Failure to Maintain
Failure to maintain lanes is one of Nashville’s leading causes of serious car accidents. If you have been injured in a Nashville failure to maintain lane accident, read on to learn more about the law, who can be held liable, what sort of compensation you could get, and what to do after your accident. Find out how the experienced attorneys at NST Law can help you.
Failure to maintain lane accidents occur frequently in Davidson County and other parts of Middle Tennessee. Tennessee drivers are supposed to stay in their designated lane of traffic and use their signals or take other appropriate action to alert others on the road of the lane change.
Our Nashville car accident attorneys are ready to listen to the facts of your situation and help point you in the right direction. We are the largest plaintiff’s personal injury law firm based in Tennessee, with a dedicated team of more than 30 attorneys.
Table Of Contents
Tennessee Law on Maintaining Lanes
Tennessee law directly addresses a driver’s obligation to maintain their lane. Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-123, you must keep your car within a single lane and not change lanes until you have determined that the lane change can be made safely.
If a road has three lanes, the law says you may not drive in the center lane unless one of the following is true:
- You are overtaking or passing another car where the road is visible and the center lane is clear of traffic.
- You are making a left turn when it is safe to do so.
This is different from the Tennessee laws regarding failure to yield and other traffic violations covered in Chapter 8 of Title 55, Operation of Vehicles – Rules of the Road.
Failure To Maintain Lane Accidents in Nashville, TN
Car accidents are increasingly common in Davidson County. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security’s crash data, nearly 10,000 car accidents in Davidson County between 2020 and 2022 involved a driver’s failure to maintain a lane or an improper lane change.
Nationally, drivers’ failure to maintain lanes is a major cause of accidents, and vehicle manufacturers have been developing technology to prevent these accidents. Drivers who fail to maintain lanes often do so for two primary reasons:
- The driver changed lanes without properly ensuring the other lane was clear of traffic.
- The driver unintentionally drifted into the other lane.
When another driver suddenly and unexpectedly comes into your lane, it can be challenging to respond quickly to avoid an accident. Depending on your rate of speed and how much other traffic is around, these accidents can cause serious injuries and even death.
Liability for Failure To Maintain Lane Accidents
To get compensation for your injuries and property damage, the first step is analyzing whether the other driver will be held liable. Consider what claims you might have against the other driver, the type of evidence you will need, what your case may be worth, and whether your claims are timely.
If you have valid claims against the driver, negotiating a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company is the most common resolution. However, some cases do need to be litigated in court.
Claims for Failure To Maintain Lane Accidents
If you have been injured in an accident caused by the other driver’s failure to maintain a lane, then you have two possible claims against the other driver:
- Negligence. To prove the other driver is liable for negligence, you must establish they had a duty to drive safely and that they breached that duty. Then you have to prove the driver’s failure to drive safely caused your injuries.
- Negligence per se or negligence as a matter of law. This special type of negligence is often easier to prove than general negligence. A violation of Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-123 or another safety statute could amount to negligence per se (negligence as a matter of law). Instead of having to prove the driver did not drive safely, all you have to show is that the driver violated the law. If the other driver was cited for and found guilty of violating Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-123 (the maintaining lane statute), all you have left to prove is that the driver’s violation of the law caused your injuries.
Evidence To Establish Liability
To help you establish liability, you may need the following:
- Witness testimony. This could include any passengers in your vehicle, drivers of nearby vehicles, or bystanders.
- Photographs. These could include pictures taken of the crash scene, either immediately following the accident or at a later date, and photographs of your vehicle and the other vehicles involved.
- Expert witness testimony. This may include the testimony of the officer who responded to the accident or a hired expert witness. For example, suppose the defendant veered into your lane of traffic, struck you head-on, and refused to accept responsibility. In that case, an expert could visit the accident scene, examine physical evidence, and inspect the vehicles involved to assist you in proving liability.
Compensation for Failure To Maintain Lane Accidents
To seek compensation for your injuries, you will need to present evidence of your damages. Compensation is available for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses. This includes past expenses as well as ongoing expenses and may include doctor’s visits, therapies, surgeries, procedures, prescription medication, nursing services, hospitalizations, and medical equipment.
- Lost wages. This may include compensation for the time you had to take off from work in the past. Future earnings may also be included for lost earning capacity, which means you now must work in a lower-paying job because of your injuries, or for permanent disability because you cannot return to work at all.
- Pain and suffering. This may be difficult to quantify and may include psychological or emotional issues resulting from the car accident and your injuries.
- Property damage. This may include the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and damage to other physical property that was in your vehicle at the time of the accident.
Statute of Limitations
You have a short time period to file any claims against the other driver in court. Tennessee has a one-year statute of limitations for car wreck cases. That means you have one year from the date of your accident to file a complaint in court, or you will be barred from filing suit.
Exceptions may apply to the statute of limitations, so be sure to call the champs at NST law as soon after your accident as possible to ensure that you don’t miss the deadline to take action.
Paths to Resolution
Once you have a reasonable idea of what your case may be worth, the next step is negotiating a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not agree to a fair settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit in court.
What To Do if You Are Involved in a Failure To Maintain Lane Accident in Nashville
- Call 911. Outside of minor traffic accidents with no injuries and minimal property damage, calling 911 should be your first step after a car accident. It is the best way to protect yourself.
- Seek medical attention. Always protect your health. Even if you are unsure that you were injured, it is a good idea to be examined by a doctor because some injuries have delayed symptoms. You also need to follow up with your medical care to the best of your ability. To protect your health and maximize compensation, you must not be negligent in your medical care.
- Gather evidence. Get witness names and contact information and take photos or videos of the scene, but only if you can do so safely. You can always return to the accident scene later on to take pictures.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. You need to make sure you make a timely and complete report.
- Don’t talk too much. Do not admit fault or give your opinion on who you think was at fault. Limit your statements about the accident to those necessary for seeking medical treatment, making a police report, and reporting the accident to your insurance company.
- Get a lawyer. Talking to insurance companies can be extremely time-consuming, frustrating, and full of traps for the unwary. Determining how much a case is worth is complicated and often requires experience handling other car accident cases. And filing a claim in court is very difficult without an attorney.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers For Help With Your Nashville Case
Our car accident lawyers in Nashville can help you build a claim for compensation if you have been hurt in a crash caused by another driver’s failure to maintain a lane. We will work on your behalf to pursue the maximum compensation possible in your case.
Collectively, NST Law’s champions for the injured have recovered $2 billion for our clients. Call the champs today at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.