The chance of being injured in a motor vehicle accident in the United States is one in one-thousand in any given year. Clearly, it is important for each of us to drive with caution, giving full attention to the road, but sadly even if we do, we cannot control the behavior of the other drivers we encounter. If you have been the unfortunate victim of a car accident that is not your fault and suffered serious personal injuries as a result, you are entitled to compensation. Because the insurance company of the other driver will be watching their bottom line, not looking out for your welfare, you need a knowledgeable, highly capable car accident attorney on your side, fighting to make sure you obtain the damages you deserve. Cummings Law, located in Nashville, stands ready to evaluate your case and take over all legal and insurance aspects so that you can concentrate on healing from your ordeal. We are not only well-credentialed and experienced, we are compassionate and we always treat you kindly, knowing you have been through emotional, as well as physical trauma.
Common Causes of A Car Accident
Unfortunately, with more and more cars on the road, and an increasing number of electronic distractions, there is an increased risk of collision. Common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving (while texting, talking on the phone, eating)
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driver fatigue
- Improper turning
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Reckless driving
- Mechanical defects
- Improper road maintenance
The above-mentioned causes may result in many different types of accidents, depending on which way the colliding vehicles are facing — head-on collisions, rear-end crashes, side-impact collisions, and rollovers. In some cases, even low-impact (low-speed) collisions can result in serious whiplash or other injuries, involving lengthy recovery periods or even long-term disability. This is why you need a strong car accident attorney at your side, one who understands the possible future costs your injury may entail.
In some cases, your personal injury may not be the fault of another driver, but rather the result of a mechanical defect in your car or a hazardous road condition due to poor road maintenance. In such cases, Cummings Law will assist you in filing a lawsuit against the car manufacturer or distributor of the vehicle, or against the town, city, or state that failed to keep the road safe. Examples of poor road maintenance include ineffective lighting, insufficient shoulders or guardrails, or large potholes or obstacles on the road surface.
Types of Injuries Suffered in A Car Accident
Just about any part of the body can be seriously injured in a car accident, though some parts are more vulnerable, depending on the position of the victim. Whether you are the driver or a passenger in the front or rear of the vehicle, the point of impact will determine your vulnerability.
If you are not wearing a seatbelt, the risk of injury is generally far greater. Injuries you may suffer include:
- Lacerations and deep bruises
- Excessive bleeding
- Fractured bones
- Organ damage
- Loss of limbs
- Muscular damage
- Neck and head injuries (e.g. whiplash)
- Neuromuscular damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Even though side-impact and head-on collisions are often the cause of catastrophic injuries, you may also sustain a serious injury in a so-called “fender bender.” Because the severity of the bodily harm you’ve suffered may not show up immediately, and because there is a statute of limitations of only 1 year for car accident injuries in Tennessee, it is essential that you contact your car accident attorney as quickly as possible to be eligible to collect the compensation you are owed.
Types of Damages Collected From A Car Accident Claim
If you have recently been severely injured in a car accident, you may be troubled by financial, as well as medical, concerns. Hopefully, it will bring you some peace of mind to know that you are entitled to compensation not only for your medical expenses (which, as we all know, can be exorbitant) but for your lost income during recovery and possible permanent disability as well. There are a few different types of compensation the court awards to victims of personal injury.
Economic damages, which compensate for things that can be easily assigned a dollar value, such as:
- Present and future medical and healthcare costs
- Lost wages
- Decreased future earning power
- Property damage (such as loss of your vehicle)
- Household services
- Long-term care
Noneconomic damages, though more challenging to assign monetary value, are a significant part of compensatory damages. There are algorithms to determine fair amounts of money to reimburse victims for:
- Physical pain
- Emotional anguish
- Impairment or disfigurement
- Loss of limbs
- Loss of sight or hearing
- Loss of consortium or companionship
Punitive damages are only awarded if the party who harmed you acted in an especially egregious manner. The law defines such behavior as malicious, intentional, fraudulent or reckless. Examples of such cases are ones in which the defendant was inebriated or drug-impaired or otherwise flagrantly violated the law at the time of the accident. Punitive damages have a dual purpose — to punish the offender and to prevent others from behaving in a similarly abhorrent manner.
How Fault Is Determined in Tennessee
Because the laws determining fault in car accidents differ from state to state, it is crucial that you engage the services of a personal injury attorney who has in-depth awareness of the Tennessee fault laws. In our state, it is possible for both parties to be found partially at fault for a car accident under the “Modified Comparative Fault” Rule. Even if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, you are still entitled to receive some compensation. The way it works is that each driver is assigned a percentage of fault for the accident and you will receive damages in proportion to your perceived liability. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the collision and the court awards you $1,000,000 for your injuries, you will receive $800,000, the award minus 20 percent.
You should be aware that the modified comparative fault rule only applies if you are found to be less than 50 percent at fault. If you are perceived to be at least 50 percent at fault for the accident, you will not receive any damage award at all. With Cummings Law on your team, however, you are likely to receive substantial compensation. Brian Cummings is a savvy negotiator and astute litigator, fully prepared to fight tirelessly to get you every dollar you deserve.
Contact A Nashville Car Accident Attorney!
If you have had a car accident in Nashville, around the Vanderbilt hospital area or in Middle Tennessee, reaching out to Cummings Law is a wise choice. We have the resources to accumulate relevant physical or photographic evidence of the accident, interview witnesses, examine medical records, and, if necessary, hire experts to testify on your behalf. We can be reached by phone or by filling out a contact form on our website.