Compassionate Legal Advocacy in Tennessee
An automobile accident is frightening and traumatic for everyone involved. If you were injured in an accident caused by another motorist, a personal injury lawsuit may be able to help you recover compensation for damages. If your driving appeared to cause the accident, you may understandably be worried about how to protect yourself and what to do next.
At Kuebler Sanders Law, we have experience working as an auto insurance claims adjuster at a national carrier on behalf of both the injured and the motorists who caused injuries. Our Chattanooga car accident attorneys are seasoned civil litigators with a complete understanding of how personal injury claims are adjudicated in Tennessee. No matter the circumstances of the accident, we have likely been there and done that, and our knowledgeable team is ready to provide the capable representation you deserve.
In the immediate aftermath of a wreck, you must take certain steps to protect your rights and avoid unnecessary civil and criminal liability. You might be tempted to apologize to the other driver if you believe you caused the wreck. If you were injured in the accident, you might also instinctively say you are “okay” or “fine” when the other motorist asks about your condition. It is generally a good idea to avoid making any statements about who caused the accident or the extent of your injuries. These statements could be distorted and used against you later on.
After a car accident, you should:
- Stay at the scene. If you caused the wreck, it is extremely important that you do not leave the crash site. Doing so constitutes a “hit and run,” which is a Class C Misdemeanor in Tennessee. Committing a hit and run also makes you more vulnerable to a civil lawsuit.
- Confirm everyone is safe. Check every driver, passenger, and pedestrian that was involved in the crash and verify that no one needs immediate medical attention. If someone is seriously injured, call 9-1-1 and request an ambulance.
- Call the police. Tennessee law requires motorists to contact law enforcement when a crash results in injury, death, or at least $50 in damage. The responding officer will create an official report. Stick to the facts when telling them what happened.
- Gather contact information. You will need to obtain the names, addresses, and insurance information of every person involved in the accident. If possible, try to also get contact information from any witnesses.
- Document the scene. Take photos and videos of any property damage, injuries, or road conditions that may have contributed to the cause of the accident.
- Seek medical attention. You should see a medical professional as soon as you can after the accident, regardless of whether you caused the crash. Some injuries may not be immediately detectable, and it is important that you link any medical issues directly to the wreck. If any medical ailments are discovered, closely follow your medical provider’s prescribed treatment plan.
- Contact your insurance carrier. You are most likely required to promptly inform your insurance carrier of the crash under the terms of your policy. The other driver’s insurance carrier may contact you, but you should avoid making any statements or accepting any settlement offers without first consulting a lawyer.
- Report the accident to the Commissioner of Safety (if necessary). In Tennessee, you must file a report with the Commissioner of Safety within 20 days if an accident results in death, injury, or more than $1,500 in property damage.
- Hire legal representation. Whether you were injured or are believed to be responsible for causing an accident, you will need a qualified legal professional to advocate for you. Our Chattanooga car accident attorneys can walk you through your legal options and will fight to protect your interests.
How Car Accident Lawsuits Work in Tennessee
If you wish to recover compensation for injuries you sustained due to a car accident, you will need to file a lawsuit. You will have one year from the date of the wreck to file a personal injury lawsuit, and you will have up to three years to seek compensation for property damage. When a crash kills someone, the deceased’s loved ones will have one year from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you were injured as the direct result of another driver’s negligence, our Chattanooga car accident lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Lost wages and permanent reductions in earning capacity
- Punitive damages
Our team at Kuebler Sanders Law also represents defendants in personal injury lawsuits. We know how to effectively approach these cases in and out of the courtroom and will fight to secure the best possible outcome.