Nashville auto accident lawyer

Distracted Driving Goes Beyond Cell Phone Usage

by Staff Blogger | April 6th, 2022

When most people hear the phrase “distracted driving,” they think of texting, emailing, or web browsing on a phone while driving. And while those are all extremely common forms of distracted driving, they aren’t the only types of distracted driving that can increase drivers’ risk of crashes.

Other common forms of distracted driving include:

  • Grooming—Putting on makeup, combing hair, and even shaving are all things you’ve probably seen others do behind the wheel, and maybe you’ve even done them yourself. Obviously, they’re extremely dangerous to do while driving and should always be done at home—not in the car!
  • Reaching for items—Before you head out on your commute or trip, make sure everything you need is easily reached and secure. Many crashes occur because drivers reach for things that require them to bend over or twist away from their seats and take their eyes off the road in the process.
  • Unrestrained pets—The sight of a dog hanging out of the window in the driver’s lap is always cute, but it’s also dangerous. Unrestrained pets are extremely distracting, and they can even push gas and brake pedals or knock cars out of gear while they’re in motion. If you’re traveling with a pet, keep it crated.

These are just a few additional ways drivers can be distracted. At Ponce Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers work hard to hold distracted drivers accountable when they cause accidents and injuries.

Contact us today for a free consultation if you or someone you love gets injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver.

Don’t Drink and Drive This St. Patrick’s Day

by Staff Blogger | March 4th, 2022

St. Patrick’s Day coincides with the arrival of spring. The combination of warmer weather and a festive holiday can make it a day for celebration and drinking. But if you decide to drink this St. Patrick’s Day, the most important thing you can do is to NOT drive.

The consequences of getting behind the wheel when you’re even “buzzed” can be catastrophic. Driving is a highly complex task that requires all of your attention. However, many people take driving for granted, and they often don’t notice when alcohol has dulled their senses, reduced their reaction times, and impaired their judgment.

All it takes is one momentary lapse in any of those to result in an accident that changes your life or the life of another person forever. In 2022, there’s simply no excuse for driving while impaired. You have so many options for avoiding impaired driving, whether it’s using a rideshare service, having a sober friend take you home, using public transportation, or staying where you are overnight.

Unfortunately, committing to safe and sober driving is only part of the equation. For Nashville’s roads to be safe, all drivers must commit to this, and that’s a difficult goal to achieve. At Ponce Law, our legal team knows that there will always be negligent and reckless drivers out there, especially on holidays.

If you or someone you love gets injured in a crash this St. Patrick’s Day, we want to hear from you. Our Nashville car accident lawyers have years of experience getting maximum compensation for victims, and we may be able to help you, too. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Medications that Can Affect Safe Driving

by Staff Blogger | January 26th, 2022

According to Georgetown University, around two-thirds of all Americans—more than 131 million people—use prescription drugs. The number of people who use over-the-counter medications is even higher. All drugs have side effects, whether they’re used to treat minor headaches or invasive cancer. But one of the most common side effects of both prescription and over-the-counter medications is drowsiness.

Drowsiness is okay when you’re getting ready to go to sleep, but it’s not okay to experience when you’re about to drive to work, school, or other places. If you take any of the following medications, ask your doctor about what to do if you need to drive:

  • Allergy medications—Many allergy medications contain ingredients that are known to result in sleepiness.
  • Antidepressants—Certain types of antidepressants can make you tired.
  • Anxiety medications—The feeling of relaxation produced by anti-anxiety drugs can cause some patients to feel sleepy.
  • Blood pressure medications—Medications designed to lower blood pressure can do so by slowing the heart, which can result in drowsiness.
  • Opioids—Opioids are highly effective (and addictive) painkillers that are also known to produce a feeling of sleepiness in many patients.
  • Seizure medications—These medications act on the brain in a similar manner as anti-anxiety drugs, and they can also cause sleepiness.

If you were hurt in a crash that was caused by a driver who was impaired by a medication, can you sue them? The answer depends on many factors, and the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

We’re Here For You After a Parking Lot Crash

by Staff Blogger | December 15th, 2021

During the holidays, parking lots can be extremely crowded, hectic, and even dangerous. Even the most well-designed parking lots can put both drivers and pedestrians at risk when they’re overflowing with vehicles. Nashville is home to many shopping malls, outdoor shopping centers, and big box retail stores, and their parking lots can be the locations of many crashes that can range from fender benders to serious wrecks.

It’s important to not immediately dismiss parking lot accidents, especially if they result in injuries. It’s common for victims to feel less inclined to take the same steps after these crashes as they would after crashes that occur on the road, but they should not neglect following those steps. That means calling police if they involved any injuries, exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver, and contacting a lawyer.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers never make assumptions about crashes, and you shouldn’t, either. Regardless of where your crash occurred, injuries and property damage can and should be compensated when they aren’t your fault. But remember, the statute of limitations in Tennessee after crashes is just one year, so you need to act fast.

If you or someone you love gets hurt in a parking lot crash this holiday season, don’t let it slide and pay out of pocket for expenses that aren’t your fault. Contact Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

How to Drive Safely Around Emergency Vehicles

by Staff Blogger | November 17th, 2021

Whether it’s a police cruiser, an ambulance, a fire truck, or a rescue vehicle, hearing sirens and seeing flashing lights approach can put you on edge. You may be worried that you’re getting pulled over or that you’ll be in the way of the response to a potentially life-threatening emergency. Unfortunately, crashes can and do occur when emergency personnel is responding to calls.

Here’s how you can reduce your risks when driving near emergency vehicles with their flashing lights and sirens activated:

  • Don’t panic or make sudden movements—Just because an emergency vehicle is approaching doesn’t mean you need to immediately swerve. Change lanes to make a path cautiously and never without checking to see if you have room to do so safely.
  • Change lanes if the emergency vehicle is stopped—Tennessee’s Move Over Law was originally created to protect emergency responders, and the law is still enforced today. If you see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road up ahead, safely change lanes away from it ASAP.
  • Avoid rubbernecking—Flashing lights are supposed to be eye-catching to alert drivers to the presence of emergency vehicles. But that eye-catching allure can also cause distraction. Keep your eyes on the road ahead and stay focused on the task at hand, especially when approaching a crash scene or an active traffic stop.

When other drivers don’t practice safe driving habits near emergency vehicles, they put themselves and others in danger. If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent driver, the Nashville car accident lawyers at Ponce Law are here to help. Contact us today.

More than 1-in-4 TN Traffic Fatalities Were Due to Speeding in 2019

by Staff Blogger | October 29th, 2021

When you travel faster than the speed limit, your chances of being involved in an injury-causing or fatal crash increase significantly. The faster your vehicle is traveling, the more force there is when you collide with another vehicle or object. Speed limits aren’t chosen randomly or simply for police officers to write tickets—they’re chosen based on road conditions, traffic patterns, and safety considerations.

If you frequently speed when you drive, here are a few tips to ensure you drive at or below the speed limit:

  • Use cruise control—Although not recommended in inclement weather, cruise control can help you avoid speeding because it automatically maintains the speed you set. The next time you’re on the interstate, setting your cruise control for the posted speed limit means you won’t have to worry about getting a speeding ticket.
  • Drive in the right lane—Driving in the left or middle lane can make you more likely to speed, as you’ll be concerned about keeping up with the flow of traffic. And just because other drivers are speeding doesn’t mean you should, too. Driving in the right lane allows you to comfortably observe the speed limit.
  • Leave home early—Many people speed because they’re running late. But when you give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, the temptation to speed is significantly reduced.

If you or someone you love gets hurt in a crash caused by a speeding driver, our Nashville auto accident lawyers want to help. Contact Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

What Should You Do if You Encounter a Potentially Intoxicated Driver?

by Staff Blogger | September 15th, 2021

If you’ve been driving long enough, you’ve undoubtedly encountered a vehicle that was moving erratically on the road. And if it happened at night and especially on the weekend, there’s a good chance the driver is intoxicated. Intoxicated drivers are one of the biggest risk factors on Tennessee’s roads for causing serious crashes that can injure and even kill others.

Police and state troopers are always on the lookout for impaired drivers, but they don’t always catch them. According to the FBI, drunk drivers get behind the wheel while intoxicated more than 80 times before they are arrested! If you encounter a vehicle that you suspect is being driven by a drunk driver, here’s what you should do:

  • Check for signs of intoxication—Commons signs of an impaired driver include erratic acceleration or braking, following too closely, failure to hold a lane, almost hitting other vehicles and objects, and driving without headlights on at night.
  • Give the vehicle a wide berth—Drunk drivers are unpredictable. They can swerve into your lane and strike your vehicle at any moment. If you suspect you’re driving near a drunk driver, change lanes or slow down and allow them plenty of room.
  • Call 911—Drunk drivers put everyone in their paths at risk, and they can be considered emergency situations. When you call 911, tell the dispatcher where the drunk driver is, the make and model of their car, and their license plate number.

If you’re ever involved in a crash with a drunk driver, the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law want to help. You can contact us anytime, day or night, for a free consultation and to get the ball rolling on your compensation claim.

Brush Up on Tennessee’s Traffic Safety Laws

by Staff Blogger | April 30th, 2021

You’d be hard pressed to find a Tennessee driver who doesn’t understand the importance and legal requirement of obeying the speed limit, avoiding alcohol and drugs before getting behind the wheel, and stopping at red lights. But there are far more laws than those governing what you can and can’t do while driving.

However, not all drivers are familiar with all of the state’s traffic laws. After all, many drivers haven’t been tested on their knowledge of traffic laws since they passed the state examination to receive their driver licenses. That means decades have passed and countless laws have been passed or changed since they were at their most knowledgeable on this topic.

Thankfully, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office has compiled a list of the most commonly violated and important traffic laws in the state. You can view the specifics of these laws at this helpful database. It includes laws for everything from alcohol and drug usage, to leaving the scene of an accident, to teen driving, to work zone traffic.

Knowing these laws is important not just for avoiding citations and accidents, but also for maintaining eligibility for full compensation after a crash. That’s because Tennessee uses a modified comparative negligence system for determining settlements after accidents. You can still receive compensation after a crash as long as you’re less than 51% at fault, but your percentage of fault is subtracted from your settlement check.

That means that if you’re 40% at fault for a crash and awarded $10,000, you’ll receive only $6,000, as 40% will be deducted due to your level of fault. And in many cases, fault is assigned to drivers when they violated one or more traffic laws.

Have questions about or need assistance with an auto accident claim? We’ve got your back. Contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

How to Safely Use Your GPS

by Staff Blogger | April 28th, 2021

Whether it’s built-in to your vehicle or you use the one in your smartphone, having a GPS can make getting around town and to new destinations much faster and easier. With just a few simple taps or commands, you can get exact directions, all while avoiding slow downs and traffic jams. But there’s also a major downside to using a GPS—the potential for distraction.

Too many drivers become more focused on their built-in or smartphone GPS screens than on the road ahead of them. In an effort to avoid missing a turn, they may avoid seeing the vehicle that slowed down or stopped in front of them. Or, while their eyes are trying to decipher where their next turn is, they may not realize they’re drifting into oncoming traffic.

There are two rules for safely using a GPS:

  • Pre-program your destination before you leave—Input your destination before you even put your vehicle in drive. If you need to change your destination, pull over and do it from a safe location.
  • Turn on turn-by-turn speech directions—Having a live map of your route displayed on your GPS can be helpful, but it’s also distracting. The safest way to utilize a GPS is to rely on turn-by-turn voice directions which don’t require you to look away from the road.

It’s also important to remember that GPS directions and maps aren’t always 100% accurate. For example, road closures may not be accounted for, and certain routes may send drivers on far-flung detours to shave just a couple of minutes off of their commutes. When programming a new destination into your GPS, zoom out to view the entire route to ensure it’s accurate.

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of crashes in Tennessee, and GPS usage is one of the most common causes of distracted driving. If you or someone you love was hurt by a distracted driver, contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

Why You Shouldn’t Accept the Insurance Company’s Offer Without a Lawyer on Your Side

by Staff Blogger | February 1st, 2021

When you’re hurt in a crash, you have a lot of bills piling up. Your medical bills alone may be enough to empty your bank account, not to mention the costs of repairing your vehicle. And to make matters worse, your injuries may prevent you from working—and that means no paychecks for weeks or months.

So, if the insurance company calls and offers you a settlement, you may jump at the chance to get a check to cover some of your expenses. After all, your bills are due now, and you don’t have a way to pay them. A quick and easy settlement can seem like a godsend during such a difficult time, but as with most things, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

While there’s no catch on the money you’ll actually get from the insurance company, there IS a catch on the total value of your claim. And the catch is that you’ll get far less money by accepting their initial offer than you would if you pushed for more compensation, especially with a lawyer on your side. Insurance companies make big profits by avoiding fair settlements whenever possible, and that often means giving victims lowball settlements right out of the gate.

Unfortunately, accepting an initial settlement means forgoing the chance to get more compensation later. So, if you take their first offer, that’s it—you can’t come back for seconds if you find out you need more to cover your damages. Don’t take this risk! Get a Nashville auto accident lawyer from Ponce Law on your side from day one, and get the money you’re truly owed. Contact us today for a free consultation.