Suppose you are driving on the roads of Tennessee. As you are about to make a stop at a nearby fuel station, some crazy pedestrian clumsily runs in front of your car. Out of desperation, you hit the emergency brake in order to not hit the guy.
Fortunately, the individual is missed by a whisker but you are not so lucky. The driver behind you is busy on the phone and never saw you make the emergency stop. Bang! He hits the back of your car.
So, what happens after this? The Tennessee car accident laws cover a few elements in regard to such a scenario. Here is what you should do, in addition to contact a car accident attorney from Tennessee:
File the Traffic Collision Report
It’s understandable that you may experience some forms of shock, and it may be hard to make a sound decision immediately. It may also be possible that the passenger you are carrying in the backseat is injured. The first approach should be to take care of the injuries so as to minimize the risks.
According to the Tennessee Accident Codes, you are required to stop your car and render it to the jurisdiction of the law enforcers. Chances are that the law enforcers will be at the scene of the accident a few minutes after the mishap happens.
If they are not there, you should perform your civic duty to call them and file a traffic collision report. The form covers issues, such as injuries, death, and destruction of property worth $1,000 or more.
If it happens that the police are on standby and they record the happenings in the accident report, you don’t have to file a collision report on your own. You may also find it useful to collect as much evidence as possible in the accident scene without messing up anything. You may take quick photos of the scene or statements from a few witnesses. This will be important in filing for damages.
File the Damages and Demand Compensation
Tennessee is known as a “fault state.” Basically, the person at fault for the accident is liable to pay for the damages. The Tennessee car accident laws demand that the responsible driver or liable insurance company pay the damages. As a driver who has suffered losses in the accident, you have two options for demanding compensation:
File a Third-Party Insurance Claim
This is usually the first thing that most residents in Tennessee think of. You are expected to file a third-party claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. A majority of insurance companies don’t have a problem with settling provided that the evidence is clear and your demand is justifiable. Nonetheless, they will appoint someone, an insurance adjuster, to establish the negligence of each involved party and their extent. The adjuster will determine if the insurance company will compensate you or deny the claim.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you don’t agree with what the insurance company is offering as compensation, you can always go to court. You may also resort to this option if the at-fault driver does not have an insurance policy. You’ll need to know the following things when filing a lawsuit:
- Statutes of Limitations: This means that you have a time limit for filing the complaint, usually one to three years, depending on the nature of the accident.
- Damage: This is the amount paid to you as compensation. For economic damages, lost wages, medical costs, and property loss, you may get up to $750,000.
Looking at the Tennessee car accident laws, you may argue that they are fair, especially the lawsuit option. In this case, you are expected to file the report at the county court and hire the best legal team to take up your case. If you need to find a lawyer, be sure to contact Raybin & Weissman, PC.