A rear-end collision is generally caused by the negligence of the driver who hits the other vehicle in the rear. The rules of the road in Tennessee and other states, whose violation usually indicates negligence, require that a driver be on the lookout for slowing and stopped traffic ahead. In order to avoid a car crash, the operator is generally supposed to stay an “assured clear distance” behind any vehicles ahead so that the driver will be able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop.
There are often sudden slow-downs on busy highways, especially during rush hour periods. A driver must be vigilant enough to prevent a rear-end collision under such conditions. Basic negligence rules will likely play a big part in the investigation of a fatal accident that occurred at 8:22 a.m. on Mar. 7 on I-24 in Cheatham County. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a 39-year-old woman died after being rear-ended by another vehicle during the morning rush hour traffic. The victim’s vehicle was pushed into a guard rail, causing extensive damage to both its front and rear sections.
Based on published photos depicting extensive damage, it appears that the offending vehicle must have been traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of impact. Initial conclusions are just that, and now the parties must wait for final investigative reports. The THP report will usually contain an unofficial assessment of fault based on forensic observations and the statements of the operator and witnesses.
The estate of the deceased driver is entitled under Tennessee law to make a claim for wrongful death damages apparently caused by the fatal car crash. Based on the reported facts currently available, this appears to be a case of clear liability. Such claims often have a reasonable chance of being settled early, although preliminary litigation is often filed prior to a final agreement. One of several reasons for the estate to obtain the services of an experienced personal injury law firm is to have a professional examination and opinion, identifying all potential sources of insurance coverage that may be available to contribute to the final outcome.
Source: wbrc.com, “I-24 East reopens after fatal crash in Cheatham County”, Kara Apel, Feb. 29, 2016