To collect compensation for injuries or property damage sustained in a car accident, it is essential to file your claim within the statute of limitations set by the state of Tennessee. Your best course of action is to consult with a car accident lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC soon after your accident. Your lawyer will ensure your claim and all other evidence and documentation are filed accurately and on time.
How Long do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Tennessee?
Tennessee Code §28-3-104 establishes a one-year statute of limitations for filing a claim against the person allegedly at fault for a motor vehicle accident. You have one year from the date of the accident to file. If your loved one was killed in an accident, you have one year from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim.
According to Code 28-3-05, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim for property damage sustained in the accident. If you fail to file your claim within the statute of limitations, your case will almost definitely be dismissed. By consulting with a car accident lawyer soon after your accident, you will avoid the possibility of missing this important deadline.
It is important to note these statutes do not apply to insurance claims. Most insurance companies require prompt notification of an accident, usually within days or a week at most.
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What Damages Can I Collect?
The compensation you pursue hinges on a variety of factors. However, in most motor-vehicle and injury cases, your lawyer will seek compensation for:
- Medical Costs: These include any medical interventions or home care you required as a result of the accident and any accident-related interventions you will require in the future.
- Economic Costs: Lost wages and lost potential earnings are included in the economic costs of your accident.
- Property Damage or Loss: Your vehicle or other property damaged in the accident will need repair or replacement.
- Loss to Quality of Life: The emotional suffering caused by your injuries and the changes to your life matter. You may not be able to engage in the same physical or social activities you once could, which can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.
Based on the specifics of your case and your life circumstances, your lawyer will seek additional compensation. For example, if you need to make adjustments to your living space or car to accommodate your changed abilities, or must now pay someone to help with childcare, your lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC will account for all of those needs.
Can I Still Collect if I am Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Tennessee operates under a modified comparative fault system. This means that if you, the plaintiff, are found to share fault for the accident, in some cases you can be denied compensation or have your compensation reduced.
If you own over 49% of the fault for the incident, you cannot receive compensation. If you are less than 49% responsible, the amount of your total award is reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. For example, if you hold 10% of the blame, you will receive 90% (10% less) of the total calculated compensation.
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How Much Is the Average Settlement?
Every single car accident claim yields different settlement amounts. Several factors influence the potential award, including the severity of victims’ injuries, the extent of property damage, who owns fault for the accident, the long-term physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of the injuries suffered, and whether the victim has legal representation. Those with representation tend to see higher settlements.
Insurance companies’ intimidation tactics do not work on lawyers who know how much your case is worth and will not settle for less than what is fair. Attorneys from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC have secured significant and much-deserved settlements for their clients.
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Will I Have to Take My Case to Trial?
Most cases are settled outside of court. Your lawyer will negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company and fight for the highest settlement possible. If the insurance company offers a satisfactory settlement and you accept, you do not have to take your case to court.
There are times when insurance companies refuse to provide reasonable compensation. Other times, they may attempt to deny the party they represent is at fault and may even use unethical means to inflate your degree of responsibility for the accident. Your lawyer may advise you to take your case to trial in these circumstances.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Keeping up with legal deadlines, collecting evidence, submitting documentation by legal deadlines, and negotiating with insurance companies are all part of the post-accident settlement process. These are complex, time-consuming, and stressful undertakings. Having a lawyer manage these tasks takes a serious burden off of you when you need to be focusing on recovery.
Your lawyer will know how to collect and present accident-scene photos or video, testimonies from witnesses and caregivers, medical reports, and information about your prognosis. As a legal expert, your lawyer will never be surprised by a statute of limitations and will always prepare and submit legal documents efficiently and accurately. With knowledge of your case and Tennessee laws, your lawyer will serve as your worthy advocate in negotiations with insurance companies.
Should your case go to trial, your lawyer will represent you at all court proceedings.
How Can I Contact a Tennessee Car Accident Lawyer?
Give yourself the best chance of receiving the compensation you need and deserve. Schedule a consultation with a car accident lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, and Montesi PLC as soon as possible after your accident.
By securing legal representation promptly, you ensure your case will be managed with expertise from start to finish. The consultation comes at no cost to you, and you will not pay any fees until you receive your settlement.