Why do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
Simply put, insurance companies will try to take advantage of you. Before opening this firm, Chris Eads represented auto insurers and knows how they try to resolve cases. First, you may get a call from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. They will try to be your friend and act sympathetic while not caring at all about your pain and suffering and medical expense. Second, they will throw out a low number and try to compensate you with what they call a “reasonable amount.” Insurance companies rely on the fact that good people do not know how much their case is worth. In other words, they take advantage of you and hope you say yes to the small amount. Also, your own insurance can provide benefits to compensate you for your injuries in the form of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
At The Law Offices of Christopher Eads, PLLC, we have years of experience in representing insurance companies being sued in a car accident case. If your case is not worth pursuing, we tell you so. We do not want to waste your time. If you do have a potentially viable claim, though, we do everything in our power to ensure you have a successful outcome.
I have been injured in a car accident — What do I do now?
First things first, obtain the medical attention you need. Ask your doctor about the best course of treatment and what additional treatment may be needed. Get the prescriptions and medical devices required.
Hopefully, after the crash, a police report was filed. Make sure you have a copy of that police report and the names of all witnesses. These are all documents you want to bring when you meet with your attorney. If you do not have the accident report, that can be obtained for you.
By now, the calls from the at-fault party’s insurance company have probably started. You do not have to talk to an insurance adjuster. In fact, you should not until you speak with a lawyer. Otherwise, they will try to get you to accept the small amount of money as referenced above. Your conversation with the agent or adjuster might be recorded, and you do not want to say anything that might be damaging to a claim later on. If they call you or visit you, simply ask for their name and number and politely tell them your car accident lawyer will call them shortly. If you do not speak with the insurance adjuster, they cannot use that against you if a lawsuit is filed. The best course of action is not to give a statement to anyone and contact an attorney.
What are my rights after a Tennessee car accident?
If you are considering pursuing a legal claim after a car accident, you should be aware of a few issues. The statute of limitations for a car accident is one year from the date of the incident. This means you have one year from the date of the accident to bring the case to court or you forfeit your right to a lawsuit. Minors have from one year after their 18th birthday to file a claim. Oftentimes minors are injured in the accident with their parent(s) and can also be a party to the lawsuit as they were a passenger and sustained their own injuries.
Another important consideration is Tennessee’s “modified comparative fault” system. If you are found to be partially at fault for an accident, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of which you were found to be at fault. For example, if your claim is worth $100,000 and you would found to be 10% at fault, your damages would be reduced by 10%. So, you would receive $90,000. If you were found to be more than 50% at fault, you would not receive anything.
Do not let these rules deter you from pursuing your case. It is important, though, to be informed and prepared. Your car accident attorney can help walk you through anything you want to know.
What are the most common types of car crashes in Tennessee?
Sometimes, how a car crash happens determines how severe and catastrophic the injuries are. The way the cars collide can help determine who was at fault for the accident, which, in turn, can help victims obtain the compensation they need to get well. These are the most common types of car accidents, and why they could lead to serious injuries:
- Rear-end collisions. Here, the damage is usually to the rear of the car in front and in the front bumper of the car that was at fault. Many rear-end accidents happen at traffic stops when the rear car fails to hit the brakes in time. Whiplash is a common rear-end accident injury, but you can also hit your head on the dash or the steering wheel.
- Side-impact collisions. These accidents, also called T-bone collisions, occur when the front of one car strikes the side of another car. These accidents often occur in intersections where one car is making a turn. Side-impact crashes pose a threat to the person who has just been hit, but also a serious threat to the driver of the other car. Both parties may sustain head, neck or spinal injuries, lacerations from glass shards, or broken bones.
- Sideswipe collisions. Two cars going in the same direction or trying to merge may come into contact with each other. For example, a car trying to pass another may strike the non-passing car. The danger of side-impact collisions is that one or both cars may then spin out of control, causing multi-car crashes and serious injuries. People may also be injured by their own side-impact airbags, or from glass shards is the windows break.
- Multi-vehicle crashes. Multi-car crashes are complex cases, especially in Tennessee, because multiple parties could be found liable for damages. Depending on the impact, drivers may sustain injuries that run the gamut of severity, from bruised muscles to paralysis.
- Vehicle rollovers. Driver who speed through a turn too quickly, strike an object in the road, or whose vehicles have a defect that affects their balance may flip over. This kind of crash often causes fatalities or catastrophic injuries. SUVs and jeeps are especially prone to rollovers.
- Single car crashes. Drivers who operate their vehicle while distracted, while intoxicated, or while going too fast often lose control of their car. Occupants of the car killed or permanently injured; so can pedestrians or cyclists who are in the area at the time.
- Head-on crashes. When the fronts of two vehicles travelling in opposite directions collide, the consequences are often deadly. Survivors of head-on car accidents often suffer traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, broken bones, and a lifetime of pain and suffering. Despite being the most rare, head-on collisions are widely recognized as the most likely to be fatal.
Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney.
No one should have to go through the pain of a car wreck alone. If you have been in a car wreck and want to know your rights, call The Law Offices of Christopher Eads, PLLC and speak with Chris directly. To discuss your case at a free consultation, please call 615-622-6060 or complete our contact form. We have helped individuals in car accidents all across the State of Tennessee.