Car accidents are inevitable. Even the safest and most cautious driver can be involved in a car wreck. Often these wrecks result in significant injuries and can have a catastrophic effect on the lives of the drivers, passengers, and their families. Car accidents may be caused by a number of different factors. Some are simply the result of mistakes, while others are the result of careless and thoughtless actions. Sometimes drugs and/or alcohol are involved. On other occasions, cell phones, speeding, and reckless driving may be the cause of the car wreck. Regardless, the impact can be devastating. Victims may be injured, cars damaged beyond repair, and work time lost. Making matters worse, your insurance company, that you pay a premium to in hopes that they will be there for you, may refuse to pay your medical bills or the full value of your car. If you have been involved in an Knoxville auto accident or truck accident, contact one of our experienced car wreck attorneys.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved In A Car Wreck ?
CALL THE POLICE. Get the name, address, and telephone number of all drivers and passengers, witnesses, and registered owners of the vehicle (if different from the driver). Also, obtain the other driver’s insurance company information and insurance policy number. Make a note of the accident location, as well as any injuries sustained by you or anyone else involved in the accident. Make sure you get the police officer’s name and the accident report number. Note any statements made by the other driver or passengers–this is especially important if they admit if they were at fault or using drugs or alcohol. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Finally, seek medical attention for all of your injuries immediately. For more information, call one of our experienced car wreck attorneys at 865-637-2900.
Where Are My Damages?
Tennessee allows victims to claim two types of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are calculated by adding together the victim’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage. Punitive damages are awarded in circumstances where a defendant’s reckless driving merits “punishment,” or when a defect caused the accident. Your recovery of damages may be limited by the other driver’s insurance policy. For more information, call one of our experienced car wreck attorneys at 865-637-2900.
How Do I Recover For The Damages the Other Driver Caused?
In rare cases, a lawsuit will not be necessary. However, a lawsuit is usually necessary for you to receive the full value of your damages. The lawsuit is filed in the county where the accident occurred or where the defendant resides. Once filed, you become the plaintiff and the other driver is called the defendant. Unlike most T.V. shows, it may take several months or even years for your lawsuit to go to trial. Along the way, evidence is collected, depositions are taken, and you may attend mediation. Though the wheels of justice may turn slowly, the attorneys with The Law Offices of James A.H. Bell are with you, and fighting for you, every step of the way. For more information, call one of our experienced car wreck attorneys at 865-637-2900.
What Is A Deposition?
A deposition is a meeting of the parties where a lawyer for the plaintiff asks the defendant questions about how the accident occurred. The defendant’s lawyer also gets to ask the plaintiff questions about the accident and the damages claimed by the plaintiff. Additional depositions may be taken from the plaintiff’s treating physician or witnesses to the accident. For more information, call one of our experienced car wreck attorneys at 865-637-2900.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is when the parties agree or the Judge orders the parties to meet with a neutral third party (usually a lawyer) who attempts to resolve the case. The mediator listens to both sides and then the parties negotiate with each other through the mediator. If the parties are unable to agree on damages, the case proceeds to trial. However, if the parties are able to agree, the case is settled. For more information, call one of our experienced Tennessee car wreck attorneys at 865-637-2900.
What If The Defendant Does Not Have Insurance?
Your insurance coverage may include what is called “uninsured/underinsured coverage.” This type of insurance covers you in the event that the defendant does not have insurance or has less insurance than is necessary to cover your damages. When a lawsuit is filed, your insurance company will be notified. In the event the defendant does not have sufficient insurance, your insurance company will retain a third attorney who will defend their interest under the uninsured motorist policy. The insurance policy will only pay damages in an amount that does not exceed the limits of your policy.
What about a Rental Car?
Whether you are entitled to a rental car following your car wreck depends on your insurance policy. For more information, call one of our experienced car wreck attorneys at 865-637-2900.
What If My Car Is Totaled ?
Your insurance company will only pay what the car is worth. They will not pay what you owe. In many cases, you will be paid less than what you owe on the car. This is because the insurance company can deduct from the value of the car things such as previous accidents and normal wear and tear. For more information, call one of our experienced Knoxville, Tennessee car accident attorneys at 865-637-2900.
What Happens If My Insurance Company Makes Payments To Me As A Result of The Accident?
The insurance company then has a “subrogation right” for all payments made to you as a result of the accident. A subrogation right simply means that if you recover damages from the defendant, you will have to pay your insurance company back what they have paid to you. You may also be asked to cooperate with your insurance company if they sue the other party. In some cases, a subrogation interest may be reduced. For more information, call one of our experienced Knoxville, TN car Accident Lawyers.
If you have been injured in a Tennessee auto accident don’t hesitate call today – we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
To set up a case evaluation with an experienced Knoxville auto accident attorney, call The Law Offices Of James A.H. Bell, P.C. at 865-637-2900 or complete our contact form to the right to contact us online.