When Should I Contact A Lawyer for My Car Accident?
Nestled within the majestic Appalachian Mountains’ foothills, Johnson City offers big-city amenities and world-class outdoor recreation while still extending small-town southern charm. While the local area is an appealing recreational hot-spot for residents and visitors alike, the influx in traffic has also led to increased car accidents along Interstates 26, 11E, and 19W.
Each year, over 1,200 individuals die, and thousands are severely injured, in preventable car accidents across Tennessee. In the midst of recovering from severe injuries sustained in a car crash, or grieving from the loss of a loved one killed in a wreck, it’s easy to put off the process of seeking compensation from those responsible.
In Tennessee, vehicle crash victims and the families who have lost a loved one in a vehicle wreck normally only have one year from the date of an accident to pursue compensation for injuries through a civil lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations. If this statute of limitations expires, an individual or family may be barred from recovering compensation, leaving them to shoulder the burden of mounting medical bills unjustly or the loss of financial compensation due for the death of their loved one.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it is critical to contact an experienced Johnson City car accident lawyer as soon as possible, so we can seek to ensure that your case is timely filed, and that all action is taken to seek justice and the financial compensation you deserve. Call The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt today to schedule a no-obligation, free case evaluation to learn about your legal options.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Experienced Tennessee Car Accident Injury Attorney?
If you hire The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, you will only pay a fee if we successfully obtain a settlement or jury award on your behalf. This means that you will not have to come out-of-pocket for a retainer or any other legal fees while your case is proceeding . Further, we advance all litigation expenses while a case is ongoing, which are typically fully covered by a settlement or awarded damages.
In addition to the at-fault driver, other people or entities may be liable for car-accident injuries, including:
- Employers (if the driver was working at the time of the accident)
- Manufacturers (if a defective vehicle part caused the accident)
- Medical Malpractice (if an individual’s injuries are exacerbated in an ER or hospital because of the negligence of a medical care provider)
- Other Third Parties (any other individuals who may have contributed to the accident)
How Long Do I Have to File A Lawsuit in Tennessee for Car Accident Injuries or the Wrongful Death of a Loved One?
Tennessee imposes various statutes of limitations for different claims. For example, an individual has only one year to bring the following claims:
- Personal Injury
- Medical Malpractice
- Products Liability
- Wrongful Death
Failing to meet these deadlines will result in forfeiture of your right to pursue compensation from at-fault parties. Thus, it is vital to contact a Tennessee car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Can I Recover Compensation for Damage to My Vehicle and Other Property?
Yes. In addition to compensation for personal injuries, a victim may also be entitled to recover compensation for property damage, such as damage to a vehicle or other personal belongings destroyed in a crash.
In Tennessee, property damage claims are subject to a different statute of limitations than personal injury cases. A legal claim generally must be filed within three years from the date of an accident.
It is important to note that if you previously received compensation from an insurance company (such as if your vehicle was totaled and they paid you for the value of your vehicle), they will likely have a statutory lien from any amounts recovered. As a result, if you receive a settlement that includes in part compensation for your vehicle, you may have to pay some or all of that portion to your insurance company.
Are There Any Exceptions to The Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injuries?
There are three primary exceptions to the statute of limitations that can toll (or delay) the deadline to file. The statute of limitations may be tolled for a certain period:
- If an injury slowly develops or has undetectable symptoms that delay its discovery until a later date, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the date that an individual learns of the injuries (or should have reasonably known they existed);
- If a victim is a minor (under the age of 18), the statute of limitations will be tolled until the day he or she turns 18 years of age, meaning he or she will have one year from the date of their birthday to file a claim; or
- If a victim is mentally incompetent (e.g., if a car accident causes dementia), the statute of limitations will be tolled until the court finds the victim has recovered.
Schedule a Complimentary Case Evaluation with Tennessee Car Accident Attorney Mark Hurt.
For over two decades, firm-founding attorney and Duke Law School honors graduate Mark Hurt has successfully represented car accident victims throughout Tennessee. He has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients who have been injured or the family who have lost a loved one.
If you were injured in a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence, we want to help you seek justice. Call our office to schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options and how we can see to hold all liable parties accountable.