Collisions on the highway are unfortunate but common, and drivers sometimes struggle to piece together their lives after a bad crash. An experienced attorney can assist you in filing a claim for compensation from the person responsible for your injuries.
You should talk to a lawyer immediately if you are in a vehicle crash. Tennessee has one of the shortest statutes of limitation for personal injury cases. Plaintiffs only have a single year to file their cases. You and your attorney must evaluate your monetary costs to claim damages. Next, you must assess the non-economic impact of the accident on your mind and well-being. Before filing your case, we need to understand how your accident happened. Knowing this information may help us determine who should be held responsible and what evidence we need. Your lawyer can help you determine the facts of your accident, evaluate your damages, and maneuver the complex legal procedures involved in a lawsuit.
For a confidential review of your claims for no cost, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 and talk to our Knoxville, TN car accident lawyers.
When to File a Case for an Oak Ridge, TN Car Accident
Recovering from a car accident takes some time. Even relatively non-serious injuries might take weeks or months to fully heal. It is normal to take a bit of time to recuperate and decide what to do after an accident, but the laws in Tennessee do not give injured victims a lot of time to make up their minds.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Tennessee, such as those commonly involved in car accident cases, is incredibly short. Under Tenn. Code. Ann. § 28-3-104(a), a car accident victim has just 1 year from the accident to file their claim with the courts. If you miss this deadline, you cannot file your case, barring special circumstances.
While this is an incredibly tight deadline, certain circumstances might buy you additional time to file your claims. For example, under the same law, injury claims where criminal charges are assessed against the defendant may be filed in 2 years. This might apply to a hit-and-run car accident case or a drunk driving collision.
You should also talk to our car accident lawyers about whether the statute of limitations can be tolled. Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-1-106(a), a plaintiff who was younger than 18 when they were injured or is determined to be mentally incompetent to bring a cause of action may have the deadline tolled.
Tolling is like pausing the clock counting down to the deadline. If you are a minor when you are in the accident, the 1-year deadline would be paused until you turn 18, then resume counting down. If you are found to have a mental deficiency that prevents you from filing the case or understanding your rights, the deadline might be tolled until someone files on your behalf or the disability ends.
How to Claim Damages in Your Oak Ridge, TN Car Accident Case
Damages are often based on 2 different types of injuries. First, your damages are heavily influenced by economic losses and the actual amount of money you lost because of the car accident. Second, your damages may also be influenced by your personal experiences during and after the crash, even if they technically do not come at a cost.
Some frequently claimed economic damages include medical expenses and property damage. You might be left struggling to pay big medical bills after a trip to the emergency room. You might also have to repair your car or totally replace it, which is a costly endeavor. We must also think of your job. If you had to step away from work to recover, you can claim lost wages.
Also, think about your mental and emotional state after an accident. Many people are left reeling after a bad crash. They might also be suffering from intense physical pain from injuries. These painful experiences deserve fair compensation, just like any economic damages.
People are sometimes confused by how insurance affects their claims for damages. If your insurance covers those costs, can you still claim damages for medical bills or vehicle repairs? The answer is likely yes. However, you likely will not be able to keep the compensation awarded for those damages.
The Supreme Court of Tennessee has ruled that damages for medical expenses should not be based on what the plaintiff paid out of pocket. Instead, they should be based on the real value of the medical treatment or what the plaintiff was charged. For example, if you incur medical bills for $50,000 and your health insurance pays $45,000, you might only pay $5,000 out of pocket. However, you may still claim the full $50,000 in your lawsuit. However, if you are awarded the full $50,000, you might be required to pay back what the insurance company covered.
Understanding How Your Car Crash Occurred in Oak Ridge, TN
Accidents happen for all kinds of reasons, and understanding how yours happened might help us figure out who should be held responsible and how we can achieve this. Some common causes of car accidents include intoxication, speeding, and basic traffic code violations.
Intoxication is not just a serious safety risk on the road, it is also illegal, and the other driver might face criminal penalties for their behavior. If your accident involved drugs or alcohol, the police may investigate, and we might use evidence from their investigation to help your case. For example, we will need the results of chemical testing conducted by the police as proof of the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration. If the defendant was drinking in a bar before the accident, we can go to that bar and ask if anyone saw the witness or if he was recorded drinking on security cameras.
Speed is one of the biggest sources of headaches for drivers. When drivers travel at dangerously high rates of speed, the risk of accidents goes way up. It is harder to safely navigate turns, merge, or come to a stop when a driver is speeding. Many accidents are caused by speeding drivers. Evidence for such accidents might include tire marks, indicating speed, and witness testimony about how fast the driver appeared to be going.
Even basic traffic code violations like ignoring traffic signs or failing to use a turn signal can cause big accidents. People sometimes brush off these minor offenses, as they are very easy mistakes to make on the road. However, if the other driver committed any traffic violations, the police might issue a citation after their investigation. We may use the citation as evidence in your case.
Contact Our Oak Ridge, TN Car Accident Lawyers if You Are Injured in a Collision
For a confidential review of your claims for no cost, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 and talk to our car accident lawyers.