is Comparative Negligence? 

In Tennessee, the comparative negligence rule states that you must have been less than 50% responsible for your injuries in order to recover any damages from the negligent party who injured you. So, to prevail on a negligence claim you must prove that the driver who injured you was at least 50% to blame for the extent of your injuries. Unfortunately, if the court finds that your injuries are at least half your fault, you will not be able to recover. 

This will be a very fact-intensive legal analysis best handled by an experienced lawyer. If you were not wearing your helmet and suffered a head injury, the court will want to know whether your head injury would have been less severe or prevented entirely if you had worn a helmet. On the other hand, if you suffered an abdominal or leg injury, whether or not you were wearing a helmet is probably not relevant. 

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Jacksboro Personal Injury LawyerWhen a semi-truck overturns on the highway, the driver is far from the only person at risk of being injured. The large size of a truck means that several other vehicles could be caught in the path of a rollover, or be unable to avoid an overturned truck that is obstructing the roadway. If you are injured in a rollover truck accident, it is important to understand the common causes of these crashes as you begin your pursuit of fair compensation.

Semi-Truck Rollovers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regularly maintains statistics regarding large truck accidents for the benefit of research like their Large Truck Crash Causation Study. Data from this study has revealed the following as some of the most common reasons for semi-truck rollover crashes:

  • Excessive speed - This not only includes cases in which the driver exceeded the posted speed limit, but also cases in which the driver was traveling too fast for the specific conditions at the time, including the weather, the road conditions, the size of the truck’s load, or the need to traverse a curve.

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Jacksboro Personal Injury AttorneyOver the last 10 years, data from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security indicates that distracted driving is a factor in more than 20,000 annual car accidents throughout the state. Due to the inherent difficulty of detecting driver distraction, it is likely that the actual number is significantly higher. Distractions can make a driver particularly susceptible to causing a rear-end collision, which may result in serious injuries to the occupants of the vehicle in front. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision with a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation.

What Makes Distracted Driving Dangerous?

Using a cell phone while driving is such a prevalent behavior nowadays that it is easy to overlook just how dangerous it can be. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a driver may take their eyes off of the road for up to 5 seconds or more while sending or reading a text message. During this time, a vehicle traveling at 55 mph can cover 100 yards of ground. With this in mind, it is easy to see how a texting driver can cause a rear-end collision, especially if traffic in front of them has slowed or stopped.

However, texting is far from the only distraction that can contribute to a car accident. Many drivers are susceptible to multitasking while behind the wheel, and activities like eating, grooming, attending to child passengers, reaching for an item in the car, or simply adjusting the radio or vehicle controls can take a driver’s hands, eyes, and attention away from the task of driving. A driver could also be distracted by a passenger inside the vehicle or something happening outside of the vehicle.

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jacksboro fatal crash lawyerThe U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released early estimates of crash fatalities from 2020. The estimates show that despite the COVID-19 pandemic keeping Americans off the roads, there was a more than 7 percent increase in the number of victims killed in traffic accidents last year compared to 2019.

2020 Statistics

The NHTSA’s preliminary estimates show that approximately 38,680 victims were killed in traffic accidents in 2020, the highest number of fatalities since 2007. This increase occurred despite the number of vehicle miles traveled decreasing by more than 430.2 billion miles. There was a 9 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities, a 5 percent increase in passenger vehicle fatalities, and a 5 percent increase in cyclist fatalities compared to 2019.

Fatal crashes rose 15 percent on urban highways and 11 percent on local and rural roads. According to the NHTSA’s report, the main causes of this increase include driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, speeding, and failure to wear seat belts. The number of fatal crashes increased significantly during the last two quarters of the year. This time period is also when states begin lifting pandemic restrictions.

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