Tennessee Car Accident FAQs
If you were injured in an auto accident in Chattanooga, the legal team at Davis Firm, LLC can help you get justice and fair compensation. Our Tennessee car accident lawyers have more than 25 years of extensive experience helping people get back on their feet after a crash. If someone else’s negligence caused you harm, you can count on us to stand up for you.
After a collision, it’s natural to have questions. Read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked car accident questions. To find out more about what to do after a Chattanooga car accident, contact us today for a free consultation.
What Do I Do If I Have Been Involved in a Chattanooga Car Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Chattanooga, there are several steps you should take to protect your rights and your ability to pursue compensation for your losses.
Follow these tips:
- Seek medical attention: See a doctor promptly and follow through on any treatment plans as prescribed. It’s possible to suffer serious injuries without showing obvious symptoms right away, so schedule an appointment immediately unless you are taken to the hospital from the accident scene.
- Exchange information: Get the names, phone numbers, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers of any drivers involved in the wreck. If there are witnesses, get their names and contact information, too.
- Gather evidence: Write down everything you can remember about the crash while it’s fresh in your memory. Take photos of the accident scene, any vehicle damage, and any visible injuries caused that you sustained.
- Start a pain journal: Keep a daily record of the recovery process. Your journal can help demonstrate any limitations you experience while you heal.
- Keep detailed records: Hold on to medical bills, car repair invoices, and receipts from any accident-related expenses that you incur as a result of your accident. Meticulous records can demonstrate how the accident impacted your finances.
- Don’t overshare: Avoid sharing details or admitting fault for your accident to anyone except your lawyer. Refrain from making posts on social media as well. Anything you share could potentially undermine your case.
- Contact an experienced car accident lawyer: A proven Tennessee car accident lawyer can demand maximum compensation for your losses from the at-fault party’s insurer so you don’t have to.
I Can’t Afford a Lawyer – Now What?
If you’re overwhelmed by unexpected medical bills, repair expenses, and lost income, you may be understandably concerned about the cost of legal representation. The good news is that the lawyers at Davis Firm, LLC, can help you regardless of your ability to pay.
We offer free case reviews, regardless of whether you ultimately choose to hire us. Our Chattanooga car accident attorneys also work on a contingency fee basis, which means that unless we win compensation for you, you don’t pay us anything for our legal services.
If you hire us to represent you, we will develop an agreement that outlines specific legal costs and what percentage of your final settlement or court award that we will charge as our legal fee. We are committed to financial transparency at every step of the process, and we will never collect payment until your case is closed.
What Is a Fair Settlement?
Without legal training, it can be difficult to know for certain whether any settlement offer you receive is fair and reasonable. Car accident settlements are designed to compensate you for accident-related losses, so the best way to tell whether a settlement offer is fair is by comparing it to the value of any losses you incurred because of the accident.
A fair settlement should cover:
- Past, current, and anticipated future medical expenses
- Incidental expenses, such as costs of transportation to doctor’s appointments
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs, if your car was damaged
- Lost wages and lost future earning potential, if you are unable to return to work
- Subjective costs of pain, suffering, and psychological distress
- Subjective losses in quality of life and companionship, if partners are affected
Keep in mind that the value of a fair settlement can vary if you were partially responsible for the accident. If you are determined to be 50 percent or more at fault, Tennessee’s comparative negligence laws prevent you from recovering any compensation. A knowledgeable car accident lawyer can help you evaluate the fairness of any settlement offers you receive.
How Long Is the Car Accident Claims Process?
Everyone wants the accident claim process to wrap up as soon as possible. But proceed with caution. Insurance companies know this, and adjusters will often make appealing offers early in the claims process in hopes that you will accept and close out your case.
Once you accept a settlement offer, you will no longer have the right to demand additional compensation. This means that if you develop new symptoms or your injuries worsen over time, you may be on the hook for any unexpected treatment expenses you incur. It’s a good idea to be patient and consult with a seasoned car accident lawyer before you accept any settlement offers.
The following factors may affect the amount of time it takes to settle your car accident claim:
- The nature and extent of your injuries
- The flexibility and cooperation of the insurance company
- Whether or not you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit
- Whether or not any government or commercial entities are involved in the case
- The percentage of fault assigned to each party in the case
Tennessee law requires injured car accident victims to file personal injury lawsuits within one year of the date of the accident. While some cases may resolve in a matter of months, it may take years for a case that goes to trial to wrap up. Because every case is unique, an attorney is the best person to ask for an estimate about your claim.
What If the Other Driver Was Uninsured?
Tennessee is a fault-based auto insurance state, which means drivers are required to carry minimum levels of liability insurance and are held financially responsible for any crashes they cause. But unfortunately, the Insurance Information Institute found that approximately one in every five Tennessee motorists is uninsured.
If you were hit by an uninsured motorist, you won’t be able to rely on their insurance for the compensation you need, and the at-fault driver is unlikely to have the funds to pay for any damages out of pocket. However, you may still be able to recover money if:
- You have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: This is an optional type of insurance that can help pay your medical or repair bills if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. To take advantage of your UM coverage, you would file a claim with your own insurance company, even if you weren’t at fault.
- You have collision coverage: This type of coverage is also optional and pays for damage to your car if you’re involved in an accident with another vehicle.
- You have medical or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage: PIP is optional coverage that pays for medical costs and certain other expenses after a car accident in Tennessee.
- There were other at-fault parties involved in the crash: If multiple parties were involved in the collision, compensation could come through another at-fault party’s insurer.
How Can a Chattanooga Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
There are many ways a dedicated Chattanooga car accident lawyer can support your injury claim and help you recover, including:
- Explaining your legal options and providing professional advice
- Communicating with other drivers’ insurance representatives
- Investigating all potential contributing factors to the accident
- Identifying and preserving valuable evidence to support your claim
- Communicating with healthcare providers to access medical records
- Estimating future medical expenses and other accident-related costs
- Negotiating a fair settlement for your losses with the insurance company
- Taking your case to trial, if the insurer minimizes or denies your claim
Everything starts with a free consultation. There’s literally nothing to lose by speaking to a car accident lawyer.
Contact Davis Firm, LLC Today
The attorneys at Davis Firm, LLC are respected car accident lawyers with a track record of securing successful settlements and trial verdicts on behalf of injured Tennesseans just like you. We will negotiate aggressively for the compensation you need.
No matter your situation, our firm is committed to fighting for your best interests. We can help you demand a reasonable settlement that accounts for your medical expenses, vehicle repair bills, and all other losses related to your accident.
We pride ourselves on our top-quality communication, and our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to field all of your most pressing concerns. Call or contact us today for your no-cost consultation.