Car accidents are universal across all of the United States, and even in other parts of the world. They can be physical, mentally and emotionally traumatic events in anyone’s life – even loved ones of a victim who weren’t actually involved in the accident. Losing a friend or family member in a car accident is one of the more devastating losses we could know.
While two rear-end collisions can look the same in California or Kansas, each state in the Union has slightly different laws regarding auto accidents and liability when it comes to legal recourse. This is why it is so important to understand the laws where you live and be aware of laws in other states in which you travel.
But being a resident of the Volunteer State, you have access to beneficial legal recourse to help you get fairly compensated for any loss of property, of life, or of general wholeness due to injury stemming from an auto accident.
Tennessee State Laws
There is a saying all politics are local, and generally, that is the case when it comes to traffic laws as well. There are some general state laws on the books regarding traffic and roadways, and these are guidelines to cities and towns for maintenance and also apply to state and federal highways that cross several counties in Tennessee. These laws will involve some of the roadway markings and their meanings (not all markings are universal in every state), the meanings of certain street signs and the expected guidelines for maintaining roadways (depth of asphalt, length of roadway markings and location on a roadway, etc.).There are some statewide laws regarding driving under the influence, distracted driving and general rules of the road – including the use of seat belts.
Memphis City Ordinances
When you look at the city limits of Memphis, you will find many ordinances and laws dealing with traffic patterns, rules of intersections and penalties for moving violations. Many municipalities have jurisdiction over traffic laws and violations, and the state more generally applies to any violations that occur across county lines.
If you live in Memphis or may be moving to Memphis anytime in the future, it is wise to at least review the city’s ordinances and laws regarding traffic and the various potential violations that may be factored into a future auto accident. If you are someone who was involved in such an accident inside city limits, knowing these ordinances and relating them your particular incident may help or harm your auto-accident personal-injury case.
While the laws in Memphis and the State of Tennessee won’t necessarily determine liability or responsibility in your particular auto-accident case, understanding the laws in play as the accident investigation unfolds will provide some clarity once all the facts come out.
Very few accidents are simple and have just a singular cause. There may be a primary cause of an auto accident, but most accidents have other factors that weave into the case. In many cases, though, if a particular law was found to have been broken and the accident was a result of that violation, that tends to make liability pretty easy to figure out.
If one driver was speeding, for example, or if one driver was texting on the phone and there were no other violations found (even if some other factor played a role, like a wet roadway or bright sunlight in the driver’s face), determining “at-fault” for the accident can be cut-and-dried favoring liability against the driver who committed the violation.
While other factors may play into an accident, usually an investigation will focus on these violations first, especially when it comes to some kind of impaired driving that would generally trump any other factor. This is why gathering a copy of the police report of the accident is so vital – the police investigate to note any possible violation of law that led to the accident, and knowing the statutes potentially in play will go a long way toward a proper resolution of your case.
Know the Law and Your Rights
If you are involved in an auto accident in Memphis, you need the right tools in your toolbox to navigate the aftermath as smoothly as possible. And the first thing that needs to happen is to make sure that medical personnel are on site to examine everyone involved to assess the severity of injuries and ensure treatment is executed as quickly as possible.
Your rights don’t matter if you’re not healthy and alive.
The second thing to take care of is to gather as much information and evidence from the accident as you can, including personal information about drivers and passengers, information about vehicles involved in the accident, as well as any insurance information, and then get law-enforcement officers to the scene to complete a report about the incident.
Once you have all that, you are in good position to hire a Memphis personal-injury lawyer to help conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, juxtapose evidence and any relevant statutes or ordinances that may have been violated, to help determine actual responsibility and to advocate for a speedy and fair compensation for your injuries and lost wages.
When you know the laws on your side and know your rights in an auto accident, that knowledge gives you the power you need to fight and win what is fairly owed you. Contact our office today for a free consultation about your auto-accident case and let us be your advocate.