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Campbell County criminal defense attorney DUI

Ridesharing with companies like Lyft and Uber have been known to curb cases of DUI in many locations across the states, which is great for those pub-crawlers and bar-hoppers (and, in many cases during these pandemic days, house party-goers as well) looking for an affordable way to get home after having one-too-many drinks, but what happens if your rideshare driver gets pulled over for drunk driving while you are in the car? Are you at all responsible if you do not report it as soon as you notice something amiss in your driver’s behavior and driving? What will the police do? Does this even happen that often? Here is the scoop on rideshare DUIs.

Zero Tolerance

First of all, you should know that both Lyft and Uber have “zero tolerance” policies for drunk driving, meaning they will take swift action against the driver in question. Unfortunately, unless the police actually pull over the driver for suspected drunk driving and charge that driver for it, many passengers can just accuse drivers of drunk driving to get a refund, triggering consequences including possibly innocent drivers losing their jobs with the rideshare company being prohibited from providing services temporarily.  

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney traffic violation

Traffic laws are meant to keep everyone on the road safe, whether it is a vehicle driver, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist. Recent Tennessee legislation enacted the STOP Act, which dictates how drivers should respond to school buses. Familiarize yourself with this newer law to avoid stringent charges. If you are accused of any traffic violation, you should immediately consult with a traffic violation attorney and prepare a thorough and rigorous defense. 

The STOP Act

According to Tennessee law, drivers must never pass a school bus that has stopped to unload children, regardless of the direction in which they are traveling. Once a school bus begins moving again, nearby drivers may also do so. Bus drivers may also signal drivers that they may proceed, and if they turn off the bus’s visual signals, drivers may pass. School buses have a stop sign on the side of their vehicle that extends out while their lights flash, so it is easy to recognize when a bus driver is stopping to unload children.

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Campbell County personal injury attorney motorcycle accident

Nearly 5,000 people die in the United States because of motorcycle accidents each year. Fortunately, manufacturers of motorcycles and associated safety equipment have been improving their designs to help keep bikers as safe as possible. Smart, conscious riding and these innovations in safety can help prevent motorcycle accidents. However, if you or a loved one ever suffer the unfortunate circumstance of being in a motorcycle crash, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area who has a thorough understanding of the way Tennessee liability laws function in motorcycle accident cases.

Motorcycle Safety Innovations

Visibility plays a crucial role in keeping people safe on the road. Even though motorcyclists are not surrounded by a frame that can limit their visibility like in cars, it is still possible for a motorcyclist to miss something in their blind spot or lose a significant amount of vision due to their helmet. Fortunately, advances in motorcycle helmet design have led to the inclusion of GPS systems and built-in cameras in newer models.

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney BUI

It is common to wonder why having some drinks with friends out on a boat is as serious as driving a car while impaired. However, evidence shows that boating under the influence (BUI) can be even more dangerous than driving under the influence, and Tennessee law addresses that danger accordingly. If you are facing a BUI charge, do not hesitate to seek the help of an experienced BUI attorney in your area. Depending on the details of your case, a BUI conviction can result in steep punishment. For this reason, make sure you get all the help you need to prepare a proper defense. 

Degree of Impairment While BUI

The Coast Guard’s primary evidence for why BUI can be more dangerous than DUI is that, drink for drink, a boat operator is likely to become more intoxicated than a driver. This observation is supported by the statistic that about one-third of all recreational boating fatalities result from BUI. Because boating fatalities do not necessarily result from crashes, federal law prohibits anyone from operating any type of boat while intoxicated, whether it be a canoe or a large ship.

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Campbell County personal injury attorney

Most people are familiar with confidentiality agreements of some kind: Many employers require that new employees sign one to prevent leaking trade secrets. Also, non-disclosure agreements (NDA) can serve to protect people by protecting their private information that they share with health professionals or attorneys. However, there are some instances where signing a non-disclosure policy during a personal injury lawsuit can be bad for the plaintiff and the general public. 

Non-Disclosure Agreements and Personal Injury Settlements

Sometimes, defendants in personal injury settlements will try to sneak in a confidentiality agreement to protect their reputation and not tarnish their public image. This strategy might not pose an issue in some personal injury cases, but in many others, the plaintiff will wish that the public is fully aware of the harm the defendant’s negligence caused him or her.

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney

Most states have requirements that prosecutors must meet before convicting a defendant for a criminal offense, and Tennessee is no different. If you face criminal charges, working with an attorney who has a rich understanding of and deep experience with Tennessee criminal law is vital if you hope to have potential penalties reduced or dropped altogether. You can develop a better understanding of how to prepare a defense by understanding all of the conditions that prosecutors must meet. With that said, it is always best to have an attorney help you pinpoint precisely how to build and present your defense to be protected by the law. 

Tennessee Criminal Law

According to Tennessee criminal law, no individual may be convicted for a criminal offense unless the following can be proven by the prosecution:

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Campbell County personal injury attorney truck accident

Tennessee is an at-fault state, which means that in the event of a vehicle accident, the driver at fault will be responsible for paying the other driver appropriate compensation through his or her insurance company. This rule also applies to truck accidents. Truck drivers must follow additional federal regulations, so if you and your attorney are trying to prove that a truck driver is at fault for your crash, there are more ways to hold the driver or trucking company accountable that you would not necessarily consider in a typical automobile accident. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your collision, you should work closely with a personal injury attorney to have a better chance of receiving the compensation that you need and deserve.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides federal guidelines for truck drivers and trucking companies to follow to help ensure their safety and the safety of others. For example, hours-of-service rules stand to help prevent fatigued truck drivers from causing accidents. If a truck driver carrying property does not adhere to the following, it will be easy to prove that he or she is at fault for an accident:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney car accident

Tennessee is a “fault state,” so whichever driver in a car accident is found to be at fault will be responsible for paying any damages. If you get into a car accident, it is up to you to prove that the other driver is at fault if he or she is to properly compensate you for any property damage or personal injury. If there are no medical issues that should be addressed immediately, you should try to secure testimony from any witnesses in the area. This is not as simple as approaching witnesses and asking them if they will offer their statement in your defense. There are several strategies you can employ to improve your chances of stating your case to the police or in court. Capitalize on any testimonies that you gather by working with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. By staying proactive in proving that you are not at fault for a car accident, you have a better chance of being compensated by the other driver’s insurance provider.

How to Approach a Car Accident Witness

The atmosphere at the scene of a car accident can be chaotic and disorienting. To help ensure detailed testimony from witnesses, ask for their contact information so that you and your attorney can communicate with them in the near future when they may be calmer and more focused. Although it can work in your favor to reach out to witnesses after the accident, remember not to wait too long. You want to get their perspectives while they still clearly remember the accident’s details. 

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

If you are in a car accident, you may suffer serious to life-threatening injuries depending on several factors, such as speed or the size of the vehicles involved. Although you might feel fortunate that you are not in pain after an accident, some common crash injuries have delayed symptoms. That is why it is important for you and your passengers to seek medical attention, without exception. The medical aftermath of a car accident should be your top priority, so alleviate other stresses and work with a personal injury attorney you can trust to learn your options for seeking compensation. 

Delayed Injuries and Symptoms

Car accidents frequently cause non-superficial injuries that include internal bleeding, blood clots, concussions, or spinal injury. These types of injuries do not typically exhibit symptoms immediately. Instead, symptoms arise after a few days. A doctor can usually detect these injuries before they become symptomatic, but common symptoms for delayed injuries may include the following:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney DUI

Although you consent to take roadside blood alcohol content (BAC) tests when a Tennessee DMV issues your driver’s license, there are still reasons that you may wish to contest alcohol breathalyzer tests. A 2019 New York Times investigation discovered that in many cases, alcohol breath test machines are not reliable enough to justify the nearly 1 million Americans arrested each year for driving under the influence (DUI). To gain a deeper understanding of why you and your attorney should consider contesting an alcohol breath test, it is crucial to understand why these machines mislead in so many cases. 

Breath Alcohol Tests

Part of The New York Times' investigation discovered that judges in Massachusetts and New Jersey discarded 30,000 breathalyzer tests in just one year due to human error. Thousands of more drivers have had their tests invalidated, and that alone is a strong reason to consider contesting the results of your BAC test. 

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Although most car accidents are a result of negligent driving, some occur because of defective equipment parts. There are many situations in which a manufacturer or repair shop might be to blame. A particularly clear case is when your airbags do not deploy as they should. Car manufacturers are required to ship new vehicles with functioning airbag systems. They can be held liable if your car is found to have faulty parts or improper installation. If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, it is imperative that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney right away. Tennessee is an at-fault state, so a skilled attorney can investigate whether or not a car manufacturer or other parties are liable for your crash. 

Tennessee Product Liability Laws

Before explaining Tennessee’s product liability laws, you should understand the car dealership and private sellers’ responsibilities. Most states have lemon laws to protect consumers from defective vehicles. Tennessee’s lemon law only protects purchases from a manufacturer. The coverage does not apply to consumers who purchase used cars from dealerships or private sellers. Technically, unless the terms of a used car sale include a warranty or similar guarantee, the purchaser is responsible for the vehicle once it is in his or her possession. When buying a used vehicle, make sure that it does not need airbag replacements. 

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney vandalism

While vandalism usually does not warrant the same degree of punishment as other crimes, it is still important to understand what is at stake if you face vandalism charges. Vandalism is defined as the intentional destruction or harm to another person’s property. Therefore, if you face charges for something that you did unwittingly or accidentally, you could potentially build a strong defense. If you are ever accused of defacing property, you should seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to develop your case and protect your rights.

Tennessee Vandalism Laws

Vandalism laws vary from state to state, but one of the distinctions in Tennessee law is that depending on the value of the damage and the circumstances surrounding the crime, vandalism can be a felony offense. However, most of the time, vandalism is a misdemeanor. We gave a brief idea of what ‘damaging’ a person’s property could be defined as, but there are a few more ways to define intentional property damage:

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Campbell County auto accident injury attorney

Being a defensive driver is one of the best ways to stay safe on the road, so it is important to stay up to date on how a lot of people are driving in your state so that you do not get careless. The coronavirus pandemic has changed how and how often people drive, and it will not hurt to be aware of how these changes render the driving of others and potentially even your own unpredictable. If you ever get into a car accident, you will be able to better fight for the damages you are owed if you work with an experienced car accident attorney in your area. 

COVID-19 and Car Accident Rates in Tennessee

Believe it or not, even though COVID-19 has resulted in fewer concurrent drivers on the road at any given time, car accident rates are rising. Compared to 2019, car accident fatalities rose 18.5 percent this March when compared with the previous year. Officials theorize that this could be due to a few reasons. First, with fewer cars on the road, more drivers could be encouraged to speed. Second, this increase in speed combined with the lack of a seatbelt could easily explain the rise in fatalities. Also, many drivers have not been behind the wheel in days, weeks, or maybe even months. That unfamiliarity could pose significant threats to safety.

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Campbell County personal injury attorney car accident

Before you lend your vehicle to someone, carefully consider what the consequences could be if he or she gets into an accident. There are various outcomes if the person borrowing a car has an accident, including minor to serious injuries. Therefore, it is important for any vehicle owner to understand his or her rights and responsibilities. Regardless of whether or not you know what your auto insurance policy covers or the nature of the accident, it is important to work with an accomplished car accident attorney to help secure the best outcome.

Tennessee Liability Laws

In general, the owner of the vehicle will be held financially responsible for any damages in a collision. Whether or not you are a passenger at the time, your insurance policy will most likely be the one to cover damages. This rule is known as ownership liability. In some situations, if your car is totaled by another driver, your insurance policy will pay up to its limits and then the driver’s policy will carry the rest of the burden. However, this all depends on what kind of insurance policy you have. Some do not allow for this sharing of financial responsibilities, and you may end up owing more than your insurance covers.

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Campbell County auto accident attorney

If you get into an accident or are pulled over for any other reason in Tennessee, you will always need to provide proof of insurance. However, unless you buy your vehicle from a private seller and fail to get insured beforehand, you should always have some form of insurance on your vehicle. We will explain why below, but remember that if you face charges for any traffic violation or need to secure fair compensation after a car accident, seeking the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney can go a long way in achieving a favorable outcome. 

Temporary Insurance in Tennessee

Tennessee law requires that all drivers have auto insurance that covers at least the following: 

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Campbell County drunk driving defense attorney

When considering DUI laws, it is easy to forget that having an open container of an alcoholic beverage in your vehicle can have separate consequences. We will explain when and why a driver can be punished by Tennessee’s open container law, but know that if you are involved in any aspect of a DUI, it is imperative that you seek the legal guidance of an accomplished Tennessee DUI attorney. With a strong defense, you can protect your rights to the fullest extent. 

Tennessee’s Open Container Law

On paper, Tennessee’s open container law is fairly simple: If the driver has an alcoholic beverage that is open or the seal is broken and it is accessible, he or she can be punished. However, there is some fine print that should be understood about this rule. For instance, this law is designed to prevent a driver from consuming an alcoholic beverage while driving. It does not necessarily prevent passengers from having alcoholic beverages or for alcohol to be in areas of the vehicle that are inaccessible to the driver. 

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Campbell County drunk driving defense attorney

Perhaps you and a friend were enjoying a few drinks after work and your friend claims that he or she is sober enough to drive. However, you may wonder if you will be also held responsible if your friend is charged with a DUI? The short answer: Yes. Under Tennessee legislation, anyone who gets into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver is equally responsible in determining whether or not the driver is in a fit state to be behind the wheel. The details of this Tennessee law are explained below, but remember that if you are ever charged with a DUI, it is imperative that you seek assistance from an experienced Tennessee attorney to avoid a criminal conviction.

Tennessee’s DUI By Consent Law

Like in all areas of the country, Tennessee drivers who have blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit can face significant punishment that corresponds to how many times they have committed the offense. However, the driver may not be the only person subject to criminal charges. Any passengers who have agreed to let that person drive will be given the exact same DUI charges through Tennessee’s DUI By Consent law. For example, if a passenger and an intoxicated driver are both given their first DUI charge, they may face at least 48 hours of jail time, their licenses revoked, fined, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, and more. 

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Campbell County auto accident injury attorney

Drivers can do a lot to protect themselves and others on the road, and this includes making sure their vehicles are well-maintained. Too often, drivers only care about getting their car repaired when a warning light appears on the dash, but other symptoms also warrant a visit to a mechanic as soon as possible. If a driver has failed to properly maintain their vehicle, this can render it unsafe to drive, leading to a dangerous car accident. If you are ever involved in a collision with another vehicle, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights and determine how you can recover compensation for your damages.

The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance

A car's suspension keeps it balanced and upright. The struts, steering rack, anti-roll bars, control arms, and drive shafts work across the width of the car to provide the level of control that drivers need when they are behind the wheel. If any part of the suspension has a critical failure, a car could lose balance, and the driver may lose steering control. Thankfully, there are some clear symptoms that alert drivers to a possible problem with their car’s suspension.

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Campbell County BUI defense attorney

If law enforcement personnel suspect that you are driving under the influence in Tennessee, they will most likely ask that you take a Breathalyzer test to obtain an estimation of the alcohol levels in your body. They also might ask you to take other, more subjective field sobriety tests, such as the Walk and Turn, One Leg Stand, and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus tests. You are faced with an important choice when a police officer asks you to take a Breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests, so it is essential to know what the law requires of you at that moment, as well as following an arrest. Regardless of the circumstances of your arrest, you will want to work with an accomplished criminal defense attorney to aggressively defend your rights and minimize the potential consequences you may face.

Tennesse’s Implied Consent Law

In Tennessee, when motorists obtain their licenses, they automatically give consent to submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test if they are requested to do so by police. However, it is important to understand that implied consent does not apply to roadside breathalyzer tests or field sobriety tests. These tests can be refused, although this refusal may give an officer probable cause to arrest you on suspicion of drunk driving.

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Campbell County traffic violations defense attorney

The staggering amount of car accidents caused by distracted driving in Tennessee pushed lawmakers to institute a new law on July 1, 2019 that bans any kind of cell phone use while driving. Understanding this new law can help you avoid a costly ticket in addition to a serious crash. In some cases, the penalties for using your phone behind the wheel can carry costly fines and the loss of driving privileges. Regardless of the charges, it is critical that you present an aggressive defense to the court with the guidance of an experienced traffic violations attorney.

Distracted Driving Statistics in Tennessee

For the three years leading up to 2019, distracted driving by Tennessee motorists caused more than 24,000 crashes annually. Tennessee also had the highest fatality rate of any state for distracted driving in that time period. The national average was 1.49 fatalities per 10 billion vehicle miles, while Tennessee’s rate reached 7.2 deaths for that same mileage.

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