Manchester TN Car Accident Lawyer
Most of us get behind the wheel on a daily basis – or at least a few times a week. We probably don’t think much about the dangers of driving. Yet each year, tens of thousands of people are injured in car accidents in Tennessee.
According to data from the TN Department of Safety & Homeland Security, in 2020 alone, 31,322 people were hurt in motor vehicle collisions in our state. That same year, 1,247 people died in automobile accidents.
If you have been injured in a car crash, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. With the help of a TN car accident lawyer, you can recover financial compensation for your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Attorney John R. Colvin represents accident victims in Manchester, TN, helping them get the money that they need to move forward with their lives. Our law firm is dedicated to helping people get maximum compensation through a settlement or a verdict at trial. We offer free, no obligation consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
Can I File a Lawsuit for My Manchester, TN Car Accident?
In Tennessee, personal injury claims – such as those for motor vehicle accidents – are based on a theory of negligence. This is a legal concept that basically means that another person did not use the level of care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation.
Negligence can take many forms. A person who texts while driving – in violation of TN’s hands-free law – is a negligent driver. Similarly, a person who speeds, runs a stop sign, or fails to look before merging onto a highway may be driving negligently.
To win a car accident lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other driver was negligent in some way. To do so, your personal injury lawyer will introduce evidence of the four elements of negligence:
- Duty: the other driver (defendant) owed you a duty of care;
- Breach: the defendant breached (violated) that duty in some way;
- Causation: this violation was the proximate cause of your injuries (also known as the “but for” cause); and
- Damages: you (plaintiff) suffered losses as a result.
For example, you are hurt in a rear-end accident where another driver slammed into the back of your vehicle while you were stopped at a red light. The at-fault driver had a duty to pay attention to the road and to stop for the red light – a duty that they breached when they hit your car. Their failure to stop in time was the “but for” cause of your injuries (but for their failure to stop, you would not have been hurt). In this situation, you will be able to recover damages for all of the losses that you suffered.
Negligence may be clear-cut, such as in the example above. However, there are situations where it isn’t as obvious that one driver is at fault for a wreck, such as a multi-car pile-up. A skilled Manchester, TN car accident lawyer will investigate the facts of your case to determine who can be held liable for your injuries.
What is My Car Accident Case Worth?
In a Tennessee car accident case, you are entitled to recover financial compensation for all of the losses that you suffered. There are three types of damages that you may be able to recover through a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a verdict at trial: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are designed to compensate you for direct financial losses, such as:
- Medical treatment
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
These are typically proven by documentation of these expenses, like medical bills, invoices, and estimates for car repairs.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for intangible losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
These types of damages can be harder to prove. However, an experienced Manchester, TN car accident lawyer will use their knowledge of similar cases and experts to put a number figure on these losses.
Finally, punitive damages punish a wrongdoer who has engaged in intentional or reckless conduct. Because most car accident cases are based on a theory of negligence, they are usually not available to injury victims. However, in some cases – such as drunk driving accidents – you may be entitled to punitive damages.
During a free initial consultation, an attorney will give you an analysis of your car accident case. The value of your case will depend on factors like the severity of your injuries, whether you were partially to blame for the crash and the insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver. A seasoned car accident lawyer will use their knowledge of TN law and negotiation skills to help you get the most possible money for your claim.
When Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
After an auto accident, you may be approached by an adjuster who represents the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The adjuster may tell you that they accept responsibility, and even offer you a settlement if you sign some paperwork. While it may be tempting to just take whatever they offer, doing so is usually a mistake.
Insurance companies are in business to make money. When they deny or underpay legitimate claims, they increase their profits. In many cases, the money that the insurer is offering you is far less than the true value of your case – or what a skilled auto accident attorney could get for you.
Studies show that people who are represented by counsel recover an average of 40% more in car accident settlements compared to people who represent themselves. Whether you have suffered minor or catastrophic injuries in a car crash, working with a TN personal injury attorney is the best way to get the money that you deserve.
If you have been hurt in a car accident in Manchester, Tennessee, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Doing so will help to protect your legal rights – and increase the odds of getting proper compensation.
I Was in a Minor Car Accident. Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Yes. Even for relatively minor car accidents, it makes sense to work with a personal injury attorney. This is particularly true if you suffered any physical injuries in the collision.
The at-fault parties’ insurance company isn’t on your side – in fact, their goal is to get you to settle the case for as little as possible. A Manchester, TN car accident lawyer is duty-bound to represent your best interests – which means getting you the most possible money. Contact attorney John R. Colvin today for a free consultation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?
In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is just 1 year — one of the shortest time periods in the nation. With a few exceptions, this means that if you don’t file your claim within 1 year of the date of your car accident, you probably won’t be able to do so.
For this reason, it is important to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your crash. They will get to work collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and researching the law. Your lawyer will also make sure that any lawsuit is filed within the statute of limitations.
I Was Partially at Fault for My Motor Vehicle Accident. Can I Still Sue the Other Driver?
Even if you are partially to blame for your car crash, you may still be able to recover for your losses under a theory of modified comparative negligence. As long as you are 50% or less responsible for the accident, you can still file a lawsuit against the other driver. Any compensation that you recover will then be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault.
Modified comparative negligence claims can be complicated. The insurance company may even try to convince you that you aren’t entitled to any money for your losses. Reach out to our law office today for a free consultation about your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim.
Hurt in a Car Crash? We’re Here for You.
Being in a car accident can be incredibly scary. In the aftermath, you may not know what to do to protect your legal rights. Our law firm is here for you.
John R. Colvin, Attorney at Law, is committed to helping injury victims, whether they have been hurt in motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, car crashes, or any other type of accident. We offer personal attention to each client, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a Manchester, TN car accident lawyer, give our office a call at (931) 962-1044 or fill out our online contact form.