A Tennessee man was killed earlier this month when a reportedly drunk driver going the wrong way on a bypass crashed into his car head-on. The tragic accident raises questions not only about drunk driving, but about speed limits and traffic safety.
The accident occurred along a stretch of Highway 51 near the border between Tipton and Lauderdale counties that has seen several injury car accidents so far this year. A bar in the area attracts traffic to the highway, where the speed limit is 60 mph. A few miles up the road, the speed limit rises to 65 mph. The mother of the 30-year-old man killed in this recent accident told reporters that she wants the speed limit lowered to 55 mph in order to improve safety as cars turn off or onto the highway.
When a person is injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, the injured may be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit. When the person is killed, the victim's immediate family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim's estate.
Drivers are negligent when they fail to exercise the same level of care that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances and someone is injured as a result. Speeding, texting and driving, driving drunk or otherwise disregarding traffic safety laws are all strong evidence to show negligence.
However, there are causes other than negligence that can cause, or contribute to, car accidents. A poorly maintained car, for example, can contribute to an accident if its brakes fail. Likewise, a poorly maintained road could contribute to an accident. In some cases, one might argue that an inappropriate speed limit contributed to an accident, and that therefore the authorities responsible for the road share some of the blame for the accident.
There are many factors to consider when filing a lawsuit based upon a car accident. Tennessee residents who have been injured in a car accident, or their families, should get help researching their legal options.
Source: WMCTV.com, "Crash on Highway 51 kills one," Justin Hanson, July 8, 2013