You caught the truck merging into your vehicle on your dash cam. The speedy red sports car slammed on their brakes too late and rear-ended you. You suffered injuries, and these are injuries you had hoped to never endure.
In that instant, your life drastically changes. Now you must deal with unplanned circumstances – from how to cope with physical and emotional pain, to covering medical costs with less income from lost time at work. Understandably, you may start to feel intimidated by tackling all of these challenges on your own.
Many injury victims feel just like you do, too. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a person injured in a wreck to not know exactly what to do after an accident occurs. For all the questions you may have, know that there are answers within your reach.
Should I Get An Attorney After A Car Accident?
If you are not hurt, you may not need an attorney. However, don’t entirely rule it out. In certain complex situations, an attorney’s legal expertise may be critical – even if you are not injured.
If you (or someone you know) suffered permanent injury or lost significant amounts of time away from work, school, or house duties, that legal expertise is even more essential. While you are not necessarily required to have an attorney, there is a myriad of reasons why hiring a lawyer in Tennessee is a great idea. For instance, hire an attorney if any of these happened during your accident:
- You suffered permanent or serious injury.
- Your injury required hospitalization.
- You suffered from broken bones.
- A family member in your vehicle was injured.
- The accident occurred in a construction area.
- You suffered a loss of companionship (for example, a loved one was killed due to another drivers negligence).
Also, you will need an attorney if AFTER the accident:
- Your medical costs are more than a couple thousand dollars.
- The police report does not show an accurate account of what happened.
- Fault is disputable.
- You are not sure of your rights.
Finally, your insurance company may be the reason you need a lawyer. Hire a lawyer if:
- The paperwork and forms you have received since the accident are confusing.
- Your insurance company says you didn’t pay your premium.
- The terms of your insurance policy are not clear to you.
- You suspect your insurance company is acting in bad faith by denying your coverage, refusing to pay before investigating, or do not offer to pay you what you are owed.
- Your insurer is acting strangely and ignoring you or being unkind/aggressive.
- Your insurance company gets a lawyer.
We understand that much of what occurs after an accident can be confusing. That is why we don’t suggest that you try to handle it all on your own. Instead, contact our Lerner and Rowe legal team at 844-977-1900 to begin the process and to protect your rights.
What Compensation Can I Collect?
After an accident, there’s so much to be done – and much of it is costly. If you hire an attorney, they will fight for you to win the maximum amount of compensation possible. For instance, these expenses could be covered:
- Car repairs
- Doctor visits
- Rehabilitation programs
- Future medical costs
On top of that, you may be compensated for the time you missed from work, your pain and suffering, punitive damages, or any reduced earning capacity you may have suffered. Without a lawyer, it is much more difficult to win compensation for all you are owed. That is why we suggest that you make sure you have award-winning legal representation on your side.
Won’t My Insurance Handle My Costs?
It’s true, most of the time your insurance company may handle costs associated with an injury-related accident. However, insurance companies are “for-profit” which means they are ultimately there to make money. They will try to pay out the least possible amount they owe you so that they come out on top.
Also, keep in mind that Tennessee is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you can still recover compensation in a car accident lawsuit even if you were partially to blame for the accident itself. Your compensation reward will simply be reduced, however, according to how involved you were in causing the accident. So, even if you are partially to blame, it is important to make sure you receive what you are owed.
So, what could an insurance company do to maximize their profit and minimize your payout? Here are some common ways your insurance company may try to avoid giving you the full financial help you pay for monthly/quarterly/annually.
10 Common Insurance Tricks
Our legal team has seen it all, and knows to look out for the many ways your insurance company may try to trick you out of full and just compensation. For instance, your insurance company may:
- Outright deny your claim, possibly claiming that it was not an accident at all, but a purposeful act. They might not even tell you why you were denied, then ignore your phone calls.
- Claim that you paid for less coverage.
- Use “surveillance” to find evidence against you. They will spy on you and your social media accounts. They will even look way back into medical records.
- Pretend that they do not have to cover medical bills.
- Dispute the severity of your injuries, or say that the accident did not cause these injuries.
- Attempt “subrogation”, which is when the company comes back after a settlement and says you have to pay them back.
- Fake concern to get a quick and low settlement.
- Undercount medical bills. You will have a lot coming in, from your anesthesiologist, doctor, surgeon, ambulance, hospital, and more. Make sure your insurance company does not ignore any of them.
- Demand a recorded statement or medical records within a specific time frame. You have the right to wait to do either until you have spoken to a lawyer, so don’t let them pressure you. The insurance company may try to trap you by asking questions in a way that leads you into making a false or incriminating statement. Also, if they give you a quick deadline for medical records, the full extent of your injuries may not be known. Both forced deadlines can be used to lessen the amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
- Believe that you will not take your case to trial, so they may try to settle for less by avoiding paying the full amount.
These are only a few of the tricks that insurance companies have tried on accident victims. Having Lerner and Rowe on your side while dealing with an insurance company will make the claims process a lot easier. It will also help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
What Do I Need to Do to Get Compensation?
If you hire Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys, you won’t have to do much! Our lawyers will help you manage your case from start to finish. We will keep any and all evidence organized and preserved. We will also use our experience to handle insurance company tactics to effectively fight back on your behalf.
Furthermore, our lawyers will calculate the value of your claim and determine who is responsible for the accident. In Tennessee, this means the at-fault driver should be responsible for any injuries and other damages. However, insurance will only pay up to the driver’s policy limits. In turn, we will also evaluate the possibility of pursuing the at-fault driver personally to seek further compensation to cover expenses not covered by insurance.
If necessary, we are prepared to file a lawsuit for your claim and take it to court if necessary. Without an attorney, you would be doing all of this yourself, or settling for less than you deserve. So, be sure you find a lawyer that specializes in motor vehicle accidents to help ensure you win the most compensation possible.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Ensure a Strong Case?
While hiring legal experts to help build a strong case can result in just compensation, you can do a few things as well to help solidify your case. These things include:
- Following all your doctor’s orders. Meaning that you take the prescribed medication, attend follow-ups, and undergo all requested tests. If you don’t, it may look like your injury isn’t as severe as you say it is.
- Keeping all documentation from the accident. This includes anything related to your medical care, insurance companies, photos and artifacts from the accident, and anything else that proves what you are saying is true.
- Not engaging in conversation with the other parties. Even as soon as immediately after the accident, avoid phrases like “Don’t worry about it”, “I’m so sorry”, and “Oh, it wasn’t your fault.” These seem well-meaning but can break your case.
- Above all, do not give a statement without an attorney present.
Again, the best thing you can do for your case after an accident is to hire a lawyer. Whether you were injured in an accident with another car, truck, motorcycle, or bus, an attorney will help YOU build a strong case to win the compensation you deserve.
How Soon After My Accident Should I Hire an Attorney?
Hire an attorney as soon as possible. You will need immediate representation because the at-fault party will reach out to their insurance provider, who will then reach out to you. Why does this matter?
It matters because insurance companies have their own team working angles to ensure they only pay out the least amount possible. Which means that from the start their ultimate goal is to look out for their best interest, not yours. One of the easiest ways they can achieve this is if you don’t file an injury claim before the statute of limitations is up.
The statute of limitations is a law that indicates how long a party has to bring a lawsuit to court. The time frame varies by event and state. For Tennessee car accidents, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of the accident (code section 28-3-104). If someone in the accident suffered a wrongful death, their family has one year also, though the deadline goes by the date the victim passed away. If you were not injured but still had damage to your property, you have three years from the date of the accident to take it to court (code section 23-3-105).
If you do not comply with the statute of limitations, it is very likely that the other party will point it out. That is probably the end of your case. However, there are certain situations in which you may “toll” the statute of limitations. This is a possibility if the victim was a minor at the time of the accident, is mentally or physically incompetent due to the injuries sustained in the accident, or was bankrupt when the injury occurred.
As it is fairly uncommon to toll the statute of limitations, try to comply with it as soon as possible. It could be the difference between winning the money you deserve and walking away empty-handed.
What Happens After I Hire an Attorney?
After you hire an attorney at Lerner and Rowe, our legal team will need to know more specific details about the accident. This information can be gleaned from your recollection of the accident, other parties’ information, the police report, medical documentation, and more. This information will then be used to build your case and ultimately determine who the negligent party was.
Once fault has been established, we will work diligently to determine what your claim is worth. Without the assistance of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney, coming up with a fair amount would be difficult to determine.
Finally, negotiations begin on your behalf with the insurance companies involved. If an agreement is not reached, your lawyer may take it to trial. Thankfully, if it gets to that point, you will have a professional at your side to back you up.
What Do I Have to Lose in Hiring a Lawyer?
You have nothing to lose and so much to gain by contacting Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. The call is free, the consultation is free, and you pay no out-of-pocket fees unless compensation is won for your case.
It’s true! Once the process starts, you have a legal team on your side fighting to get you the best possible compensation. And in the end, there is no fee unless we win. You won’t need to worry about anything except getting better.
So, when you are injured in an accident, don’t waste time trying to figure out how to do things on your own. Or, lose money because you missed something an experienced attorney would have caught. Instead, win by hiring an award-winning attorney from Lerner and Rowe.
Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys Near You
For any local car wrecks, you can find us near Nashville at 725 Cool Springs, Suite #600, Franklin, TN. Please feel free to call us 24/7 at 844-977-1900, or stop by our office during regular business hours Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Our team is here for you around the clock! In addition to our Tennessee personal injury law firm, we can also assist you if you have been injured in an accident in Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, or Nevada.