All Lakeland drivers are responsible for obeying the rules of the road and doing their part to keep others on the road safe. Unfortunately, not all drivers do their part, and car accidents happen. Even if drivers act responsibly, unsafe road conditions, broken traffic signals, or other hazards can cause accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities.
If you have been hurt or your loved one has been seriously injured in a Lakeland car accident, speak with a Lakeland personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi immediately. You deserve compensation for your losses, and your attorney will fight for every dollar the at-fault party owes you.
Determining the Negligent Party
Shelby County, home to Lakeland, ranks first in the state for motor vehicle accidents overall, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.These accidents happen for a variety of reasons, but finding the specific cause of yours is foundational to your case. Trust a car accident lawyer in Lakeland to conduct a full investigation of your accident to determine its cause and identify the negligent party.
While the at-fault party may seem obvious to you, what seems obvious is not always the actual case. For example, if a driver failed to brake and caused the collision, driver error might seem to be the cause. But if the brakes failed, then the car manufacturer or brake inspector might actually hold fault.
If you were to file against the wrong party and then be unable to prove their negligence as the reason for the accident, you will not collect a settlement. To ensure you file appropriately, an experienced car accident attorney in Lakeland will:
- Gather evidence from the accident scene, such as footage from traffic or security cameras, police reports, and photos or video of the vehicles involved, the damage to those vehicles, and the injuries you or others sustained
- Consult with experts, such as accident reconstructionists, medical personnel, or other relevant authorities who can support your claim
- Contact witnesses and document their testimonies.
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Why You Should Partner with a Lakeland Car Accident Attorney Right Away
Giving an attorney early access to your case brings several advantages. It is easier for your lawyer to connect with witnesses as their contact information is not likely to change in the days immediately following the incident. It is also easier to secure any traffic or security camera footage before it is erased or lost.
Further, the sooner you start the legal process, the sooner you can hope to receive a settlement and feel some financial relief.
The Statute of Limitations
Tennessee law establishes one year from the date of the accident as the legal deadline for filing a car accident claim. If you file after this deadline, your case will be dismissed.
The longer your attorney has to build your case and still meet this deadline, the better your chances for a successful outcome. If you wait to reach out to a lawyer, there is less time for your attorney to complete a thorough investigation of your accident and assessment of your losses.
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How Car Accidents Affect Your Life Long Term
Even if you can heal from your injuries, you will feel the effects of your accident long-term. If your injuries are catastrophic or a loved one dies in the crash, those effects are permanent.
Your physical injury will bring either temporary or permanent pain or disability. It will also likely prevent you from working either for a while or for the rest of your life. The lack of income, even if it is only for weeks or months, can create a financial crisis.
Your psychological state and ability to simply enjoy daily life, special events, or relationships are also likely to be affected by your pain and your accident-caused limitations.
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How a Settlement Can Help Your Recovery
A substantial settlement can relieve your financial distress and give you the peace of mind that comes with having your needs met and your household’s future financial stability secured.
Your car accident attorney in Lakeland will value your losses with precision, accounting for your medical expenses and continued care, income loss, lost future earnings, property destroyed or wrecked by the crash, and other expenses arising from your accident. For example, you may need to hire childcare or pay for someone to complete household duties you can no longer manage.
Emotional losses matter too. And while a settlement may not heal all of those wounds or restore you to your former capabilities, it serves to acknowledge the emotional suffering you have endured. It can also give you financial access to treatments or opportunities to ease that suffering.
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Car Accident Settlement Amounts
There is no “standard” for settlement amounts. However, GKBM has a long history of securing significant settlements for car accident clients.
Along with calculating your losses and needs, your lawyer will also protect your settlement from unethical attacks by the at-fault party’s insurance company. Since Tennessee follows a comparative fault system, if a victim is found to hold a percentage of fault for the accident, the total settlement amount they can collect is reduced by that same percentage. If victims hold more than 49% of the blame, they cannot collect at all.
To avoid paying you compensation, these insurance companies may try to intimidate you into accepting a lowball offer, even claiming the offer is “generous” and more than you deserve. They may use dishonesty to put unwarranted blame on you. Have a knowledgeable car accident lawyer in Lakeland speak and negotiate on your behalf, and neutralize these risks to your settlement.
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GKBM Is Ready to Fight for the Settlement You Need
Feelings of fear and confusion often follow a car accident. There is fear for your future and how you will support yourself and confusion as to how to be compensated for all you have lost. A Lakeland car accident attorney from GKBM can calm your fears and relieve your confusion by handling your case with care and skill.
Contact us today for a free consultation. While your attorney fights for a fair settlement, you can concentrate on healing.