Car accidents are not only a threat to the victim's health but to their financial stability, too. No one expects to have a crash, and even if drivers have a safety net to cover emergencies, it's difficult to predict how expensive medical bills, property damage, and lost wages are going to be.
Fortunately, victims of a crash can sue the negligent driver for all the financial losses that come after the car accident. Determining fault for what happened is often the challenging part of this process. Why? Because not all states have the same system to determine who is the at-fault driver in an accident, and therefore, who is to pay for it.
This page has all the information victims of a Tennessee car accident need to understand who is at fault for what happened and the steps to follow from now on. They can also call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to take their case. The only thing they have to do is visit its page and schedule a free consultation today!
Who Is at Fault in a Tennessee Car Accident?
Drive-side accidents are often more complex than many people think, as lawyers and judges need to analyze many things to determine who truly was at fault for them. The first thing victims think after they get in a car accident is to sue the other driver, and while they can do that, it's not the only option available for the case.
Drivers in an auto accident are only liable for it if the crash directly or indirectly happened because of something they did or should have done. If a driver, for example, is speeding and crashes with the side of a car, they are liable for it. The same happens if they changed lanes without signaling, were texting while driving, or were drunk driving, to name a few cases.
Anyone who causes a car accident can be liable for it; that includes pedestrians and cyclists. Victims can sue them in the same way they would sue the other driver as long as they have evidence to support the lawsuit. An example of this is when there are motor vehicle accidents because pedestrians or cyclists get in the way of other cars, and the drivers have to crash with another vehicle to avoid hurting them.
Although it's not as common as the examples named above, manufacturers and local governments can also be liable for a car accident. The former is held accountable for crashes when they happen due to the malfunctioning of one of the parts of the car that should be working correctly by that time. As for the latter, it happens when accidents happen due to potholes or poor road conditions.
About Tennessee Comparative Negligence System
One of the most important things to consider when filing an auto accident claim is the type of negligence system the state where the crash happened follows, as that entirely determines the options the victim has to seek compensation. If the accident happened in a no-fault state, for example, people would file a claim to their insurance companies regardless of who caused the crash.
In an at-fault state, on the other hand, the other driver is 100% responsible for paying for the recovery damages the victim has to face. The thing is, Tennessee is neither a no-fault nor an at-fault state; it follows a comparative negligence system.
How does a comparative negligence state work? The judge studies the percentage of liability each driver has in the car accident, and based on that percentage, each of them will have to pay a part of the settlement. Determining fault this way makes gathering evidence essential for the case since the victim wants the at-fault driver to have 100% of the liability for the crash.
If a driver was speeding and crashed with a car, but the other driver was taking a left turn onto oncoming traffic without signaling, both will be liable for the auto accident. Hence, they will share the settlement in the final personal injury claim. Personal injury law changes in each state, and while some have benefits such as uninsured motorist coverage, for example, others depend entirely on proving fault.
How to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Tennessee
Personal injury protection in comparative negligence states allows people to have a chance of getting the money they deserve for car accidents regardless of the policies of their driver's insurance company. However, certain car insurance policies can make this process easier, depending on the situation.
The problem with this is that the insurance company often tries everything to avoid paying for the medical bills and other expenses victims of a crash need to cover after a car accident. These are the steps people should follow to file a personal injury lawsuit:
Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention right after a car accident is one of the most important steps to follow if the victim wants to build a strong case. Medical records are excellent pieces of evidence, so the faster they know an estimate of the money they will need to spend, the easier it is for the victims to ask for it in a claim.
If victims need to go to a private clinic to get faster medical attention, they should do it. This shouldn't be a concern for them, as they can get that money back if they win the case.
Since Tennessee is a comparative fault state, proving fault becomes way more important than in a no-fault state, for example. Not because no-fault systems don't require evidence, because they do, but due to the possibility of sharing an amount of liability for the crash.
All the expenses that come with a car accident are financially demanding, and sharing a part of the settlement with the other driver may not give the victim as much money as they need for everything. However, many things can serve as strong evidence in a car accident.
The first thing victims can do is take photos and videos of the accident scene. Anyone who saw the crash can also work as a witness in a further trial. An experienced Nashville car accident lawyer will know how to use all those things to get a winning settlement. It's not a bad idea to go to a police station to get a police report of the crash, as that may help later on.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers are the best option for crash victims seeking financial compensation. They are experienced and have taken hundreds of cases, so they have the right strategy to win and avoid falling for the tricks the insurance company and liable driver come up with. These lawyers should take care of all the paperwork and help their clients gather evidence. They can help with explaining who is at fault in a car accident while merging TN.
File a Complaint
Part of the job of the personal injury attorney you hire is to file a complaint with the court. That complaint should include all the details of the victim's case, the damages they need to recover, and the evidence they have on the case. When this happens, the court will notify the defendant of the claim, and both parties will have to exchange information related to the case.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company and Defendant
There are two ways of getting to a settlement in a personal injury case; the first is to negotiate with the insurance company and the defendant to get to a deal and avoid going to trial. However, both parties must be aware that they will need to give in if they want to get to a deal. Hence, the victims won't get as much money as they intended to get in the first place.
When people go to trial, they have the chance of losing the entire case and not getting any compensation, so victims often agree to deals to ensure they get at least a part of the money they need. Nonetheless, it's essential they don't say yes to anything unless their lawyer is there to make sure it's a fair deal settlement for their client.
Go to Trial
If the parties in a trial can't get to an agreement, they'll have to take the case to trial. This process can be long, so it's important that the victim is ready for how stressful and overwhelming the trial can be. Regardless of that, winning the case may lead to a higher settlement.
How Much Can People Get from a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The compensation people get for a car crash depends on the circumstances of the case and if the lawyer is able to prove fault.
Average cases that are not that severe range between $3,000 and 25,000, but there is no limit to how high a settlement can be regarding economic damages. There are caps for non-economic damages, though.
Why Should People Trust Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys?
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys offer many benefits clients won't find in another law firm. This company mainly works with former insurance company attorneys, which means its team knows everything lawyers should know about the tricks insurance companies may use against them in a trial. They can also advise on who is at fault in a passenger side car accident TN.
This is a valuable advantage that has helped this law firm win hundreds of cases. The lawyers from Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are ready to go to war for their clients and fight to the end to get a positive settlement for them. Victims of personal injury cases won't see anything but a full focus on their case from the first free case consultation.
Wrapping Up - Call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Now!
Going through a personal injury lawsuit can be emotionally challenging for the victim, but this process becomes way easier if they hire an experienced and qualified attorney. That is what Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys offer its clients. Victims of a car crash can schedule a free consultation with one of the lawyers through the firm's website.