Car accidents are known for producing debilitating injuries. It is not uncommon for car accident victims to deal with physical injuries, financial distress, and severe psychological trauma related to the collision.
Did you suffer critical injuries in a car accident? Are you unsure of where to turn for help? Reach out to an experienced Collierville personal injury lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC.
Find out how to make the liable party pay when you call our office for a free consultation today.
How to Recover Compensation Following a Car Accident in Collierville
There are several ways in which Collierville personal injury victims may be able to recover compensation for their damages from the at-fault driver. Some of your options could include:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company if you purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
- Filing a claim with the liable party’s car insurance company if the defendant carries insurance coverage
- Filing a civil lawsuit against those responsible for causing your car accident injuries
Many car accident victims do not want to deal with the headache of having to go to court. Unfortunately, dealing with the liable party’s insurance company may prove to be more challenging than you were prepared for.
Not only are insurance companies financially motivated, but they will always prioritize their interests above yours. Insurance coverage does not ensure compensation for all of your losses either. In fact, insurance coverage typically only covers the costs of your car repairs, the cost of purchasing a new vehicle, and in some cases, your medical expenses.
How Much Can I Expect in Compensation?
However, the amount of coverage you will receive will be limited by how much coverage the defendant purchased. For this reason, you should always prepare for the possibility of going to court. At trial, you can recover the remaining losses the insurance company was not required to compensate you for, as well as your non-economic damages.
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File Your Car Accident Lawsuit Before Time Runs Out
It is important that you file your car accident claim before the statute of limitations expires. Tennessee only allows for a maximum of one year to pass before this deadline runs out under Tenn. Code Ann. §28-3-104. If you fail to file your claim in time, the courts will have no choice but to bar you from sleeping compensation in the civil court system.
Many people make the mistake of assuming that they know when the statute of limitations expires for their case. However, you should have your car accident lawyer in Collierville, TN review the details of your case thoroughly to ensure the statute of limitations deadline is clear.
The sooner you get a lawyer on your case, the less likely you will face issues regarding the statute of limitations in your claim.
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Other Car Accident Laws You Need to Know
There are multiple car accident laws you should be aware of if you have made the decision to move forward with your case. Some of the most relevant include:
- Tennessee follows a modified comparative negligence system with a 49% threshold which allows injury victims to recover compensation for their damages as long as their portion of liability does not go beyond 49%
- Car accident victim to share fault for their injuries will have their injury settlements reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault
- Tennessee is a fault state for auto insurance purposes, so you will file a claim with the liable party’s insurer instead of filing a claim with your own
If you lose a loved one in a fatal car accident, instead of pursuing a car accident claim, your family might have the authority to move forward with a wrongful death action. You can contact a Collierville wrongful death attorney to find out whether you have grounds for a fatal car accident claim.
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Determining Liability After a Car Accident in Collierville
When it comes to car accidents, determining liability is a crucial step in the process. Without establishing who is at fault for the accident, you may not be able to recover compensation for your damages.
After a Collierville car accident, liability can be determined in several ways. Your attorney may use evidence from the scene of the accident, such as skid marks or debris, to determine which party was responsible for causing the crash. Additionally, they may review police reports and witness statements to help build your case.
Your lawyer may also look into whether any of the parties involved were negligent or reckless in their behavior leading up to the accident. If the at-fault party’s negligence is extreme enough to be deemed criminal negligence, you may be able to recover punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages commonly available.
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Damages You Can Claim After a Car Accident in Collierville
When you are injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your damages. In most cases, you will be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages. Additionally, rare cases may also make you eligible to recover punitive damages.
Economic damages are those that have a specific dollar amount attached to them. This means that anything that directly costs you money is a part of this category. These types of damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning ability
- Property damage
Non-economic damages do not have a specific dollar amount attached to them. Instead, these types of damages are designed to compensate you for the intangible losses associated with your car accident injuries.
These damages are often profound and, as a result, the money you can recover for these losses tends to be substantial. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
Punitive damages are not awarded in every case. These types of damages are designed to punish the liable party for their egregious behavior. In order to be eligible for punitive damages, you must show that the liable party acted with malice or gross negligence. If you can prove this behavior, then you may be able to recover additional compensation for your losses.
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Steps Your Car Accident Attorney in Collierville, TN Will Take on Your Behalf
If you have been injured in a car accident, your attorney will take the following steps to help you recover the compensation you deserve:
- Investigate your accident
- Calculate your damages
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Represent you in court
Investigate Your Accident
Your attorney will investigate your accident to determine who is liable for your damages. This includes gathering evidence such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photos of the scene. The aim of their investigation will be both to establish liability and collect the evidence needed to build a strong case on your behalf.
Calculate Your Damages
Your attorney will calculate the full extent of your damages so they can be included in your claim or lawsuit. This includes economic and non-economic damages and, if applicable, punitive damages.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company
At every stage of the process, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement offer. If the insurance company refuses to cooperate, your attorney may file a lawsuit against them.
Represent You in Court
If your case goes to court, your attorney will represent you and fight for the compensation you deserve. They will present evidence and make arguments on your behalf so that you can get the best possible outcome for your case.
No matter what type of injury you have suffered in your car accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Collierville car accident lawyer as soon as possible. The quicker your attorney can get to work, the stronger the case they will be able to build on your behalf.
How Much Does a Collierville Car Accident Attorney Charge?
Unfortunately, many accident victims don’t hire a car accident lawyer because they worry about the cost. However, a lack of funds should never prevent you from accessing the legal representation you need after a car accident in Collierville. All victims can afford to hire an attorney because car accident attorneys generally work on a contingency fee basis.
This means that you will not pay your attorney anything unless and until they recover compensation for your case. Your lawyer will recover their fee directly out of the settlement or verdict amount they secure for you. When your attorney is working in this manner, you can feel confident they will do everything they can to ensure you recover as much money as possible.
Since the fee your lawyer will collect is in the form of a fixed percentage of the compensation you recover, a larger payout for you means a bigger payday for your attorney. On the other hand, if they are unable to secure money on your behalf from the negligent driver, your lawyer will not receive payment for their services.
How Collierville Car Accident Insurance Claims Work
One of the top ways to recover compensation after a car accident is by filing a claim with the insurance company. However, insurance claims
can be a complicated process, worsened by profit-hungry insurance adjusters. Here are some of the most important details you need to know about filing an insurance claim in Collierville.
TN Insurance Laws
Tennessee is a fault state for car accidents. When you file an insurance claim, it will be with the liable party’s insurer. Their insurance company will then pursue a subrogation claim against them to recoup their losses.
Under Tennessee auto insurance laws, you are required to purchase auto insurance coverage of your own in the event you are responsible for causing a collision. Although there are minimum requirements, increasing your limits can only protect you. The bare minimum amount of coverage under the law includes:
- $25,000 per person/$50 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
What Your Insurance Settlement Will Pay For
Many car accident victims believe they can recoup their losses in full through an insurance claim alone. However, this is rarely the case. While it is possible to settle with the liable party outside of court, insurance settlements themselves are often insufficient.
Insurance settlements typically only cover your property damages and medical bills. If the liable party has additional coverage, you may also be able to recover compensation for your loss of income. However, the insurer is unlikely to cover the costs of your non-economic damages. For this reason, you should always prepare to go to trial if you hope to maximize your financial compensation.
Never Trust the Insurance Company
It is important to remember that the insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. They are looking out for their bottom line and may try to offer you a settlement that is far less than what you deserve. In fact, a common tactic used by these companies is to approach injury victims shortly after their accident and offer a lowball settlement offer.
This offer is typically for only a fraction of the value of the incurred damages. Their hope is that you will be feeling desperate in the face of expensive medical bills. They also hope that you will believe the ads that the insurance companies invest so much money in to portray themselves as your friends, ready to lend a helping hand.
The Consequences of Taking a Lower Settlement
If you end up taking their settlement offer, you will lose your right to pursue further compensation once the full cost of your damages has become clear. Do not accept any offers from the insurance adjusters until you have spoken with an experienced Collierville car accident lawyer.
Your attorney can review your case and help you determine the value of your claim so you know what kind of settlement deal is fair. They will also handle all direct contact with the insurer so that they can’t attempt to use any other nefarious tactics to deprive you of the money you deserve.
The Comparative Negligence Law in Tennessee
In Tennessee, the comparative negligence law applies to car accident cases. This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for your car accident, you can still recover compensation for your damages. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
For example, if a jury finds that you were 20% at fault for your car accident and awards $100,000 in damages, you would only receive $80,000 in total compensation.
It is critical to note that if a jury finds that you are 50% or more at fault for your accident, you will not be eligible to pursue damages. In fact, if you hold the largest portion of fault for your crash, you could find that the other involved party is attempting to recover compensation from you.
The Majority of Car Accident Cases Conclude with an Out-of-Court Settlement
The majority of car accident cases in Collierville are finalized through an out-of-court settlement. This means that the parties involved in the case agree on a settlement amount without going through a lengthy trial process.
Out-of-court settlements are often beneficial for both parties because they can save time and money so that everyone can move on with their lives. When negotiating an out-of-court settlement, your Collierville car accident lawyer will work hard to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Your attorney will also continue to build your case for court as they participate in negotiations. While most cases will end up settling, you could find that the other party is not willing to offer you a fair deal. In this situation, it is critical that your attorney is ready and willing to take your case to court, where they will fight to ensure you collect the compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Car Accidents in Collierville
Collierville car accidents can take many forms. You may not think the type of car accident you were involved in makes a difference. However, it can provide valuable evidence your attorney can use to establish liability against the culpable party.
With that in mind, there are some types of car accidents we see more frequently in Collierville than others. Some of these car accidents include:
- Highway accidents
- Accidents at intersections
- T-bone accidents
- Sideswipe accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Single car accidents
- Multi-vehicle accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Underride accidents
- Tire blowouts
The way your car accident occurred may point your attorney in the direction of the individual or other party who is responsible for causing your accident. If you were involved in another type of car accident that was not listed above, you could still have grounds for a case. Be sure to reach out to our office to find out when we go options are available to you.
Collierville Car Accident Injuries to Sue For
Many Collierville car accident victims do not call a lawyer for help because they are concerned that their car accident injuries may not be considered “severe enough” for the filing of a civil lawsuit or car insurance claim. However, an injury does not have to be life-threatening or critical for you to have grounds for legal action.
The ways your injuries have impacted your life will influence whether you have the right to pursue your case. However, there are some types of injury cases we see more frequently than others. Some of the more common car accident injuries people in Collierville sue for include:
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries
These are just a few of the more frequently seen types of car accident injuries in Collierville. It is by no means an exhaustive list of injuries. If you have suffered another type of injury we did not include above, be sure to contact our office today to find out whether you have the opportunity to move forward with your car accident claim.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Collierville for Help Today
Car accidents may be common, but you still have the right to hold the liable party accountable. Increase your chances of recovering total compensation for your damages by hiring an experienced lawyer to help you with your case.
It is essential to choose an attorney who has handled cases similar to yours in the past and who has a proven record of getting positive results for their clients.
Get an experienced Collierville car accident attorney on your side. Schedule a no-cost, risk-free consultation with our team of experienced attorneys at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC to start working on your case. You can contact our law firm by phone or through our quick contact form today to learn more about your legal rights and get started building your case.