Personal Injury FAQs
In Tennessee, there are over 6,000 serious injuries on average each year from accidents on the roadways, according to State Highway Safety Reports. We understand how personal injury cases can be intricate and intimidating, particularly if you're not well-versed in the legal process. In this blog post, we'll address frequently asked questions (FAQs) about personal injury law in Tennessee.
Whether you've recently experienced an accident or are simply seeking general knowledge, our goal at Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC is to provide comprehensive guidance and representation to help you through the legalities of personal injury cases. We represent clients throughout Knoxville, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas of Chattanooga, Crossville, Johnson City, and Sevierville.
FAQs About Personal Injury in Tennessee
Tennessee follows an "at-fault" system for personal injuries and auto accidents. This implies that the individual who caused the accident (the at-fault party) carries financial responsibility for the injuries, damages, and other losses endured by the victim.
Moreover, Tennessee employs the "modified comparative negligence" rule, which calculates the amount of compensation a victim can receive based on their degree of fault. Familiarizing yourself with these legal principles is vital when pursuing a personal injury claim in our state. The following frequently asked questions are a good place to start:
What should I do after an accident?
After an accident, it's essential to prioritize your safety and health. Get medical attention for any injuries, even those that appear minor. Document the scene of the accident, gather evidence, and collect contact information from witnesses. Be sure to inform your insurance company about the incident, but exercise caution when communicating with the other party's insurance adjuster. It's advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and explore your legal options.
What if I was partially at fault?
In Tennessee, if you were partially at fault for the accident, your compensation might be reduced according to your degree of fault. However, as long as you're less than 50% at fault, you still have the right to pursue a personal injury claim and recover damages. Working with an experienced attorney is crucial to assess the circumstances and help you navigate the legal hurdles.
I don't feel hurt. Should I still see a doctor?
Yes, you should. Even if you don't feel immediate pain or injuries, it's vital to consult a doctor after an accident. Certain injuries, like whiplash or internal injuries, may not show symptoms immediately. A medical professional can evaluate your condition and provide necessary treatment. Plus, seeking medical attention creates a documented record of your injuries, which can be invaluable evidence for your personal injury claim.
Should I talk with the insurance adjuster?
We recommend consulting with a personal injury attorney before speaking with the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters may attempt to minimize your claim or extract statements that could be used against you. A personal injury lawyer can instruct you on how to effectively communicate with the insurance company and safeguard your rights throughout the claims process.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim?
In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including auto accidents, is one year from the date of the accident or injury. If you fail to file a claim within this timeframe, you risk losing your right to seek compensation. Promptly consulting with an attorney can help ensure your claim is filed within the prescribed time limits.
What if I'm injured and the other party has no insurance?
If you're injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may still have options for compensation. Your own insurance policy may include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which can provide coverage for your injuries and damages.
I filed a lawsuit. What happens next?
After filing a personal injury lawsuit, the legal process commences. The defendant will be served with the lawsuit, and both parties will partake in the discovery phase, where evidence is exchanged. Negotiations and settlement discussions may occur, and if a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. Throughout this process, your attorney will advocate for your rights and guide you through each step.
Who pays for the damages after an accident?
Typically, the at-fault party's insurance company is responsible for paying the damages. However, insurance companies may try to minimize the amount they pay. An experienced personal injury attorney can help negotiate with the insurance company and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, damages, and other losses.
Do I need to hire a personal injury attorney?
While it's not legally mandatory to hire a personal injury attorney, having legal representation can significantly benefit your case. An attorney can navigate the complex legal process, gather evidence, talk with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights. They possess the knowledge and experience to maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Rely on Our Experience
Making your way through the legal aspects of personal injury cases can be daunting, but understanding the basics can help you make informed decisions. If you've been injured in an accident, it's vital to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can guide you in the process and protect your rights. Remember, each case is unique, and we are here to help you understand and explore all your legal options. Contact us at Wykoff & Sikes, PLLC for our assistance today.