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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Know How to File a Lawsuit for: Car Accident in TN

Accidents come out of nowhere, and they are enough to turn the lives of their victims upside down. Some people are lucky enough to come out without a scratch. Others, however, can find themselves ending up with severe injuries that change the way they live, assuming they even survive.

Dealing with the fallout from car accidents while trying to get compensation can be a lot for anyone to handle, so it helps to have an easy-to-understand breakdown of the process, which is what the information below aims to provide.

Complete Healing Is Not Required to File a Tennessee Car Accident Claim

Some people are under the impression that they cannot file a personal injury lawsuit until their healing process has been completed. This is because of the notion that no one will know how much their treatment will cost until it is over.

However, this is not the case. Some victims will never truly heal, and treatment could perpetually continue. Furthermore, the statute of limitations does not wait for injuries to pass.

A personal injury case should be started as soon as possible so the insurance company that covers the negligent party can be made to support the victim for medical expenses and whatever other costs the accident may have contributed to.

Seek legal counsel early so an experienced car accident attorney can help with navigating the process and also with how to file a lawsuit for truck accident in TN.

Tennessee Car Accident Reporting Requirements

Tennessee Car Accident Reporting Requirements

Drivers involved in car accidents in the state are subject to the reporting requirements outlined in Tennessee Code section 55-12-104. This states that any driver who is part of an accident is mandated to make a report to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security if:

  1. The accident caused any damage exceeding $1,500 to property, including that of the reporting driver.

  2. Anyone was killed or injured in the accident.

  3. There was damage exceeding $400 to local or state government property.

The form here can be used to make such a report.

Seek Legal Representation in the Shortest Possible Order After the Accident Occurred

Once there is an accident, victims are highly encouraged to seek legal representation in the form of an experienced Tennessee car accident lawyer. The legal process required to recover compensation is not the easiest thing to navigate, regardless of whether standard crash claims or wrongful death claims are at play.

Additionally, the guidance that an attorney can provide is invaluable for numerous reasons, such as preventing a victim from unknowingly taking any steps that may put them in a position that would compromise any possible settlement offer. For more information, an auto accident law firm may be able to help.

Evidence Gathering Is Non-negotiable

One of the first orders of business is to gather substantial and relevant evidence to the matter. When possible, the best case scenario sees the victim starting this process at the scene of the accident by getting photos, witness contact details, etc.

After an attorney is hired to assist with a claim, there will also be an evidence compilation process. Typically, whenever an insurance company denies an attempt to get compensation, it is because the case being brought against it is not strong enough. The right attorney can help prevent such an outcome.

Remember That Tennessee's Comparative Fault System Applies

Tennessee is a state of comparative fault. Therefore, all parties involved in a car accident could be assigned a percentage of responsibility based on the factors that led to the crash. Note that this does not mean a victim who bears some fault cannot be awarded a settlement. However, it may mean the maximum compensation obtainable becomes negatively affected.

Time to File the Lawsuit

The statute of limitations was mentioned earlier, and it is relevant here. This is a period that outlines how long a victim has from the occurrence of the accident to file a lawsuit. Tennessee has a notably short one when compared to other states as only a year is allowed. Do not allow this timeline to pass, as it could mean forfeiting the right to any compensation.

Settlement Negotiations or Trial

Auto accident cases are often resolved via settlement negotiations during which each party will try to agree on what it sees as a fair settlement. However, proceedings do not always go so well. When it is not possible to agree on a figure, there is no choice but to bring the matter to trial so the courts can decide on what the award should be, if any.

Does an Auto Accident Victim Have to Retain an Attorney?

There is no legal requirement that indicates that an accident victim is mandated to retain the services of a Tennessee car accident attorney. This is more of a recommendation to those who want the claim process to go as favorably as possible.

The idea is to have someone familiar with the legalities of the matter in the victim's corner to help get the best outcome out of the process. Bear in mind that the negligent party's insurance company is aware of the benefits and will certainly be retaining its own legal professional.

How Is Compensation Calculated?

How Is Compensation Calculated?

Compensation is dependent on the factors applicable to the case. Effectively, there are economic damages and non-economic damages that may be applicable.

Economic damages are those that a precise figure can be attributed to based on documentation, such as lost wages or medical treatment. Non-economic damages are on the quality of life side and include loss of enjoyment or pain and suffering.

Punitive damages may also be awarded. This is a class of compensation that is intended to punish victims who were grossly negligent or demonstrated intent to harm.

The total settlement is the sum of all the applicable damages, which will usually be calculated by a car accident lawyer.

Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Attorney in Tennessee Today!

After being hurt in a car accident, the mental toll can be much to bear alongside the changes to what used to be a standard quality of life. Trying to get compensation at the same time from an insurance company that is actively avoiding responsibility makes it worse, but you don't have to go it alone.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has a team that is willing to go to war for you! Schedule a free consultation today!


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