What should people look for when seeking legal representation for a car wreck case?
What should people look for when seeking legal representation for a car wreck case? In my opinion lawyers are a lot like doctors. So, if you’re going to have a shoulder surgery go to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulder surgeries. Your odds of a greater outcome will increase.
Likewise with attorneys, if you have been involved in a serious accident with a tractor trailer, hire a personal injury attorney who has extensive knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety rules and regulations. Please don’t hire the local criminal lawyer or the estate attorney who handled your mom’s will. If you hire an attorney who does a little bit of everything…you know the saying, “jack of all trades, master of none”. How does this attorney stay on top of all those different areas of law? They don’t.
It is very important to do your research and ask questions when you hire anyone. When you call an attorney for a consultation, it’s okay to ask what types of personal injury cases the attorney has handled. Ask how often they go to trial and if they have experience working with your specific type of car wreck injuries.
Insurance companies also factor in the capabilities of the attorney on the other side. Your car wreck settlement can be affected by your attorney’s knowledge and abilities to work through the case. Choose who you hire very carefully.
Is a GoFundMe Account a Good Idea After a Car Wreck in Tennessee?
Attorney Henry Queener
Starting a GoFundMe account after a car wreck may sound like a good idea, but did you know that it could affect how your car insurance pays out? Let me briefly illustrate a scenario for you.
Let’s say you are in a car wreck, caused by someone who was distracted by their cell phone. In this situation, you have no health insurance, and your medical bills total a whopping $35,000. The guy who ran the stop sign has no car insurance. You have full coverage under Tennessee law, including uninsured motorist (this covers you when the at- fault driver does not have car insurance). However, your underinsured motorist policy limit is $25,000. Since your medical bills total $35,000, you decide to start a GoFundMe account and successfully make up the $10,000 difference. Time to celebrate this brush with medical debt? Nope.
Under Tennessee law your underinsured motorist carrier gets a credit for any money you raise from any source. Yep, that’s right! So, your check from the insurance company is only for $15,000, not the policy limit of $25,000. The $10,000 you raised from your GoFundMe account saved the insurance company from paying its policy limit of $25,000. You essentially worked for an insurance company for free and still have $10,000 in medical bills!
Before you talk to an insurance company or agree to any settlement offers give our Tennessee Accident Attorney Henry Queener a call. If you deal with them first, you could forfeit your right to fair and appropriate financial recovery. When you need a Tennessee accident attorney contact Queener Law for a free case evaluation.
Distracted driving has become an epidemic across the country with Tennessee leading this unfavorable distinction. A recent study identified Tennessee as having the highest rate of distracted driving deaths in the nation, suffering nearly five times the national average of collisions due to distraction. Even with fewer drivers on the road during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tennessee reported over 9,000 distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving is not only texting while driving. It could also be setting your GPS, talking on your phone, eating or even applying makeup. Any activity behind that wheel that takes your attention away from driving is a distraction. A two second text could result in a serious crash causing injuries and fatalities. April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It’s a great opportunity to take a minute to evaluate our driving choices and responsibilities. NHTSA has provided drivers with helpful tips listed below.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
Need to send a text? Pull over and park your car in a safe location. Only then is it safe to send or read a text.
Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
Do not scroll through apps, including social media, while driving. Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
Tennessee has taken steps to educate drivers and curb distracted driving by passing legislation in 2019 called the “Hands Free Law”. According to Public Chapter No. 412, it is illegal for a driver to:
(a) hold a cellphone or mobile device with any part of their body
(b) write, send, or read any text-based communication
(c) reach for a cellphone or mobile device in a manner that requires the driver to no longer be in a seated driving position or properly restrained by a seat belt
(d) watch a video or movie on a cellphone or mobile device
(e) record or broadcast video on a cellphone or mobile device
Texting while driving is considered a “primary” offense in Tennessee, meaning law enforcement officers can pull you over without having to witness any other violation if they see you texting. Furthermore, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security has stated that the District Attorney’s Office has the authority to check phone records if distracted driving is suspected after a serious injury or fatal crash. Distracted driving is dangerous, irresponsible and most importantly, preventable. The consequences can be deadly or leave those involved with serious lifelong injuries to deal with. If you were hurt in a crash by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact our office for a free consultation or live chat with us today.
Lives are being lost as our government continues to ignore simple safety solutions.
Fatal truck crashes are among the most consequential on the road. Because trucks are so large and powerful, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to a number of regulations and restrictions, including hours-of-service regulations, rest requirements, and prohibitions on texting while driving.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Unsecured truck loads
Truck driver fatigue
Improperly maintained trucks
Texting while driving
Improper or inadequate truck driving training
Truck driver negligence
As Journalist, Johnathon Salant investigates, the obvious stalling of legislatures to pass meaningful regulations seem apparent and very worrisome. Salant states, “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2016 issued a rule setting standards for driver training. Then the rule was delayed to 2022.” If a truck accident happens because the trucker or trucking company violated trucking regulations, liability can be assessed against the trucking company and/or truck driver. Additionally, the violating party may also be subject to hefty fines and other penalties. If you are on the road, you should be concerned. Over the last decade, deaths in crashes involving large trucks has risen by 36% according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.
Over the years, Queener Law has amassed an in-depth understanding of trucking accident liability cases; as well as, knowledge of the rules and regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This combination allows Queener Law to better advocate for clients and families involved in fatal truck crashes. Contact Queener Law at (615) 933-9000 to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured in a big truck wreck.
Driving in winter weather can be challenging enough. Throw in an inexperienced or even an inconsiderate driver – and you may have more than just a “wintry mix”. You could have a recipe for disaster. Getting stuck behind a driver spinning their wheels or not paying attention is annoying – and most of all, it’s downright dangerous. Even though road conditions may cause challenging driving hazards, you are still ultimately responsible for how you handle your car on the road. This means, you need to take extra precautions in inclement weather to avoid causing an accident. Winter driving calls for plenty of patience and in most cases, a little bit of common sense. Below you’ll find ways to spot a rookie winter driver – and most importantly, how to avoid looking like one yourself.
5 Common Mistakes of Winter Drivers
Speeding: Speeding can get you in trouble anytime of the year. However, speeding in snowy or icy conditions means you’re much more likely to lose control of your vehicle. Driving UNDER the speed limit in inclement weather is smart. Always allow extra time to get to your destination.
Tailgating: It’s never okay to tailgate. You should always allow plenty of distance for stopping, especially in winter months. Patches of ice are not always visible and can impede your ability to stop.
Getting stuck: Never attempt to drive through large bodies of standing water or drifts of snow. For your own safety, recognize when to stay off the road all together. It’s helpful to know current road conditions along your route.
Ice on windows: Driving without full visibility is like driving blindfolded. Always allow time for your car’s defroster to work and always use an ice scraper to clear your windshield ENTIRELY. Don’t forget to clear the snow on your car roof too!
Driving with high beams: No, high beams do not increase your vision during whiteouts or heavy snowfall. Blinding other drivers is the only thing accomplished here. Don’t be THAT driver.
Unfortunately, other people’s driving can be just as unpredictable as winter weather. Make sure to stay up to date with the most current weather forecasts and plan accordingly. The National Weather Service is a great resource to use on the go! At Queener Law, we hope everyone stays safe on the road. Contact us when you have questions related to an auto accident. We are always here to help you.