Car Accident Attorney in Johnson City
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Motor vehicle accidents are the No. 1 cause of death, disability, and severe injuries among young and middle-aged adults. Although improvements in car design, such as crumple zones, airbags, collision warnings, antilock braking systems (ABS), and others have dramatically improved safety for drivers and passengers, human error still poses a threat. When a driver is distracted, drowsy, intoxicated, aggressive, or otherwise reckless, severe injury or fatal collisions can occur.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, due to someone else’s negligence in Johnson City, you may be entitled to compensation. The person at fault could be held responsible for paying for your medical bills, lost wages, lost property, pain and suffering, and other losses.
As one of the most established law firms in East Tennessee, The Terry Law Firm, is prepared to address your needs and seek the compensation and justice that you deserve. We do more than just try and settle injury cases. We fight to make you whole again after a collision that was not your fault.
Call us, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form to schedule your free consultation now with our Johnson City car accident lawyers.
Causes of Car Accidents in Johnson City
All drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles with due care and caution at all times. When a driver fails to be responsible behind the wheel, a crash can happen in an instant.
While there are a wide variety of reasons for collisions, some of the most common include:
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Driving under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol
- Driving under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medication
- Inclement weather
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Defective vehicle design or defective parts
- Aggressive driving
- Following too closely
- Misjudgment of gap or speed of oncoming vehicles
- Failure to yield
Any of these or other factors could result in a collision. While some crashes are minor “fender benders” that result in property damage only, others could result in severe or catastrophic injuries. In the worst-case scenario, the victim’s injuries could prove to be fatal.
Injuries Suffered by Car Crash Victims
When vehicles collide, the impact of the crash can cause severe, catastrophic, or fatal injuries to the occupants inside.
Some common injuries victims suffer include:
- Neck injuries, including whiplash
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) including concussions, hematoma, hemorrhage, edema, skull fracture, diffuse axonal, coup-contrecoup
- Back injuries
- Spine and spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Scarring and disfiguration
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
Victims of collisions are often forced to deal with pain, surgeries, and other medical treatment, and rehabilitation. If the injury is particularly severe or catastrophic, they may never be the same again.
If your injuries place undue strain on your finances or impact your ability to support yourself and your loved ones and enjoy life as you once used to, you have the right to file an injury claim against the at-fault party and demand that they pay what you’re owed.
In particularly tragic circumstances, the victim may succumb to their injuries. When this happens, the surviving family members could be eligible to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation and gain some closure.
Types of Damages You May Recover After a Car Accident
If someone else is determined to be at fault for your accident, you may be entitled to the following compensation:
- Current medical bills
- Any future medical bills incurred during the ongoing treatment of health conditions caused by your injuries
- Any costs related to the repair or replacement of your vehicle
- Lost wages from time missed from work for treatment
- Any lost future wages if your injuries have caused disabilities that prevent you from returning to your former line of work
- Pain and emotional distress
If your loved one was killed in the accident or died due to injuries incurred in the accident, you may also be entitled to:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of emotional support
Costs of medical bills and lost wages are usually straightforward to determine. The compensation for pain and suffering is not.
Tennessee caps pain and suffering compensation at $750,000 unless you suffered a catastrophic injury that left you disabled, in which case the cap for pain and suffering is $1 million. However, if the person who caused the accident was found guilty of driving under the influence or was intentionally trying to cause injury, there is no cap on the pain and suffering compensation.
How Is Fault Determined After a Car Crash?
Tennessee follows a “comparative negligence” doctrine, which means a certain share of the blame will be assigned to each driver after a crash, depending on how their actions contributed to the collision – if any. If, for example, the other driver was found to be 90% at fault for the crash, and you were found to be 10% at fault, your award would be reduced by 10%, or proportionate to your share of responsibility.
A driver who is more than 50% at fault for a crash will be barred from recovering any damages.
Proving fault after a crash means proving negligence. If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care and caution and causes you harm as a result, you can seek compensation from them.
To prove your case, it is important to:
- Contact the police immediately after a crash. They can perform an initial investigation, issue citations or arrests for any traffic violations, and create an official accident report
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Any delay in treatment could diminish your injury claim.
- Get the other driver’s contact information, insurance information, drivers’ license, license plate, and VIN number\
- Take pictures of the crash scene. Remember to take photos of the vehicles, the surrounding scene, your injuries, and anything else that might be relevant.
- Get contact information from anyone who witnessed the crash.
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible to report the accident.
- Save your bills, receipts, and other records of expenses you incur due to the crash.
- Keep a journal about your injuries and how they have impacted your life emotionally.
- Contact a car accident lawyer to represent you.
The more evidence you can collect and preserve, the stronger of a case your attorney may be able to make for compensation. Remember that the other side’s insurer will do everything they can to deny, delay, or diminish your injury claim to save themselves money. That’s why it is crucial to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side to protect you and help you seek what you’re owed.
Tennessee’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents
A statute of limitations is a legal time limit for victims to file a case.
In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit over a car crash is only one year. If you don’t file a claim within a year of the accident, the courts will not even hear your case unless a very narrow exception applies. This is why it is vital to call our law firm as soon as possible after your accident.
We will need to gather evidence and prepare the paperwork, processes that can take time. You don’t want to miss out on any compensation that you deserve by waiting to take legal action.
Why Choose The Terry Law Firm to Handle Your Case?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident in Johnson City, turn to a legal team with the right resources, skills, and experience to handle your case. The trial attorneys at The Terry Law Firm provide compassionate legal guidance when you need it most. We’ll work hard to pursue the maximum compensation possible for your claim.
We know how devastating car accidents and the aftermath can be. We’ve seen it all, and our team will be ready to put our experience to work for you. We are available 24/7 to take your call, and we offer night and weekend consultations to better fit our clients’ schedules. Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you’ll never pay us a single cent until we recover compensation for you.
There’s absolutely no risk to speak to us about your accident, so call, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live right away.