Representing Car Accident Victims in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama
Even with modern safety features, car wrecks remain a pervasive problem that lead to preventable catastrophic injuries (including brain injuries and spinal cord injuries) and even wrongful death. The aftermath of a crash can be stressful and life-altering, even if your injuries are relatively minor. Getting quality legal assistance is essential, especially if the accident was not your fault.
At The Hamilton Firm, we know what you are going through, and we are ready to step in to help. Our seasoned Chattanooga car accident lawyers have nearly a century of collective legal experience and are prepared to represent clients in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.
Our advocacy is aggressive yet ethical, and we place a heightened emphasis on providing personal attention and service to each of our clients. When you hire our team, we will act fast but be meticulous in our effort to gather and preserve crucial records, data, and evidence. Maximizing what you recover is our main priority, and our track record speaks for itself: Our firm has already secured over $100 million in settlements and judgments.
You can count on us to go the distance for you when you have been injured in any type of car accident. Call (423) 454-3288 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation if you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a wreck.
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Car Accident Laws in Tennessee
Tennessee follows a "fault" system regarding car accidents, meaning the person responsible for causing the accident is typically liable for resulting damages. Those injured can seek compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance company or file a lawsuit against them.
To succeed in a car accident claim in Tennessee, several key elements need to be established:
- Duty of Care: You must prove that the other party owed you a duty of care. In the context of driving, all motorists owe a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner and follow traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty: You need to demonstrate that the other party breached their duty of care. This could involve actions like speeding, reckless driving, running a red light, or any behavior that violates traffic laws or safety norms.
- Causation: You must establish that the other party's breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident and your injuries. It involves proving that the accident wouldn't have occurred if the other party hadn't acted negligently.
- Damages: You need to show the actual damages you suffered as a result of the accident. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and any other losses directly attributable to the accident.
Remember, Tennessee has a modified comparative fault rule. This means that if you're partially at fault for the accident, your compensation may be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. If you're found to be 50% or more at fault, you might not be eligible for any compensation for damages.
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover for Car Accident Injuries?
Injuries sustained in a car accident can have devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the victim and their family. A car accident lawsuit is intended to restore the financial position you were in before the accident by appropriately compensating you for both economic and non-economic damages.
We will fight to get you full and fair compensation for all losses, including:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Long-term impairment and disability
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Property damage
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Disruption of your life and livelihood
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Car Accident in Chattanooga
It is easy to become overwhelmed in the minutes after a car accident. You must nevertheless make every effort to keep a level head and protect your ability to recover compensation. That requires completing certain actions while avoiding common mistakes.
After a car accident, you should:
- Call the police and file an accident report. This is not optional in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. You must report the accident to the police, which also benefits you: The accident report they create will also likely serve as a key piece of evidence in your personal injury claim.
- Seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s instructions. Do not be afraid to take an ambulance from the crash site if your injuries require immediate attention. Otherwise, schedule an appointment as soon as possible, and do not deviate from what your healthcare provider recommends. Doing so may give the defense an opportunity to argue your injuries are not as significant as you claim, weakening your case.
- Document the wreck. If possible, take pictures of the positioning of your car and any damage to it.
- Get in touch with our Chattanooga car accident attorneys. If you were hurt in the accident and believe you were not at fault, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation right away. We can evaluate your case and review your legal options.
- Contact your insurance company. Most car insurance policies require you to promptly report an accident to your insurance provider.
- Admit fault. Never say anything that suggests you even share a portion of the blame. Comments like “I’m sorry” can imply fault, so be mindful.
- Be confrontational with the other driver. While you will need the other driver’s name, phone number, address, license information, and insurance information, try to keep unnecessary conversation to a minimum. Getting into a verbal fight with the other driver is not productive and could harm your case.
- Sign anything from an insurance carrier. Do not sign any document without first consulting a legal professional.
- Speak to, engage with, or provide information to any unsolicited attorneys who approach you without you having contacted them first. They may not be looking out for your best interest.
- Speak to, engage with, or provide information to any accident investigators or personnel from the other driver’s insurance company. Instead, direct them to our team at The Hamilton Firm.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
Our car accident lawyers specialize in handling cases related to automobile accidents. Our primary role is to provide legal representation and advocate for individuals who have been injured or suffered damages in car accidents. Some of the key tasks and responsibilities of our lawyers include:
- Legal advice and guidance: Our lawyers help clients understand their rights and legal options after a car accident. They provide expert advice on how to navigate the legal process and make informed decisions.
- Investigation and gathering evidence: Our team investigates the accident by gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, photographs, and medical records. We then analyze the evidence to determine liability and build a strong case.
- Evaluation of damages: Our car accident lawyers assess the extent of damages suffered by our clients, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. We then use this information to determine the appropriate compensation to seek.
- Negotiations with insurance companies: Our lawyers handle all communication and negotiations with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. We work to secure a fair settlement that covers the full extent of our clients' damages.
- Legal representation in court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, our team will file a lawsuit and represent our client in court. We present the case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue for our client's rights and entitlement to compensation.
- Advocacy for maximum compensation: Our car accident lawyers work tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the maximum compensation they deserve. We use our legal expertise to build a strong case, present compelling arguments, and seek full and fair compensation for our clients' losses.
- Case management and documentation: Our team handles all aspects of the legal process, including managing deadlines, filing necessary paperwork, and keeping track of important documentation related to the case.
Overall, our car accident attorneys are dedicated to protecting our clients' rights, advocating for their best interests, and helping them navigate the complex legal system to achieve the best possible outcome for their car accident claims.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys Can Make a Difference
Whether an accident is caused by the driver of another car, truck, or commercial vehicle, our team at The Hamilton Firm has a proven history of obtaining exceptional results for our clients. We are prepared to vigorously fight on your behalf and will always seek the best possible result, and we are not afraid to go to court if a settlement cannot be reached.
Our firm never charges for a consultation. We take every case on a contingency basis, which means there is no up-front fee for consultations, follow-ups, investigations, or even hospital visits. You will only pay legal fees if we facilitate a settlement or obtain a recovery verdict. If your injuries make it impractical for you to come to our office, we will visit you at home or in the hospital.
You will speak to one of our Chattanooga car accident attorneys, not a paralegal or some other staff member. We want to personally hear your story and provide tailored legal advice.
Common Types of Car Accidents
A car accident occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, object, or obstruction on the road. These accidents can result in varying degrees of damage to property, injuries, or fatalities.
Common types of car accidents include:
- Rear-end collision: This happens when one vehicle strikes the back of another vehicle, often due to sudden braking or tailgating.
- Head-on collision: It occurs when the front ends of two vehicles collide, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities due to the impact force.
- Side-impact (T-bone) collision: This occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle, typically at intersections, and can cause serious injuries due to the vulnerable positioning of passengers.
- Single-car accidents: These involve only one vehicle and can include running off the road, hitting an obstacle, or losing control due to various factors like weather, road conditions, or driver error.
- Multi-vehicle pileup: This involves three or more vehicles and often occurs on highways or freeways, with one initial collision leading to a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.
- Rollover accidents: These happen when a vehicle tips onto its side or roof, often occurring at high speeds or due to a sudden swerve.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents can result from various factors, including human error, environmental conditions, and technical failures. Some common causes include:
- Distracted driving: This includes activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio while driving, diverting attention from the road.
- Speeding: Driving above the designated speed limit reduces reaction time and increases the severity of accidents.
- Impaired driving: Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time.
- Reckless driving: This encompasses behaviors like aggressive driving, tailgating, frequent lane changes without signaling, and ignoring traffic signals.
- Weather conditions: Rain, snow, fog, or ice on the roads can reduce traction, visibility, and control, leading to accidents.
- Poor road conditions: Potholes, uneven surfaces, lack of signage, or inadequate lighting can contribute to accidents.
- Fatigue: Driving while tired or drowsy can impair reaction times and decision-making abilities.
- Mechanical failures: Brake failure, tire blowouts, or other technical issues with the vehicle can cause accidents.
- Inexperienced drivers: Lack of experience, especially among new drivers, can lead to errors in judgment and handling of unexpected situations on the road.
- Failure to follow traffic laws: Running red lights, ignoring stop signs, improper lane changes, and failure to yield right of way contribute significantly to accidents.
Who Is at Fault for a Car Accident in Chattanooga?
The potential of multiple defendants means you may be forced to deal with several defense attorneys and insurance companies. All possible defendants must be investigated and identified. Accident reconstruction and other experts may need to be retained.
Various layers of insurance coverage may be available and must be explored, including liability, uninsured or underinsured motorists, as well as umbrella or excess coverage.
If you have been in an accident that was not your fault, it is essential that your legal representation has the experience, knowledge, and skills required to stand up against the extensive resources of one or more defendants.
When you have one of our Chattanooga car accident lawyers on your side, you can rest assured you are represented by an advocate familiar with how to strategically navigate cases of all complexities. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to explore and uncover every aspect of liability and potential recovery.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?
The amount of time you have to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent driver (or any other liable party) will depend on where the accident took place. Each state enforces its own statute of limitations.
In Tennessee, you only have one year from the date of the car accident to file a lawsuit, meaning you must act extremely quickly. In Georgia and Alabama, you have two years from the date of a wreck to take legal action.
If a car accident kills someone in Tennessee, the victim’s closest surviving relative has only one year from the date of their passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. When a car accident leads to fatal injuries in Georgia or Alabama, qualifying parties have two years from the date of the victim’s passing to bring a wrongful death claim.
To exhibit the highest degree of ethical conduct in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.
To preserve the client’s confidences learned during the lawyer-client relationship.
To work with other participants in the legal system to make it more accessible and responsive.
To respect the client’s decision on the objectives to be pursued in their case, as permitted by law and the rules of professiona
To keep clients informed and provide them with copies of important papers.
To return phone calls promptly.
To charge a reasonable contingency fee and to explain in advance how that fee will be determined and how expenses will be paid.
To handle their legal matters competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the legal profession.
To treat clients with respect and courtesy.