Nashville Car Accident Lawyer

3 Tips for a Safe Memorial Day Weekend Road Trip

by Staff Blogger | May 26th, 2021

Planning to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend? If so, know that you’ll be heading out on one of the most dangerous weekends of the year. Memorial Day weekend is particularly fraught with peril because of increased traffic volumes and the potential for more drivers to be intoxicated than usual.

To reduce your risk of a crash, be sure to follow these tips:

  1. Leave early—Giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination improves your chances of a crash-free trip in many ways. First, it makes you less likely to speed, as you’ll have plenty of time to arrive on time. Second, it makes it easier to keep a cool head in heavy traffic, as you won’t be feeling the pressure of arriving late.
  2. Plan your route—You may have multiple routes that you can take to reach your destination. Some routes may be interstate-only, while others may involve highways. Some may be back roads-only. Choose the route that you’re most comfortable with and that will involve the least amount of traffic.
  3. Don’t drink and drive—Even if you abstain from alcohol before driving to and from your destination, it’s still important to avoid alcohol before driving after you arrive. That means watching your intake at dinner and while spending time with family and friends if you plan on driving soon after—and that includes boats!

Unfortunately, not all drivers will be safety-conscious over the upcoming holiday weekend. And when negligent drivers cause crashes, it’s our goal to help victims get compensation. If you or someone you love is injured this Memorial Day, contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

Tips for Safely Towing This Summer

by Staff Blogger | May 19th, 2021

If you’re like many Tennesseans, you spend your weekends in the summer driving to and from the lake or the mountains. And chances are, you’re towing something big and heavy on those trips. Whether it’s a camper, a vehicle trailer, or a boat, it’s important that you know how to tow safely to avoid a crash.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you tow:

  • Double-check all connections—Is the object you’re towing properly secured on your vehicle’s trailer hitch? Are the lights working? Did you connect the safety chains? It’s easy to become complacent when you tow frequently, but this step should never be rushed.
  • Check your trailer tires—Trailer tires are highly susceptible to dry rot and underinflation, especially if you store your trailer outdoors and haven’t used it in months. If any of your trailer’s tires look worn or damaged, replace them before heading out.
  • Drive slowly and carefully—Hauling even a small boat or vehicle trailer dramatically changes your turn radius, acceleration, braking, and more. You need to take wide turns and give yourself plenty of time and distance to slow down and stop.
  • Don’t exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity—Know how much weight your vehicle can tow and the weight of what you’re towing. If you exceed your vehicle’s maximum limit, you may lose control of it, cause serious damage to the engine or transmission, and even be unable to stop.

Unfortunately, not all drivers take towing safety seriously, and when they don’t, serious accidents can occur. If you or someone you love is injured by a negligent driver this summer, the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law want to help. Contact us today.

Can You Sue a Driver if They Cause a Crash While You’re Riding with Them?

by Staff Blogger | May 12th, 2021

Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a coworker, a carpool driver, or anyone else you know, you probably ride with other people regularly. Being a passenger while someone else is driving requires a lot of trust, but it’s something most of us take for granted or at least don’t worry about too much. But sometimes, crashes are caused not by people in other vehicles, but by the people sitting next to us in the driver’s seat!

At Ponce Law, we always recommend that people consult with a lawyer after auto accidents that weren’t their fault to find out their options for getting compensation. Many people are hesitant to do so if the crashes were caused by people they know, especially family members. In fact, they may not even be aware that they can pursue compensation.

It’s important to know that not only can you sue the driver of the vehicle you were riding in after a crash they caused, but you should—especially if the crash caused you to suffer serious injuries. Don’t worry—suing the driver is unlikely to make a dent in their personal finances. Instead, your accident-related expenses will be paid from their auto insurance policy.

You shouldn’t pay out of pocket for a crash that wasn’t your fault if a stranger caused it, and the same is true if the at-fault party is someone you know or are even related to. The Nashville car accident lawyers at Ponce Law know that this situation isn’t always easy, and we’re here to help you get compensation while ensuring your case is handled with care. Contact us today for a free consultation.

3 Tips for a Safer Commute

by Staff Blogger | April 2nd, 2021

Many Middle Tennesseans work in and around the Nashville area. That means Interstates 65, 40, 24, and 440 see tons of traffic in the mornings and evenings during the work week. And the more vehicles there are on the road, the greater the chances of being involved in a crash.

If you’ve ever been stuck in a traffic jam during the morning or evening rush hour—and who hasn’t—there’s a good chance it was caused by a crash. And while no one can eliminate their risk of being involved in an accident, they can take steps to reduce their risks, including:

  1. Avoid distractions—It’s tempting to make your morning commute more productive by reading or writing emails, eating breakfast, or even calling into meetings. Avoid these distractions and keep your focus on the road.
  2. Don’t speed—Whether you’re running late or just want to get to work sooner, it’s always tempting to go a little faster to reach your destination. But doing so significantly increases your risk of being in a crash.
  3. Leave earlier—Racing against the clock to get to work turns good drivers into risky drivers. By leaving early, you give yourself plenty of time to make it to work on time, which means you’re less likely to speed, cut off other drivers, or pass in risky scenarios.

Ponce Law supports safer roads in Middle Tennessee, especially our highways and interstates. But when drivers fail to stay safe, we hold them accountable when their negligence injures others. After a crash that wasn’t your fault, contact our Nashville auto accident lawyers for a free consultation.

Are You Maintaining a Safe Following Distance?

by Staff Blogger | February 10th, 2021

One of the most common types of crashes is rear-end crashes. They’re almost always caused by drivers following the vehicles in front of them too closely. When drivers follow too closely, they’re unable to slow down or stop in time to prevent a crash when the drivers ahead of them have to slam on their brakes.

Most drivers DON’T leave enough space between their vehicles and the vehicles in front of them. The recommended distance is much longer than what most people believe. Because it’s difficult to accurately estimate distance while driving, it’s easier to calculate it via the amount of time that passes while driving at a normal speed for the road you’re on.

For most roads and in most conditions, the recommended follow distance is at least three seconds. To calculate this, wait until the vehicle in front of you passes a landmark, such as a house, tree, exit, or road sign. Then, count to three. If you reach the landmark before you counted to three, it means you’re following too closely and should slow down or change lanes.

If your vehicle has worn brakes or you’re driving in inclement weather, you should instead count to five. Doing so will give you plenty of time to stop or slow down in the event of an emergency, which will significantly reduce your risks of being involved in a rear-end crash.

When rear-end crashes happen, the driver in back is almost always at fault, but these crashes still demand an investigation. Contact Ponce Law if you were injured in a crash that you believe wasn’t your fault—our Nashville auto accident attorneys are here to help.

2021 Safe Driving Resolutions

by Staff Blogger | January 4th, 2021

A New Year is upon us, and with it always comes resolutions. Don’t have a resolution yet? Being a better and safer driver is always an admirable goal, and it comes with a huge benefit: potentially saving your life, the lives of your loved ones, and even the lives of total strangers.

This year, do your best to live up to these resolutions:

  • Avoid distracted driving—Almost all drivers are well aware of the dangers of texting while driving. But that’s just one type of distraction (visual). There are two others—cognitive and manual. Cognitive means keeping your mind on driving, and manual means keeping your hands on the wheel.
  • Be extra cautious at intersections—Many crashes occur at intersections, and they’re often due to drivers failing to stop at stop signs or red lights. In addition to always coming to a complete stop and following traffic signals, you should also look both ways—even when you have a green light.
  • Leave early to avoid the temptation to speed—Most drivers don’t speed just for the sake of it, but they may be tempted to do so—or to engage in other risky behaviors—when they’re running late. Speeding, passing, and stress can be a deadly combination. Do yourself a favor and leave earlier when heading out for work or school.
  • Never drink and drive—If you’ve had alcohol and need to drive home, don’t. Instead, stay where you are, have a friend or family member take you home, call a taxi, or use a rideshare service. There’s no excuse to drive drunk or buzzed in 2021!

Unfortunately, not all Tennessee drivers will have these resolutions for the new year. So if one of them causes an accident that injures you or someone else, give the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law a call—we’re here to help.

How to Stay Safe on TN’s Roads on New Year’s Eve

by Staff Blogger | December 30th, 2020

The holiday season is winding down, but there’s still one major holiday left to celebrate: New Year’s Eve! It’s no surprise that most of us are ready to put 2020 in the rearview mirror, but it’s important to bid adieu to the year and ring in 2021 as safely as possible. Unfortunately, New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year, as it’s a holiday that’s practically synonymous with alcohol consumption.

You can reduce your risks while driving this New Year’s Eve by keeping these tips in mind:

  • Don’t drive after drinking—Remember that even buzzed driving is considered drunk driving. It’s possible to stay under the legal limit of 0.08% BAC and still be at a higher risk of a serious crash. That’s because even small amounts of alcohol can impair your driving abilities.
  • Avoid distractions—Map your route to and from your destination in advance so you aren’t tempted to use your phone while driving. In addition, make phone calls and send text messages before and after you drive—never during.
  • Get home before midnight—The safest place to celebrate the calendar turning over to Jan. 1 is your own home. If you celebrate elsewhere and have to drive home, you’ll be on the road at the same time as other drivers also heading home—and many of them may be intoxicated!

At Ponce Law, we want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and a safe and prosperous 2021. And as always, if you or someone you love is hurt in a crash, our Nashville auto accident lawyers are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Beware the 3 Types of Distractions

by Staff Blogger | December 23rd, 2020

When many people hear the phrase “distracted driving,” they picture someone looking at their smartphone while they’re behind the wheel. And that’s certainly one of the most common and dangerous forms of distracted driving. However, it’s not the only form!

The three main forms of distraction are:

  1. Visual—This can range from reading a text message or email to rubbernecking a nearby accident scene to even gazing out the window away from the road. Anything that takes your eyes off the task at hand—which is driving—can be considered a visual distraction.
  2. Manual—This refers to taking your hands off the wheel. Even if your eyes are on the road and you’re reaching for something in the passenger seat, glove box, or middle console, you’re still distracted. When your hands aren’t on the wheel, you aren’t steering and you can’t react quickly.
  3. Cognitive—Cognitive distractions are anything that takes your mind off of driving. That means you can have your eyes on the road ahead, your hands on the wheel, and still be distracted if you aren’t focusing on what’s happening ahead of you. Common cognitive distractions are phone or in-person conversations, listening to audiobooks, and even daydreaming.

Because most of us drive daily, it’s easy to take it for granted, including all of the dangers associated with it. All it takes is a brief moment of distraction, whether it’s visual, manual, cognitive, or a combination of the three, to lose control and crash, injuring yourself and others in the process.

At Ponce Law, our Nashville auto accident lawyers fight for all innocent injured victims, including those hurt by distracted drivers. If you were injured by a driver who wasn’t paying attention, we want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What Are the Optional Types of Car Insurance Coverage in TN?

by Staff Blogger | December 9th, 2020

Like all other states, drivers in Tennessee are required to carry liability coverage to legally use public roads. Tennessee’s minimum coverage operates on a 25/50/15 rule of:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 property damage per accident

People with coverage that meets those requirements technically don’t need any additional coverage. However, that little coverage can leave them vulnerable to paying out of pocket for accident costs. That’s why many drivers opt to purchase additional coverage, such as:

  • Collision coverage—This coverage pays to repair your vehicle after a crash that damages it.
  • Comprehensive coverage—This coverage protects you from theft, weather damage, and even collisions with animals.
  • Roadside assistance coverage—This coverage means you get access to help for routine emergencies, such as a dead battery, a flat tire, or a vehicle that needs to be towed.
  • Medical Payments coverage—This coverage covers medical costs for you and your passengers up to a certain amount regardless of who was at fault.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage—If a driver without insurance causes your crash, you can pursue a claim against him directly, but you’re unlikely to get paid. This insurance provides compensation when this happens.

Although we battle insurance companies daily, we recognize that it’s better to have coverage that you need to fight to receive than to not have the coverage at all. Therefore, buy as much coverage as you can afford.

And if the insurance company won’t cooperate after a crash, the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

When Can Auto Accident Victims Get Punitive Damages?

by Staff Blogger | December 2nd, 2020

After an auto accident that wasn’t their fault, victims can file compensation claims against at-fault drivers. These are considered personal injury claims or lawsuits, and they are designed to provide money for victims so they can pay their medical bills and recoup their lost wages. But in some cases, victims can receive money from a second legal action: punitive damages.

Typically, compensation claims are paid from the at-fault party’s insurance policy. That means they usually pay little, if any money out of pocket. These claims are designed solely to avoid causing the victims undue financial burdens. Punitive damages, on the other hand, can only be paid out of pocket, and they’re designed to punish negligent drivers.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded after crashes, even when drivers were obviously negligent. For example, it’s rare for a victim to get punitive damages from a driver who was distracted, speeding, or even impaired. However, if the driver was traveling significantly above the speed limit or significantly impaired, there’s a chance that the victim may be eligible for punitive damages.

After a crash, it’s important to have an experienced Nashville auto accident lawyer investigate what happened and collect all the facts. At Ponce Law, we always check if punitive damages are applicable, and if they are, we work hard to ensure our clients get all the money they’re owed.

Contact us today for a free consultation if you’ve been in a crash and need assistance. It’s our goal to get you paid, whether that’s through negotiating the maximum personal injury settlement or even pursuing punitive damages against a driver who was incredibly reckless or intentionally dangerous behind the wheel.