Nashville Car Accident Lawyer

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.

When Do You Have to Report an Accident to the Police?

by Staff Blogger | February 3rd, 2021

It’s a no-brainer that you need to call 911 and wait for police and emergency responders to arrive if you collide with another at an intersection and sustain both injuries and vehicular damage. But what if you lightly bump into the back of another vehicle while in traffic, or if you scrape a vehicle in a parking lot while trying to navigate a tight parking space? How about if you back into an object on your own property?

Tennessee law states that all accidents that involve injuries or deaths or property damage totaling or exceeding $400 must be reported to police. Contrary to popular belief, simply calling 911 and letting the responding police officer complete an accident report does NOT satisfy that requirement.

All accidents must still be reported to the Commission of Safety and Homeland Security within 20 days of them occurring, even if police respond to the accident scene and complete their own report. You can download and print a copy of the accident report sheet here.

However, not all crashes result in injuries, deaths, or even property damage totaling $400. For example, some crashes occur at such slow speeds that all of the impact is absorbed by both vehicles’ bumpers, resulting in no visible damage. When these crashes occur, it’s still important for both drivers to check their vehicles, and if both drivers agree that no damage was incurred, there’s no need to call 911.

But if a similar crash occurs in a parking lot, it’s recommended to leave contact information on the windshield of the impacted vehicle, even if damage is minimal or even not visible. This allows the other driver a chance to inspect the damage and determine if further action is needed, including reporting it to their insurance.

Got questions after a crash that wasn’t your fault? Need help getting compensation? The Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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.

Should You Move Your Vehicle After a Crash?

by Staff Blogger | December 16th, 2020

It’s a common myth that it’s against the law to move your vehicle after an auto accident, including a minor fender bender. And if you’ve been stuck in traffic for half an hour or more, only to see that the slowdown was due to a minor collision, you’ve probably wondered why such a law would exist when it only serves to block roadways and make people late.

Well, depending on your viewpoint, the truth is either good news or bad news. The bad news is that all of those traffic jams you’ve sat through (and will continue to sit through) were unnecessary, but the good news is that moving your vehicle after a crash isn’t just legal, it’s recommended in many cases.

So, when should you move your vehicle? There are a few scenarios when it makes sense:

  • After a minor crash—As mentioned above, there’s no reason to block traffic for an hour or more for a fender bender. After inspecting the damage, move your vehicle to the shoulder or safe area near the crash scene, and ask the other driver to do the same.
  • When traffic poses a threat to you—Sometimes drivers who are involved in crashes are at risk of being involved in secondary crashes. These often occur due to rubberneckers or simply being too close to traffic. When cars are zipping past you on a highway or interstate, move to safer location.

Note that there’s one major exception to moving your vehicle after a crash, and that’s when someone is trapped, injured, or has died. In those cases, leave your vehicle where it is and wait for help to arrive.

At Ponce Law, it’s our goal to help protect the rights of innocent victims after crashes. If you or someone you love was hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact our Nashville auto accident lawyers today.

Driver arrested, metro officer hospitalized following downtown crash involving police car

by Ponce Law | December 15th, 2020

NASHVILLE, TN – Police say a metro officer’s vehicle was t-boned in downtown Nashville Tuesday morning, leaving the officer hospitalized and leading to the other driver’s arrest, reports WSMV.

Police responded to the incident at 2nd Avenue South near the westbound ramp of I-40 around 6 a.m. Tuesday. According to authorities, officer Jacob Ross was responding to the scene of a separate crash on I-40 and had activated the blue lights of the police car, when it was t-boned on the passenger side. The police car then spun into an electric pole near the roadway. 

Authorities say the colliding vehicle was traveling northbound on 2nd Avenue South and was passing through a yellow light when the accident occurred. The driver,  21-year-old Edgar Moran Paau of Murfreesboro, was arrested for driving without a license and no proof of insurance. 

Metro Officer Jacob Ross reportedly sustained serious injuries but is in stable condition and recovering at the hospital. Paau and the passenger in his vehicle did not suffer injuries in the accident.

At this time, the crash is still under investigation. We will update this blog if more information becomes available. 

If you have been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, the experienced Nashville car accident attorneys can help you pursue money for medical bills and lost wages. With over 20 years of experience helping injury victims in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee, we will listen, show you respect, and be with you every step of the way on the road to recovery. Call us at (844) 204-6765 or reach out to us online. We’re available 24/7 to take your call.

Pedestrian struck and killed at Nolensville Pike and Welshwood Dr identified by police

by Ponce Law | December 14th, 2020

NASHVILLE, TN – The pedestrian victim of a fatal accident last Friday at the intersection of Nolensville Pike and Welshwood Drive has been identified by Nashville metro police, reports WKRN.

Authorities say the victim, 55-year-old Kenneth Sisco, was in a crosswalk at the Nolensville Pike and Welshwood Dr intersection, when he was hit and killed by a vehicle traveling northbound on Nolensville Pike. Sisco was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was declared deceased.

The driver, 31-year-old Shannon Mullen, reportedly displayed signs of intoxication to officers including red eyes and impaired balance. Police also said the suspect smelled of alcohol and performed at a level indicative of impairment in field sobriety tasks. A sample of Mullen’s blood for drug and alcohol analysis was drawn at Nashville General Hospital.

Mullen was charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication and booked into Metro jail on Saturday. As of Monday, Mullen had posted a $50,000 bond and remained free.

This is a developing story. If more details become available, we will update this blog.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The  Nashville pedestrian accident attorneys at Ponce Law are ready to help you secure compensation for expenses related to your accident and injuries. Call us at (844) 204-6765 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.

Teenager from Tullahoma killed, two others injured, in one-vehicle crash in Decherd

by Ponce Law | December 8th, 2020

DECHERD, TN – A teenager from Tullahoma was killed and two other passengers were seriously injured following a one-vehicle crash that took place in Decherd at around 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, reports the Tullahoma News.

Officials said that a red Infiniti G37, driven by 20-year old Michael Patillo, collided with a power pole near Carmean Family Dental while traveling at a high speed down Decherd Boulevard. The vehicle subsequently struck a large tree.

Decherd firefighters responded to the crash and were able to remove the driver and both passengers using the Jaws of Life. According to officials, 18-year old Casey Gann, a resident of Tullahoma, was the sole passenger killed in the crash, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and a juvenile passenger, were taken by ambulance to North Middle School, where responders stabilized their conditions before a helicopter airlifted them to Erlanger in Chattanooga.

The circumstances surrounding the crash are still under investigation. We will update this blog should that information become available.

If you were hurt in a crash caused by someone else’s negligence, our Nashville car accident lawyers are ready to investigate the accident and determine its cause to help you get maximum compensation. At Ponce Law we fight to get victims like you the compensation they deserve for their accident-related expenses, including medical bills, funeral costs and lost wages. To learn more about how we can help, call us at (844) 204-6765 or contact us online.