A Car Accident Lawyer trusted by Kingsport Residents
A Kingsport car accident lawyer from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt can help you out with any questions you may have from a car accident you were involved in. The moments after a car accident can be difficult to deal with. Your mind may be racing because you might be unsure about your next steps. Whether you were at fault or not for the accident the most important thing to ensure is that you are alright. You can rely on a skilled lawyer to give you the best possible legal advice so that you can come out of this experience for the better.
If you have received injuries from the accident, you may be able to receive compensation for those injuries and for time that you missed work due to those injuries. Before you file a car accident claim, you are encouraged to meet with a lawyer so that you can understand your rights and full legal options. There are some important things to keep in mind regarding who is at fault for your accident.
Common Reasons for Car Accidents
Car accidents happen for a wide range of different reasons. One of the most common reasons for car accidents is due to negligence. The term negligence can be defined as an act that shows a reckless or careless disregard for the safety of other individuals, reflecting a failure to provide a level of care that another person in same or similar circumstances would provide. A person might not intend harm, but they can be accused of negligence because their actions could have harmed another person.
The main components of negligence are duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Negligence can be found in individuals who caused car accidents due to their own distractions or simply not paying attention to the road or other cars around them. Distractions include people paying more attention to their phones than the road by answering text messages or changing music on their phones.
There are many types of car accidents that happen on the road each day. Here are some common types of accidents that car accident lawyers often handle:
- Head-on collisions. Two vehicles coming from opposite directions collide into each other. A head-on collision can occur when drivers are traveling on the wrong side of the road or when drivers attempt to pass a slower vehicle by crossing the dotted center line and entering the opposite lane. Head-on collisions often result in severe injuries and fatalities because of the high speed.
- Rear-end collision. The front end of a vehicle strikes the rear end of another vehicle. These accidents commonly occur when a driver fails to slow down in time or is driving at a high speed. Rear-end collisions can result in serious injuries, and are typically caused by distracted driving.
- T-bone accidents. The front of a vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. These accidents can occur at intersections when a driver is making a left turn, or when a vehicle attempts to run a red light and strikes a vehicle crossing the intersection. These accidents can cause serious injuries, and can cause vehicles to roll over.
- Sideswipe accidents. The side of a vehicle strikes the side of another vehicle. These can occur when vehicles are next to each other or when a driver is attempting to switch lanes.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries?
Rather than delayed injuries, you may suffer common car accident injuries. By understanding the harm car accident victims suffer, you have a better idea of which injuries to evaluate yourself for in the days following a car collision. Your doctor and a Kingsport car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt may help you gauge the harm you suffered because of another’s negligence.
Traumatic Brain Injury
If you hit your head or if a flying object inside your vehicle hit you in the head during the accident, you could have a traumatic brain injury. If you experience headaches, dizziness or memory problems in the following days or weeks, have a doctor examine you for brain injuries.
It’s also a good idea to pay close attention to how your back feels after a motor vehicle accident. Even a minor fender bender could cause back injuries. It’s vital to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you have such an injury, as you may experience intense and prolonged disability and pain.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Other than your back, note aches, pains and discomfort in your spine. Your Kingsport car accident lawyer may help you find a spinal cord specialist to examine your spine and determine if you suffered harm. Depending on the severity of a spinal cord injury, it could cause total or partial paralysis below the affected area. Once you and your legal representative understand the level of harm you suffered, the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt may help you determine the level of compensation you deserve.
Car accidents that end in explosions or flames could cause burn injuries. Steam, chemicals, hot fluids and hot surfaces may also burn victims. If the force of impact hurls a person out of the vehicle and across the pavement, she or he could have friction burns. No matter the source of the burn, severe injuries may require skin grafting or surgery.
Sufficient crash force and flying debris could cause internal injuries to the body’s organs. Internal injuries may trigger internal bleeding, indicated by weakness in one side of the body, trouble swallowing, numbness, blood in urine, tingling and bruising around the sides of the abdomen.
Broken and Fractured Bones
Car accidents often break ankle, leg, wrists and arm bones. Victims may also suffer broken bones. Depending on the fracture or break, the patient may need surgery or a cast.
6 Common Misconceptions About Car Accidents
Every State’s Laws Are the Same
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Every state’s traffic laws are wildly different. Some states require that you have full insurance coverage on your car, while others only require liability. Penalties for traffic infractions are inconsistent from state to state. A Kingsport car accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt can help you sort out the laws in your state.
Your Insurance Company Will Handle Everything
You should not expect your insurance company to take care of anything beyond taking your money for the coverage you’re required by law to have. While the company may offer you a settlement, it’s almost certain to be a low one, and one that you should not accept. If your insurance company offers a settlement, that’s a good time to talk to a Kingsport car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt.
If You Don’t Have Injuries Right Away, You Can’t Sue for Them Later
Many injuries don’t manifest for days or even weeks after a car accident, so it doesn’t make sense for you to file a lawsuit right away. On the other hand, there’s a statute of limitations for when you can file, so you don’t want to wait too long. Your Kingsport car accident lawyer can help you determine the right time to file your claims.
You Should Tell the Other Driver You’re Sorry
You should never tell the other driver you’re sorry, as it could be twisted into you admitting fault for the accident. You should check to make sure they’re okay, but don’t apologize, either because you think it was your fault or because it’s just a thing people say when bad things happen.
Police Reports Will Always Prove Who’s at Fault
Police reports tend to be neutral and unbiased, with just a statement of the facts of a case. They may include the statements you and the other driver made. However, they won’t assign liability to either party involved. Your Kingsport car accident lawyer can help you understand the police report and how it can be used to your benefit.
Your First Priority Is To Move Your Vehicle to Safety
In many jurisdictions, it’s illegal to move your car after an accident. In others, it’s required in the case of minor fender benders. No matter what the law is, your first priority should be seeing to the safety of the people involved in the accident, not your vehicle. Vehicles are replaceable. People are not.
What To Do Following an Accident
If you have unfortunately been involved in a car accident, then it is best to remain as calm as possible following the accident. Make sure that you and your passengers are alright and that your vehicle is not in a position to cause another accident. If the car is moveable, then move it over to the side of the road or shoulder of the highway.
Following these things, be sure to call 911 and let them know if you need an ambulance or not.
If you are injured, make sure to receive medical attention as this could be helpful for your case. Check with people in the other vehicles to make sure that they are ok, but do not discuss fault with them as this could be used against you later. Only exchange your contact information, insurance information and vehicle information. Do not express any guilt or apologize to the driver. You do not want to provide any more details than you need to.
When the police arrive, make sure that you get a copy of the police report and then call the accident into the insurance company. It is better to file a claim with insurance to avoid any possible legal penalties or fines for not doing so if the accident has caused injuries or damage. If the insurance company tries to dispute your claim, you can cite the medical report as evidence that the accident occurred. Your medical report can also be used to ensure that your list of damages is accurate.
Who Is at Fault?
Determining who is at fault in a car accident is one of the most important things to do in your claim or case. It can be tricky to determine who exactly has fault and to what extent, so it is advised that you hire a skilled lawyer. Laws are different across the United States for who is at fault with some states opting for different levels of fault. If your accident occurred in Tennessee or Virginia, there would be different rulings for those claims due to different laws. A car accident lawyer from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt can inform you more about these circumstances and conduct a thorough investigation.
Tennessee Versus Virginia at Fault
Tennessee is considered to be a comparative at fault state. This means that if you are found to be at fault for 50% or more for the accident, then you will not be entitled to any compensation. If you were found to be at fault for under 50%, then you should be entitled to some type of compensation depending on the case.
Virginia differs from Tennessee upon these laws. Virginia is a contributory fault state. This means if you are found to have even contributed 1% of the reasoning for the car accident then you will not be entitled to any compensation. It’s possible to overcome this though if you have good legal representatives who can prove otherwise.
Watch Out for Trucks & Motorcycles While Driving
Having a good awareness of the other vehicles around you can help you to avoid an accident. Trucks are extremely heavy vehicles that have a tough time stopping quickly when they have to and can cause large damages to vehicles and people when they collide with them. Passing them during windstorms with heavy gusts and during heavy rainstorms is also very risky as large splashes could go onto your windshield taking away your vision. Gusts of wind could also make a truck veer right into your lane and path.
It is also critical to pay attention to motorcycles on the road as they have a much higher chance of severe injury if collided with. Sometimes motorcycle riders are in the wrong and drive recklessly swerving across lanes and driving in between cars, so if you have been in an accident with this type of motorcycle, it may be in your interest to discuss the accident with a lawyer from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt. Our firm can serve as your car accident lawyer and help you to be successful with your case.
Good Practices to Avoid a Car Accident
Car accidents can happen to anyone when they are out on the road. Sometimes accidents are inevitable and unavoidable, but other accidents can be avoided. By following some guidelines, you can help yourself out by forming some good habits to hopefully avoid a car accident. Always ensure that your vehicle’s equipment like tires, brakes, gauges, and lights are working. Make sure that the tires have sufficient air in them and are not flat.
Also, make sure that your gauges like acceleration and fuel amount are working properly. Make sure that your brakes are up to date with good brake pads and rotors to give you sufficient stopping power. Aside from equipment check-ups, ensure that you are always paying attention to the road and not to handheld devices that can cause a gap in awareness while driving. One of the leading causes of car crashes is distraction from devices like phones, so make sure to do your best to not use them while driving.
How To Proceed
If you have been in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, then you should be entitled to compensation. Insurance companies usually will try and settle with you for a smaller amount than is deserved. Legal counsel can help you to receive compensation for the pain and suffering and other problems that you have had to deal with. A lawyer for Kingsport car accidents from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt has many years of experience in dealing with car accident cases and is on your side. Contact us today for a free consultation. We are looking forward to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
How Common Are Car Accidents?
Unfortunately, car accidents happen far more frequently than we’d expect – but an experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate your way through your case and get the compensation you deserve. Millions of accidents happen every year, and no two accidents are alike. Of course, if you want to avoid being just another statistic, you need to have a lawyer on hand who can thoroughly investigate your case to determine what damages you might be owed, and who should be held responsible for your injuries.
As cars become more and more modernized and packed with gadgets, infotainment, and other distractions, it’s easier and easier to forget your responsibility to drive safely and attentively. These distractions can all factor into an accident: The right lawyer will look into all the details of your accident to see if the other driver was paying attention to the road, or paying attention to their text messages.
There are many variables that can complicate your fight for financial compensation, but compensation is still possible. It’s difficult to secure monetary damages for yourself, but a car accident lawyer can help you work your way through the long and challenging legal process of filing a suit and seeking the money you deserve.
What Can a Car Accident Lawyer Do for Me?
A car accident case can be difficult to handle by yourself. You may be swamped with medical bills, calls with insurance companies, physical therapy, and other medical procedures or doctor’s visits. This can make your life almost unmanageable – and throwing in a lawsuit is just making your life more difficult.
Instead of weighing yourself down with a maze of legal documents, investigations, and procedures, you can rely on a car accident lawyer to do the heavy lifting. Your lawyer can focus on your paperwork, and can even negotiate with your insurance for a higher payout so you don’t have to worry about your excessive bills stacking up while you’re unable to work to pay them off.
Instead of focusing on your legal case, your car accident lawyer will do the work for you. They can also provide valuable advice and information that may affect where you go next with your case. It’s important to know how to proceed if there is sizable compensation on the line, and finding the right lawyer can prevent you from drowning in bills, while helping you find your way forward.
How To Successfully Negotiate With Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident
In many cases, compensation following a car accident comes from insurance companies. Depending on who is at fault, the coverage may come from your own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. Knowing what steps to take and what to avoid can help you have greater success in receiving the full compensation you need and deserve.
Contact a Kingsport Car Accident Lawyer Immediately
One of the most important — and smartest — things you can do following an automobile crash is to contact a Kingsport car accident lawyer. Having a legal team by your side helps in many ways. It gives you access to guidance you can trust, from law professionals that are looking out for your interests. It helps protect you against making mistakes that can cause you to miss out on valuable compensation. This assistance can also give you peace of mind, which is exactly what you need after going through a traumatic experience.
Ask Questions About Your Case
From the very beginning, be open with your Kingsport car accident lawyer about any questions or concerns you have. Remember, your lawyer is there to help you reach your goals. At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, you can find helpful attorneys that take the time to answer your questions and offer recommendations.
Don’t Sign Insurance Documents Without Your Lawyer’s Help
A common error is for drivers to sign legal forms from their insurance company without even reading them. This is a big mistake, because you may be giving up your right to go to court without realizing it. You have nothing to lose — and a lot to gain — by asking a Kingsport car accident lawyer for advice before signing any settlement offers.
Know What Type of Damages the Settlement Covers
Before accepting a settlement, ask your lawyer to explain it to you. Make sure that the compensation provided is adequate for your needs right now and in the future, including injuries that may not have appeared yet. Settlements generally cover economic damages (medical costs, lost income, etc.) as well as general damages such as pain and suffering.
Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away
You’re not obligated to accept the first offer from the insurance company, or other offers. Don’t feel pressured to sign. Your Kingsport car accident lawyer can help you evaluate if an offer is fair or not. At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we’re happy to guide you through the process.
Injuries to Watch Out For
Auto accident injuries are not always seen or felt right away. Some injuries may take hours, days, or weeks to fully manifest. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we want you to know every warning sign to watch out for. By being proactive and seeing a doctor the same day as a car accident, it can save your life or prevent you from suffering from chronic problems. Car accident injuries that tend to have a delayed onset include:
- Brain and neck injuries (up to around a week, can be fatal)
- Internal bleeding (24-82 hours, can be fatal)
- Whiplash (next day to weeks)
- Concussion (several hours post accident to weeks later)
- Chronic pain (up to 12 months)
The takeaway here is to immediately get medical attention after an accident. In the hours after a serious accident, our body may be in a state of shock with adrenaline pumping. This can disguise injuries and their severity, that is, until the body has had a chance to fully calm down. It isn’t uncommon for victims of car wrecks to experience aches and pains days or weeks later, that they hadn’t realized were even there initially.
Both physical and mental injuries as a result of the car accident should be discussed with your lawyer during a consultation. Based on what you have been through, your lawyer can estimate a potential monetary award, if you so choose to seek restitution from the party at-fault. If you have any of the following symptoms after a car wreck, it is strongly advised that you go to the nearest emergency room:
- Back pain associated with spinal cord
- Weakness in specific area of your body
- Tingling sensations or numbness in extremities
- Mood changes
- Severe headache that won’t relent
- Abdominal pain
- Slurred speech or difficulty communicating
- Vision changes
- Neck stiffness
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Passing out
When in doubt, it’s better to see a doctor for car accident related injuries, than to opt out of medical care altogether. If you do not have health coverage and need to be seen by a doctor, your lawyer can help you find a place to get the treatment you require. The days after a car wreck can be the most stressful, so having someone to advocate for you and protect your best interests can make all the difference.
Contact The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand how challenging your car accident can be, and we know that when you look for a car accident lawyer, you don’t want cookie-cutter solutions. You need dedicated case management from a legal team that cares, and you need to be able to focus on your recovery, rather than mountains of paperwork.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you shouldn’t be focused on anything but your own health. While insurance companies, bills, and an inability to continue with your work can all distract you from getting better, they shouldn’t. That’s why The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt is here to help. Get in touch with a car accident lawyer in Kingsport today.
We hired Mr. Hurt to help settle a worker’s comp injury case for my husband. Mark, Bart, and Mary worked tirelessly to resolve his case and reach a settlement we were pleased with. They were always available to answer questions and returned calls in a timely manner.