Car Accident FAQs
At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we are the largest personal injury firm based in Tennessee. We serve victims and their families injured in car accidents throughout Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Missouri. Our Memphis personal injury lawyers work diligently to prepare cases so that we are ready to try them in court if settlement negotiations stall. Over the last 25+ years, we have recovered over $1 billion in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. We answer our phones 24/7 and can meet with you at any location of your choice.
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you probably have many questions about your rights and options. Here is some basic information with which you can start. Please be aware that each situation is different, however, and it is important to consult an experienced injury attorney to discuss your specific circumstances in detail.
Q: What is my case worth?
A: You may recover both economic and non-economic damages if you are able to establish liability. The amount varies depending on your tangible losses, as well as the intangible losses that naturally result from that type of harm. Economic damages may include medical costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity, household services, and vocational rehabilitation. Non-economic damages may include loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. Our firm has the resources to consult with and retain experts as needed to develop the damages portion of your case.
Q: Should I see a doctor?
A: If you are involved in an accident, you should obtain medical attention. In some cases, injuries are not immediately apparent, but it is important to be evaluated by a medical professional anyway. There may be internal injuries that you cannot see. The medical professional can advise you about whether there are any serious injuries and whether you should take time off work to rest and recover.
Q: How soon must I bring my claim?
A: The statute of limitations varies from state to state. Once you suspect that you may have been hurt due to the careless or wrongful conduct of someone else, you should immediately consult an experienced attorney to make sure that you are not prevented from bringing your claim.
Q: Can I recover compensation even if an accident was partially my fault?
A: Each state has its own comparative fault rules. Tennessee follows the rule of modified comparative negligence, for example. This means that the total damages will be determined, and percentages of liability will be assigned to each party found to be at fault. Your damages will be reduced by your percentage of responsibility. However, in Tennessee, if you were 50 percent or more responsible for the accident, you are barred from recovering compensation. This rule is also followed in Arkansas. By contrast, Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi follow the rule of pure comparative negligence, under which you may recover compensation as long as you were not completely responsible for causing the accident.
Q: Whom do I sue to recover my losses?
A: It depends on the facts surrounding your accident and the various parties whose negligence or misconduct may have contributed to your injuries. The parties you may sue include the driver, the driver's employer (if driving a commercial vehicle or on the clock), the vehicle owner, or the manufacturer of a defective auto part.
In a car accident case involving an uninsured driver or a hit and run driver, you may need to turn to your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to recover your losses. This may put you in an adversarial position against your insurer. While you are trying to establish the other driver's liability, your insurance company may be trying to establish your liability to avoid paying your damages. An experienced attorney can make a difference in your case.
Q: What do I need to prove in order to succeed?
A: What you need to prove varies depending on whom you are suing, why, and which theory of liability is being asserted. Most car accident cases revolve around negligence, which is the failure to act reasonably under the circumstances. Common forms of negligence include distracted driving, texting while driving, disregarding traffic signals, speeding, and driving while drunk or intoxicated.
In most personal injury cases, you will need to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. Generally, this means that your version of events is more likely true than not.
Q: Will I need to go to court?
A: You may need to go to court if your case does not settle. Most personal injury cases do settle eventually, but more complex cases involving multiple parties or significant injuries may take longer to resolve. In cases in which an insurer or defendant does not make a fair settlement offer, we can file suit and try your case to a jury. If your case reaches a jury trial, you probably will need to go to court to testify about what happened and the damages that you suffered as a result of the defendant's actions.
Q: What should I do if I cannot afford an attorney?
A: We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only receive our fee if we collect monetary damages on your behalf, and the fee comes out of the recovery.
Q: Should I accept a check from the driver who caused the accident or their insurer?
A: No, you should not sign a release or accept a check from someone at fault for your injuries or their insurer until you have consulted an attorney. Accepting a check may be considered a settlement that precludes you from pursuing further action against a negligent party or their insurer. In many situations, the full extent of the injuries after a serious accident is not known for months or even a year after the accident, and thus you may not know whether you need surgery or other expensive treatments right away. Some insurers offer a low-ball settlement immediately to try to avoid the potential for exposure to greater damages later. It is important to have your case evaluated by an experienced attorney before talking to an insurer.
No matter your circumstances, the Memphis car accident attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz can evaluate whether you may have a case. Our team of over 30 lawyers and 120 support staff members is committed to handling cases from start to finish. We represent injured people in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Jackson, Meridian, Tupelo, Columbus, Grenada, Starkville, Oxford, Hayti, and Caruthersville, as well as other communities in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Missouri. Contact our office toll-free by calling 800-529-4004 or by using our online form to set up a free consultation. NST is the way to go.