While auto accidents occur nearly every second across the United States, it often leaves victims feeling confused on how to handle the following steps. In the state of Tennessee, there were a total of 995 vehicle accident fatalities in 2013, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety. In fact, the majority of these auto accident fatalities occurred on our state highway system.
At Greg Coleman Law, we understand that accidents happen and most people are not aware of which steps to take following the incident. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the first step is to call our licensed Knoxville auto accident attorneys at (865) 247-0080 or complete the Free Case Evaluation form to the right of this page.
What information do I need to obtain after I have been in a Tennessee car accident?
Once you have been involved in a Tennessee car wreck, it is important to collect the following information:
- The name, address, telephone number, license number, make and model of vehicles involved and the name, policy number and contact information for the insurance companies of all parties involved in the accident.
- Photographs of the crash scene, including all property damage and physical injuries, such as bruises and lacerations.
- The names and badge numbers of police officers who were dispatched to the scene of the accident.
- Contact information of any witnesses.
How is fault determined in an auto accident?
In Tennessee, insurance companies usually determine which party was at fault in a collision. An adjuster will evaluate the conditions of the crash, including influencing factors such as weather conditions and traffic laws. Tennessee law allows insurance providers to reduce the amount of compensation if it is found that the injury victim's actions contributed at least partially to the car accident. If they determine that the injury victim was more than 49 percent liable for the crash, they are not eligible to recover any money from the other party.
How are damages defined in an auto accident lawsuit?
The compensation awarded for losses that resulted from an accident is referred to as "damages." Damages can be classified as economic or non-economic. Economic damages are easier to quantify, such as medical expenses, property damage and lost wages. Non-economic damages are harder to measure, like pain and suffering, emotional trauma and loss of quality of life.
What is negligence?
When a driver fails to use a reasonable standard of care for the safety of others on the road, this is considered negligence. In order to be eligible to pursue a Tennessee auto accident lawsuit, the injury victim must be able to prove that the collision was caused by the negligence of another driver.
Do I need to see a physician after my collision if I'm only "a little sore?"
Even if you don't believe that you have suffered any serious injuries, it's a good idea to seek medical attention after you have been involved in a car accident. Sometimes, symptoms of serious injuries do not become apparent until days after the accident has occurred. Also, going to the doctor immediately after an accident limits the defense's ability to blame damages on other factors besides collision. Having medical records to support your injury claim will increase your likelihood of recovering fair compensation.
Is there anything that I should NOT do after an auto accident?
There are a few things that a car accident victim should avoid doing after a wreck, including the following:
- If it is clear that you were not at fault, do not leave the scene of the crash without notifying the police. It is important to have proper documentation of the accident if you plan to pursue legal recourse.
- Never give a statement to an insurance company, whether it is your own or that of the other driver, without first seeking legal counsel.
- Never admit responsibility for the accident to anyone present at the scene, including police officers, paramedics and witnesses.
When should I contact a Tennessee auto accident attorney?
Contacting an attorney right away could make a significant difference in the outcome of your accident claim, so it is important to contact an experienced Tennessee car accident lawyer soon after the collision. Having the help of a lawyer early on will prove advantageous as facts and evidence that support your injury claim will still be fresh and easier to access. Also, injury lawsuits have a strict statute of limitations, so the aid of an auto accident attorney shortly after a crash could increase your chances of receiving a favorable verdict or settlement for your lawsuit.
When should I settle my car accident claim?
It is important that you do not accept a settlement for your car accident case until you have finished all medical treatments and have been released by your doctor as you may not fully understand the extent of your injuries and the medical treatment that you require. It is also important, however, to keep in mind the statute of limitations that affects your lawsuit. An auto accident lawyer will be able to determine the statute of limitations period for your injury claim, as well as any other deadlines that may affect your case.
What happens if the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance to cover all my damages or if they flee the scene of the accident?
If the at-fault driver has no insurance or inadequate coverage to fully cover your damages, you may be able to collect the difference from your own insurance provider if your auto policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is also used in hit-and-run accidents to help injury victims receive compensation for their damages.
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer Today
As reliable members of our local Tennessee communities, the Knoxville personal injury attorneys at Greg Coleman Law strongly believe that negligent drivers must be held liable for their actions.
With our main firm located in Knoxville, TN, we are able to help auto accident injury victims, and are licensed to practice law across the entire state of Tennessee. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients and provide the knowledge and experience necessary to handle your auto accident injury litigation.
To learn more, call (865) 247-0080 and a member from our intake staff will collect some of the details about your case and then quickly refer you to one of our attorneys to further discuss the merits of your claim.
Begin here by simply filling out the "Free Case Evaluation" form - there is no obligation and it's 100% FREE to send.