Tennessee Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve ever been involved in a Tennessee car accident, then you are likely very aware of how emotionally shaken up you were, in addition to dealing with the physical injuries you sustained in the injury. You may not know exactly what you need to do to protect your rights and your future, and at Martinson & Beason, P.C., we understand this. We know that you probably want nothing more than to get back to the life that was interrupted by your car accident—back to “normal.” Our Tennessee auto accident lawyers have been helping people just like you for many years, and chances are good that we can also help you.
We truly have our clients’ best interest at heart every step of the way and work hard to ensure our clients receive the compensation they are entitled to. We know how stressful it can be to face an ever-increasing stack of medical bills or to be unable to pay your normal monthly bills because your injuries are preventing you from returning to work. Let us handle the details while you recover from your auto accident—you’ll be glad you did!
Tennessee Auto Accident Statistics
According to www.tn.gov, in 1950 there were approximately 747 auto accident fatalities, or 8.28 auto accident fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled. Fast-forward to 2014, in which there were 963 motor vehicle accident fatalities in the state of Tennessee, or 1.33 auto accident fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled. Yes, you read that right—while there were more fatalities (but also many more people and cars) the number of auto accident fatalities per miles driven has actually decreased over the last nearly seven decades, most likely due to safety belt use, airbags, and other safety features in newer vehicles.
That being said, traffic fatalities in 2017 in the state are shaping up to pass those of 2016—there were 474 traffic fatalities in the state of Tennessee in 2016, yet to-date there have already been 455 in 2017. Fatal car accidents involving senior drivers has already reached 114 in 2017 to-date, yet the total of those senior-involved fatalities in 2016 was only 107. There have also been more pedestrians involved in fatal auto accidents in 2017 to-date (50), but only 45 in the entire year of 2016.
Is Tennessee a “Fault” State?
If you were simply sitting at a red light, minding your own business and waiting for the light to change when another driver slams into the rear of your car, you may be pretty certain you were not at fault for the accident, and you would probably be right in that assumption. Once fault is determined in your Tennessee auto accident, you may be happy to know (that is, if you were not the at-fault driver) that the state of Tennessee is considered a “fault” state when it comes to auto accidents. This means the driver who is found to be at fault is responsible for damages resulting from the accident.
But what if the accident was mostly the other driver’s fault? Tennessee’s rule of modified comparative negligence dictates that any person involved in a car collision who is judged to be 50 percent or less at fault, is allowed to recover for his or her injuries and other damages from the person who was more at fault. Of course, there are some instances where proving fault can be difficult, particularly if there were no witnesses to the accident. This is where a highly experienced car accident attorney can really make the difference by conducting a thorough investigation of your accident, and showing that you were not the at-fault driver. Having a police report is also important, so even if the other driver asks that you not call the police, rather just exchange insurance information, this is rarely a good idea.
Statute of Limitations for Your Tennessee Auto Accident
Every state has a statute of limitations—the amount of time you have in which to file an auto accident claim—ranging from one year to six years or more. Tennessee is on the low end—you have only one year from the date of your auto accident to file a personal injury case in the Tennessee civil court system. Regarding damage to your vehicle or other property as a result of the auto accident, your lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date of the accident.
Should you miss this relatively short window of opportunity and attempt to file your lawsuit after the statute of limitations has run, you will be very disappointed to find you are not allowed to file your case. Make sure you speak to a Martinson & Beason, P.C., attorney as soon as possible following your auto accident to allow your attorney plenty of time to file your case, as well as giving him or her more leverage during settlement negotiations.
Understanding Tennessee Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Unlike liability insurance coverage, which pays for damages when you are the at-fault driver, uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage protect you when an at-fault driver—who is either uninsured or underinsured—leaves you with medical expenses, lost wages and damages to your vehicle. When you have uninsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, you are protected when the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage. When you carry underinsured motorist coverage on your insurance policy, you are protected when the at-fault driver has insurance, but their policy is not sufficient to pay for all your damages.
Because many drivers opt for the cheapest insurance premiums, it is entirely likely many are underinsured. Since Tennessee ranks 6th in the United States for the highest number of uninsured drivers (20 percent), it is equally likely that you could be hit by an uninsured driver, which is why this coverage is so important. Note, however, that you are not allowed to “stack” underinsured motorist policies in the state of Tennessee. Further, Tennessee has an off-set law for any recovery from the at-fault driver. For example, if you have $100,000 of underinsured motorist coverage, and you recover $25,000 from the at-fault driver, then you are only allowed to collect up to $75,000 under your underinsured motorist policy.
Ensuring Your Injuries and Other Damages are Fully Covered
A thorough accident investigation is crucial following your Tennessee auto accident. Physical evidence must be preserved, inspected and photographed. Witnesses must be contacted immediately before they have forgotten exactly what happened, and all injuries related to the accident should be thoroughly documented. Our top rated and reviewed personal injury attorneys have developed a network of medical, vocational rehabilitation and accident reconstruction experts who will help us expertly prepare your case. We will take care of all the legal details associated with your auto accident, and can also help you with your medical needs as well. Don’t wait, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C., today.
Working With The Insurance Company
Click on your insurance company listed below for more information on navigating your car accident claim.
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
- Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance
Tennessee City Resources
Getting in an accident and being injured as a result is scary, no matter where you live in Tennessee. We’ve compiled information for the below cities to help you navigate this process in your specific city.
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Columbia, Tennessee
- Fayetteville, Tennessee
- Lawrenceburg, Tennessee
- Pulaski, Tennessee
- Shelbyville, Tennessee
- Spring Hill, Tennessee
- Tullahoma, Tennessee
- Winchester, Tennessee
- Clarksville, Tennessee
- Cookeville, Tennessee
- Hendersonville, Tennessee
- Jackson, Tennessee
- Johnson City, Tennessee
- Kingsport, Tennessee
- Knoxville, Tennessee
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Murfreesboro, Tennessee
- Nashville, Tennessee