Being involved in a Nashville car accident doesn’t have to be an all-around hassle. If you are injured, you need to focus on treating those injuries and recovering to get back to your everyday life. It can be challenging to know precisely what to do or even how Nashville car accident cases are handled and what information you need to protect yourself. Thankfully the Nashville car accident lawyers at Steinger, Greene & Feiner have the proper tools for you to be prepared!
Tennessee Car Accident Laws
It is essential to know the Tennessee laws if you are involved in a car accident in Nashville.
- Within 20 days, the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident in the state of Tennessee must report the crash in writing to the Commission of Safety if:
- Any person was injured or killed as a result of the accident
- If any damage to the property of anyone involved is at least $1,500
- The accident resulted in property damage to the local or state government of at least $400
The Beginning Stage After a Nashville Crash
Right after the crash occurs, you should make sure everyone involved is okay or if they need medical assistance immediately and need an ambulance. Calling 911 to report the accident is important so the police can come and make sure the scene is safe for all parties involved from oncoming traffic.
While you wait for the police to arrive, gather all contact information, insurance information, and information of any witnesses of the Nashville car accident. Once the police arrive to make the police report, they will also gather this information, but it is highly recommended that you collect it yourself. Examples of this information would be:
- Phone numbers
- Driver’s licenses
- Plate numbers
- Insurance information
- Email addresses (just in case)
Once the information is gathered, you will want to take photos of the car accident scene and the vehicles involved. You want to take note of the surroundings of the scene of the accident, the damages for each car, weather conditions, and any traffic signage or signals that could be of use for a claim.
This will help you build up evidence to be used in a claim when you are collecting payment for damages from the at-fault driver. Tennessee uses the comparative fault rule when placing drivers at fault for an accident. Comparative fault means that financial recovery is allowed if the claimant is less than 50% responsible for causing the accident than the other parties involved.
For example, if the judge and jury determine that $120,000 will be appropriate compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and other losses involved, but you are 20% responsible for the accident, your compensation will decrease by that percentage. So instead of receiving a total of $120,000, you would receive $100,000. This is why gathering evidence is critical when filing for a claim because you need to prove that the other party is more negligent than you for the crash.
After leaving the accident scene, you will want to see a doctor and have all injuries appropriately assessed. The documentation provided from the doctor’s visit will prove that injuries were sustained directly related to the accident you were involved in. Even if you think you are not injured, many injuries caused by car accidents do not show symptoms until weeks following the crash, and these injuries can worsen if left untreated for too long.
When Filing For a Nashville Car Accident Claim
You have to report all accidents to your insurance company, but you do not need to provide them with in-depth details if you plan to pursue the claim with a car accident injury lawyer. The car accident attorney will be able to examine your evidence of the injuries you sustained and measure the non-economic and economic damages to determine the compensation amount you deserve.
The damages you can collect payment for are more than just medical bills and property damage; they can also include:
- Lost wages
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
When you file a lawsuit with a car accident lawyer, they will use documented evidence like medical records, photos of damages and injuries, and other types of documentation to prove to the judge and jury the amount of compensation you deserve to collect. However, it is essential to keep in mind that in Tennessee, you only have one year to file an injury claim after the date of the personal injury accident. If you accept any monetary payment from the insurance company, that will count as you taking a settlement and your claim closing. So if you decide to pursue a car accident claim with a Tennessee personal injury attorney, you must be careful not to sign or accept anything from the insurance company.