A car accident can cause injuries and other disruptions to your life, both of which require financial compensation to overcome. If you have been injured in a car accident, consult with a Tennessee car accident lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC. Your attorney will provide sound legal guidance and work to negotiate a fair out-of-court settlement or represent you at a trial if necessary.
Do I Have to Go to Court After a Car Accident in Tennessee?
You are not required to take your case to court. Ultimately, that decision is yours, though it is best made with advice from a Tennessee car accident lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC. If you and your lawyer determine it is in your best interest, you may decide to take the case to trial.
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Do Most Car Accident Lawsuits Go to Trial?
After a car accident, insurance companies representing the drivers involved in the accident negotiate compensation owed to those sustaining injuries or property damage. The vast majority of cases are settled without ever going to court. However, you should be prepared for the possibility.
Even if insurance companies offer you what seems to be a just settlement, consult with a Tennessee car accident lawyer to ensure the offer is fair and sufficient to meet your needs.
Why Would I Need to Take My Tennessee Car Accident Case to Court?
There are several reasons you would need to take your Tennessee car accident case to court. Sometimes insurance companies do not offer fair compensation or may refuse to offer a settlement at all, denying the driver they represent is at fault.
If the at-fault driver does not have insurance and there is no insurance company to offer a settlement, you will need to pursue other means of compensation. Having a Tennessee car accident lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC is a way to ensure the best outcome in this scenario. Your attorney will know what other options are available and how to seek damages.
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What Are the Positives of Settling Out of Court?
You save time and receive your financial award more quickly by settling out of court. It can take a year or several years for your case to move through the system. Those years of working and waiting are stressful emotionally and financially.
You and your lawyer also have more control over the outcome of a settlement that is negotiated out of court. Though the settlement might not be as high as you think you deserve, you will receive that settled-on amount and experience some financial relief.
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What Are the Negatives of Settling Out of Court?
Your out-of-court settlement may be less than what you could receive by taking your case to court.
What Are the Positives of Taking My Case to Court?
If the court rules in your favor, it agrees that you are entitled to more than the out-of-court settlement offered, and you will see greater compensation. For some, going to court, facing the person whose negligence or recklessness injured them, and seeing that person held accountable brings a sense of justice.
What Are the Negatives of Taking My Case to Court?
The process is long. It can take a year or more for your case to go before a judge and jury, which is a long time to wait for compensation.
There is also the risk that the court will not rule in your favor, and you may walk away with less than the out-of-court settlement offer or even nothing at all. While going to court is always your choice, listen to your lawyer’s advice. They know the strength of your case and can better assess your chances of a favorable outcome.
Who Decides My Case?
In Tennessee, car accidents and other personal injury cases are argued before a judge and jury, with the jury ultimately determining the verdict. The judge manages the court proceedings by keeping order and determining what evidence is admissible.
Can I Represent Myself if I Take My Tennessee Car Accident Case to Court?
It is not recommended that you represent yourself in court. Without extensive legal knowledge, you can put your case at risk simply because you did not understand proper protocol or “legalese.” Similarly, if you are not proficient in Tennessee fault laws and the requirements of proving fault, you are likely to present a weak case.
What Are Tennessee’s Fault Laws?
Tennessee is a modified comparative fault state. Under this system, if the victim is determined to be more than 49% responsible for the car accident, they are not entitled to a settlement. If they are less than 49% responsible but still carry some fault, the settlement amount is lowered in proportion to their level of fault. A determination of 10% fault reduces their settlement by 10%.
You can be certain that the defendant will attempt to inflate your level of fault during the trial. You need a skilled attorney to fight those attempts, keeping your case and settlement secure.
If the Insurance Company Offers Me a Fast Settlement, Should I Take It to Avoid a Long Legal Proceeding?
Not without having a Tennessee car accident lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC review your case and the offer first.
In reviewing your case, your lawyer can assess the strength of the evidence, the severity of your injuries and suffering, the degree of fault of each party, and the damages you are entitled to as a result of those factors. Based on that review, your lawyer will advise you whether the offer is reasonable.
Generally, first and fast offers are not representative of what you deserve. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible. Your lawyer will see through those offers and use their legal skills to negotiate a better offer.
How Can I Schedule a Consultation with a Tennessee Car Accident Lawyer?
Visit the Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC contact page and call or send an electronic message requesting a consultation. Your request will be addressed promptly.
Call or text (901) 526-2126 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form