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Multi-vehicle crashes especially hard to investigate

When vehicles collide on Nashville's busy highways, police and other first responders are under a lot of pressure from competing interests. First, if people were injured in the car accident, they need to get those people into ambulances as soon as possible. Second, police want to conduct a thorough investigation of the crash, to determine whether criminal charges are warranted and to try to prevent other accidents from happening in the future. At the same time, traffic is backing up on the highway behind the accident, and police want to make sure that all those drivers can get to wherever they need to go. As a result, accident investigations are often somewhat rushed.

Recently, traffic was stopped or slowed for hours when at least three vehicles were involved in an accident on Harding Place near the junction with Interstate 65. At the time of this writing, few details of the crash had been reported, but news photos of the scene showed one large pickup truck flipped upside-down and another pick-up truck with its front end badly damaged.

Multi-vehicle crashes are especially difficult to investigate. These collisions often come in chain reactions, where one vehicle hits another, causing the second vehicle to hit a third and so on. Often, things happen so quickly that even the drivers involved have trouble saying exactly what happened.

When someone is injured in a Tennessee car accident due to another driver's negligence, the injured is entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit. The key is figuring out who, if anyone, was negligent in the accident. Drivers are negligent when they fail to exercise the same level of care that another driver would under similar circumstances and someone is injured as a result. Some common indicators of negligence include drunk driving, texting while driving, speeding or otherwise disregarding traffic safety laws.

An important part of making a claim for personal injury is investigating the circumstances of the accident. Police reports of the accident can be an important part of this process, but they aren't necessarily the definitive version of what happened. Tennessee residents who have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver should get help understanding their legal rights and the ways in which to go about getting compensation.

Source: The Tennessean, "Rollover slowing traffic on Harding Place near I-65," July 16, 2013

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