Motor vehicle accidents happen frequently on roadways across the nation and occur for numerous reasons. In some cases, vehicle accidents result in minor injuries while others cause serious, life-altering injuries, or even death.
At Mitch Grissim & Associates, we are committed to helping injured victims who sustained injuries as a direct result of another person’s careless actions. We understand the legal system is complicated and involves various laws that are challenging to comprehend without legal help. For this reason, consulting an experienced, knowledgeable attorney will be a resourceful decision.
Our team of car accident lawyers has helped countless victims receive the justice they deserve. We believe in helping injured victims and ensuring that they are not taken advantage of by the insurance companies.
Since every auto accident case is unique, our team will need to review the various circumstances of your case to inform you of your legal options.
34,247 fatal motor vehicle crashes occurred in the United States.
Nationwide, 54 percent of car accident deaths occurred in single-vehicle crashes.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was reported for 62 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers.
These proven facts depict the commonality of fatal car accidents in our world.
Common Types of Injuries
Injuries after a vehicle accident are not uncommon and can range from minor to severe, depending on the type of collision. Some of the most common types of injuries include the following:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – Head injuries can cause serious and life-altering damage. If this type of injury is not treated properly, the damage can be significant. Concussions, contusions, coup-contrecoup, and diffuse axonal injuries are just a few examples of the types of brain injuries that can occur in a vehicle mishap.
Broken bones – Fractures are common after a wreck, especially when the body experiences immediate force and swings in different directions.
Internal damage – When the external body experiences force, internal damage can occur.
Cuts and scrapes – These types of injuries can be caused by broken glass and loose objects that may move throughout the vehicle during the crash.
Burns – Some car accidents can result in flames and even explosions. This can cause first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree burns.
Spinal cord damage – After an impact from a car accident, this type of damage can create permanent disability. This can include paraplegia, such as quadriplegia and tetraplegia.
The severity of your injuries has a lot to do with the type of accident you’re involved in. Even if your injuries appear to be minor, it’s imperative to be evaluated by a medical professional. In some cases, pain may not appear until days after the accident, however, seeking medical attention immediately can work to your advantage if you decide to file a claim in the future.
Distracted driving is extremely dangerous because it causes the driver to take their focus off of the roads. Each day, nine people die in the United States as a result of distracted driving, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There are three types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive.
Visual distractions are anything that takes the eyes off of the road, such as looking at your GPS or applying makeup. Manual distractions happen when a driver takes their hand or hands off of the steering wheel for any reason, such as smoking, eating, or drinking. Lastly, cognitive distractions are anything that takes a person’s mind off of the road, like daydreaming.
2. Reckless Driving
Every driver is responsible for operating their vehicle safely on the roadways, however, many do not. Reckless driving can include speeding, running stop signs, and tailgating. These careless behaviors have caused countless accidents.
3. Drunk Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.” Drunk driving places the driver in serious danger as well as other motorists on the roadways.
4. Wet Roads
Wet road conditions are dangerous for motorists and can cause a driver to hydroplane. Although motorists should slow down when it’s raining, many don’t.
5. Manufacturing Defects
In some cases, drivers may be oblivious to vehicle defects, which can result in an accident. This can include defective tires, brakes, and other parts.
What to Do After an Accident
The moments after an accident are often overwhelming and scary. How you decide to proceed once a collision has occurred can have a major impact on any compensation you may be entitled to obtain for your injuries and property damage. For this reason, it’s important that you know what steps to take to protect your legal rights. Listed below are suggestions from our car accident lawyers that you can implement if you’re involved in a vehicle accident:
Stay at the accident scene
If you’re involved in a wreck, you should remain at the scene. If you decide to flee the scene, you may face criminal charges. It’s in your best interest to wait until help arrives. Once emergency responders arrive, they will know how to handle the situation and ensure the necessary steps are taken.
Call for help
Even if it appears that no one sustained serious injuries, it’s important to call emergency responders. The responding officer or officers will examine the scene and write a report. This report summarizes the wreck and lists who is at fault.
Get medical attention
If you or a loved one was involved in an automobile accident, see a doctor immediately! If you wait even a couple days before seeing a doctor, the insurance company may claim that your injuries happened during that two-day period of time and had nothing to do with the mishap.
It may sound unnecessary and even unethical, but if it means that the insurance company can get out of paying a settlement, they will use any tactic they can.
In vehicle accident cases, evidence is a vital tool for building a strong case and determining the amount of compensation you’re owed. There are various types of evidence that you can gather to help with your case. This can include photographs of your injuries and the accident scene, medical bills, witness statements, and other costs.
Inform your insurance company
You should report the accident to your own insurance company within 24 hours. Don’t try to sugarcoat what happened. Stick to the facts.
Contact an experienced attorney
Car accident cases involve numerous details, which must be reviewed to determine your legal rights and if you’re entitled to compensation. An experienced car accident lawyer will know how to properly investigate your case and inform you of your options.
Implementing these suggestions may protect your legal rights and ensure the right party is held responsible for your injuries and property damage.
What Not to Do After an Accident
As we mentioned above, our suggestions are intended to help protect your rights.
There are some things we encourage you not to do after a collision because it can potentially damage your claim and any compensation you may be entitled to.
Below are some common mistakes people make after an automobile accident:
Failing to call 911
Even if the accident was minor, failing to call emergency responders can damage any future compensation.
Admitting fault for the accident can significantly impact your chances of compensation. If you admit fault and the other party is actually responsible, the insurance companies may use that to their advantage. This can leave you with little to no compensation.
Signing paperwork without an attorney
An insurance company’s main goal is to make money, not lose it. For this reason, the insurance company may ask you to sign paperwork or request a statement regarding the accident. Signing any paperwork without the legal advice of a knowledgeable attorney may negatively impact your claim.
Declining medical treatment
In some cases, injured victims decide not to seek medical attention after an accident. If you decide not to seek treatment, it can impact any compensation you may be able to obtain. Sometimes injuries appear to be minor when, in reality, they can cause substantial damage.
Agreeing to a low settlement
It’s easy to settle for a low-ball amount when the medical bills are piling up and you’ve spent too many days away from work. Insurance companies are fully aware that injured victims are vulnerable and usually want to settle quickly so they can move forward with their lives. Settling too quickly can cause you to receive less than what you’re rightfully owed.
Compensation: General and Special Damages
Compensation is a financial award given to an injured victim and/or their family as a result of the careless actions of another driver. The amount awarded will depend on the circumstances of your case.
A victim who sustained injuries caused by a negligent motorist may be able to receive general and special damages for their case. In order to determine a reasonable settlement amount, our team will need to review your case. Once we have calculated an amount, we can handle the insurance companies while you focus on your recovery.
Statute of Limitations in Tennessee
Every state has laws that set strict deadlines for individuals seeking damages caused by the negligent actions of another person. These laws are known as statutes of limitations. In the state of Tennessee, an injured victim has exactly one year to file a lawsuit for damages. If they file after the set deadline, their chances of receiving compensation are little to none. For this reason, it’s important to speak with an attorney immediately after the accident.
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Lawyer
When you need to stand up to the threats and bullying of insurance companies that are intent on not paying for your injuries and any property damage, we can help. Having a Nashville car accident attorney in your corner can work to your advantage. The right attorney will know how to fight back and put an end to non-payment tactics, in order to get you the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Another benefit of hiring an experienced attorney is that they are familiar with the tactics of insurance adjusters. For example, insurance adjusters might pretend to be your friend and tell you that their initial low-ball offer is fair. Additionally, they might try to encourage or bully you into signing off on the offer, telling you that if you don’t sign, you won’t get a penny when it goes to court.
They’ll even try to turn everything around and blame you for the accident. They might say it was your fault and imply that you could be sued for the damages (though that’s usually an empty threat).
When you hire our firm, you don’t have to worry about these common insurance company tactics. We can handle every aspect of your case to ensure you receive what you deserve.
We’re Here for You!
At Mitch Grissim & Associates in Nashville, Tennessee, we are dedicated and deeply passionate about serving our community by providing quality legal representation. We understand the devastation an automobile accident can cause an individual and their family, however, you don’t have to handle the legal system alone.
If you lost a loved one as a result of a negligent motorist, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim for damages. In order to effectively determine your legal options and calculate any compensation you may be eligible to obtain, our team of car accident lawyers will need to review the numerous details of your case. If you have grounds to file a lawsuit, you can trust that our team will help with the entire legal process.
We believe in treating our clients like family. Our team is available to answer any questions or address any concerns you have during the duration of your case. If you’re uncertain if you have a case, it’s imperative that you call our office. This type of case is time sensitive, so waiting to speak with an attorney may result in no compensation. Call our law office today (615) 255-9999 or fill out our free consultation form.
After an accident, the decisions you make can either support or damage your claim. For this reason, our team of attorneys has provided a list of tips to help you proceed after a car accident and avoid hurting your chances of obtaining compensation:
Tip #1 Check for Injuries and Call Emergency Responders – Immediately following a wreck, check to see if you or anyone else is injured and call for help.
Tip #2 Seek Medical Attention – Even if you believe your injuries appear minor, it’s in your best interest to be seen by a medical professional. Waiting or refusing to seek medical attention may later have a negative impact on your case.
Tip #3 Gather Evidence – In order to win a car accident case, it must be proven that the negligent actions of another driver directly caused your injuries. To help your lawyer prove negligence, it’s vital to collect as much evidence as possible. This can include medical bills, lost wages, and photos of your injuries and any property damage.
Tip #4 Call an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer – With the legal guidance of an experienced attorney, you can better understand your options. Every vehicle accident is different, so your case must be reviewed to determine the best course of action.
Whether or not you are able to receive compensation is determined by various factors such as the severity of your injuries and the amount of time it will take for you to heal. For this reason, the details of your case will need to be evaluated by an attorney who can help calculate a fair amount of compensation for your damages.
It depends. Most car accident cases are settled before going to court becomes necessary. First, your case will go through the negotiation stage where both parties involved will discuss the details of the accident and attempt to agree upon a reasonable settlement amount.
However, if an agreement cannot be reached between the parties, then filing a lawsuit may be the next step. If your case does go to court, then having an experienced attorney on your side will be extremely important.
This can be difficult to predict. No car accident case is the same, so the length of time it will take to reach a settlement will depend on the specific circumstances of your accident. While it can be difficult to wait for your case to settle, our team will work diligently to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.