It would be almost impossible to watch television for any length of time without seeing a variety of insurance commercials. One after another, these companies tell us they are our friend, they will “be there” in a crisis, and that you are in “good hands.” It is hardly any wonder that many of us believe that, after paying our insurance premiums faithfully for months, years, or even decades, our insurance company really will be there when we need them. While some insurance companies are certainly better than others, in reality the primary concern for most of them is their financial bottom line and ensuring their shareholders are happy. This means that when you do have an auto accident and you do need your insurance company, you could find yourself being ignored, being offered extremely low settlement amounts, or having your claim denied altogether.
This may be hard for you to fathom when the very nice insurance adjuster speaks to you, asking you questions about your family and your work. While there surely are some nice insurance agents out there, it should be noted that you should never, ever talk with anyone from the insurance company without first talking to your attorney. The most innocent statement you make, can later be taken out of context and turned against you in order to settle your claim for less money. An insurance representative may ask you to record a statement (you do not have to do this, and should not without speaking to your attorney first), could ask you to sign a document giving them access to your medical records, or could simply deny your claim time after time until you finally give up.
In other words, whether it is your insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver, the less you say, the better. You can tell your own insurance company the basic facts of the accident, then send them a police report as soon as it is available. Always avoid saying you were at fault, even a little bit, or you could find your necessary medical treatments being denied. When you have an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney looking out for your rights, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently saying the wrong thing—or something that can be taken the wrong way.
Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance
The farmer seems a very appropriate symbol to represent the state of Tennessee, since farming is a long, honored tradition in the state. In 1913, one hundred Knox County farmers met in Market House to organize the Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Because this group had shared concerns, they could seek solutions together. This insurance company remains dedicated to the personal approach even today, providing insurance coverage throughout the state. Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance believes in neighbors helping neighbors, and they incorporate these beliefs into their business. You can contact Farmers Mutual Insurance at 865-523-5153, or on the web at www.fmtinsurance.com.
Auto Accidents Caused by Human Error
It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by human error—although there could potentially be other factors involved as well. Human error can include any type of bad or negligent driving behavior—driving recklessly, exceeding the speed limit, tailgating, driving under the influence, driving while drowsy or fatigued, distracted driving, ignoring traffic signals and traffic signs, changing lanes with no signal, exhibiting road rage…the list goes on and on. Drivers must rely on perception, attention and memory, and these three mental functions are fallible. This means that while you may not have deliberately caused your car accident through a conscious act, you may have failed to avoid an accident because one of those mental functions was not as sharp as it needed to be. Think about this—when you are driving on a highway with hundreds of other drivers, you are bombarded with a steady flow of information.
Most of that information is visual—you see the other drivers around you, the road, road signs, scenery, pedestrians, etc. If you are also talking to a passenger, listening to the radio, or talking on your cell phone, you are processing auditory input in addition to visual input. In certain situations, the demands on your attention could exceed your “supply.” This can happen when you are driving too fast, there is poor visibility, you focused on a particular car which is driving erratically, or your attention capacity is lowered by your age, fatigue, distraction, drugs or alcohol. This means that when there is too much to process, your response to a given situation (a car stopping suddenly in front of you) can be significantly lowered.
In particular, cell phones have caused drivers to have a lowered response to what is happening on the roadways, whether they are talking or texting, with texting being the worst offender, as it involves manual distraction, visual distraction, and cognitive distraction. Despite the fact that many cities and states have banned the use of cell phones, the laws are difficult to enforce, and drivers continue to use their cell phones while behind the wheel.
How Martinson & Beason Can Help After Your Auto Accident
If your automobile accident was caused by another driver who was distracted or driving badly, it is important that you speak to a knowledgeable attorney from Martinson & Beason as soon as possible. A car accident may become complex when it is unclear who was at fault, or when the other driver is uninsured. If you are forced to file on your own insurance, under your uninsured/underinsured coverage, your insurance company can balk at paying the claim.
Further, you must make sure you do not exceed the Tennessee statute of limitations—one year from the time of your accident—or you could find yourself stuck with a pile of medical bills, perhaps unable to return to work, and with no recourse. Your Martinson & Beason attorney will work hard to help you get a fair settlement following your accident. Even more, we will take care of all the legal details of your accident, leaving you time to heal from your injuries and get back on your feet. To speak to a top-rated car accident attorney, call Martinson & Beason today.