Knoxville Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury lawyers handle accident and personal injury cases, including car and other motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, nursing home negligence, and premises liability. Our personal injury lawyers can also guide you through workers’ compensation or Social Security claims.
Whether you experienced a serious injury or are suffering chronic pain after an accident, the lawyers at NST Law provide our clients with high-quality legal representation and have a proven track record in the greater Knoxville area. We can help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
What is a personal injury?
Personal injury law primarily falls under an area of law called tort law. Tort law involves claims seeking civil remedies, usually monetary. It applies when a negligent person or entity causes another individual or many persons harm or loss in a civil capacity.
Torts can also occur due to intentional wrongdoing, such as battery or assault. Though these types of harm are criminal, injured persons can also seek compensation civilly to cover the costs of incurred damages.
Personal injuries are relatively common in the US, with over 400,000 personal injury claims filed each year. Examples of personal injury lawsuits include:
- Car accidents: Happens due to speeding, running red lights, or texting and driving
- Slip and falls: Happens due to wet floors or uneven walking surfaces
- Defective products: Defective parts or product designs leading to consumer harm
- Defamation: False statements made by individuals or entities that harm your reputation
- Intentional acts: Assaults and batteries can result in criminal and civil liability
What is Tennessee's personal injury law?
Most Tennessee state laws dealing with personal injury claims originated from common law torts, setting the standard for proving negligence. Tennessee has a one-year statute of limitations for personal injury actions, meaning you must file your lawsuit within one year from the date your accident occurred, or the court will bar your compensation claim.
How common are accidents in Knoxville?
A total of 206,380 car crashes happened in Knoxville in 2016. In 2013, there were 1,044 total personal injury or wrongful death claims filed in Knox County courts. The average compensation award was $90,019.
Personal injury claims can involve all sorts of factual situations. For instance, a Knoxville woman filed suit against a monument company when a headstone in a cemetery fell on her hand while she was placing flowers on her brother’s grave. In a recent federal district court case, plaintiffs sought to assert a product liability action against a blanket manufacturer after a heated throw blanket caused a fire in their home, resulting in both personal injuries and property damage.
What types of claims do Knoxville personal injury lawyers handle?
Our lawyers have over 30 years of experience handling all types of personal injury claims. Each claim might vary slightly factually, but the same standard of negligence governs them all. If you can show the defendant acted unreasonably, resulting in your injuries, you can likely prevail on your claim and receive compensation to aid in your recovery.
NST Law handles the following types of personal injury claims:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Bicycle accidents
- Products liability
- Birth injuries
- Nursing home negligence
- Construction accidents
- Premises liability
- Inadequate Security
- Workers’ compensation
No matter what type of accident caused you serious injuries, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer to understand your legal rights and next steps. You can ask questions about your case at your consultation, and the attorney can evaluate your claim to ensure it meets the legal standard to file for fair compensation.
Additionally, if you lost a family member due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. We are just a phone call away to help provide you with the advice you need to determine whether you want to pursue legal action. You don’t have to go through this challenging time alone. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve to assist in your recovery or get you back on your feet financially after an injury or loss of a loved one.
How can I prove another party is responsible for my injuries?
All negligence claims involve the same four elements: duty, breach, causation, and injuries. The plaintiff must prove each of these elements with evidentiary support to prevail in a lawsuit for compensation and other civil remedies.
The elements of negligence defined are:
- Duty: You must show that the defendant owed you a duty or a responsibility to act reasonably (e.g., a driver owes other drivers on the road a duty to operate their car safely per traffic laws). There can be higher duties of care for professionals.
- Breach: You must prove the defendant breached their duty by acting unreasonably (e.g., texting and driving).
- Causation: You must show the breach of duty resulted in your injuries and that the defendant’s neglectful or wrongful conduct was the proximate cause of your injury (i.e., the defendant should have known that their breach was likely to cause harm).
- Injury: You must show that you suffered actual damages (e.g., you broke your arm and had to miss two weeks of work).
A lawyer with experience working on personal injury cases can help you prove each element and gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.
What if I'm partially at fault for the accident?
Tennessee follows a modified comparative negligence standard. This standard means that the judge or jury will determine the percentage of fault attributed to each party to the case and then reduce the amount of damages or compensatory award based on that percentage. If a jury finds that you were 30% negligent in a car accident because one of your headlights was out (and you knew about it), you will only recover 70% of your damages or total compensation awarded.
Tennessee is a 50% modified comparative negligence state, so if you were 50% or more negligent for your injuries, you aren’t eligible to recover any damages. If you’re acting negligently or recklessly, resulting in your injuries, you should not automatically expect to be able to receive compensation. Still, you should consult with an attorney before deciding whether or not to file a personal injury claim.
What are the steps involved in a personal injury claim?
To file a personal injury claim, you need to take the following steps:
- Gather essential factual evidence about the accident: Try to collect evidentiary support to answer who was involved, when it happened, the time of day it happened, weather and road conditions present, admissions or finding of at-fault parties, etc.
- Gather supporting evidence to establish your case further: After you’ve formulated your claims based on the facts of your case, collect tangible evidentiary support in the form of: witness testimonies (who saw the accident happen?); medical records (showing your injuries, including the extent of harm and short- and long-term prognoses); and expert testimonies (especially helpful in medical malpractice cases or more complicated accident cases)
- File your claim with the insurance company: You might ask for reimbursement from your insurance company, or a personal injury attorney can draft and send a demand letter to the negligent driver’s insurance company to cover your damages.
- Negotiate a settlement: Your lawyer can guide discussions with the insurance companies to decide on fair compensation. Insurance providers typically try to offer the lowest payment possible or deny your claim altogether, protecting their bottom line and best interests. A lawyer can help you push for the total compensation you deserve.
- File a complaint: Filing your complaint containing the facts of your case, allegations, and requests, initiates your lawsuit. Most cases settle, but sometimes there’s no resolution until you go to trial.
- Proceed to trial: Several processes lead up to trial, including discovery and additional negotiations with the opposing party and their counsel. Depending on the strength of your case, your lawyer will know whether to accept an offer for settlement or proceed to trial. Ultimately, you are in control of the outcome before your case goes in front of a judge or jury. Still, your lawyer can provide you with valuable advice and make you aware of your options and possible end scenarios. A trial can take several days of entering evidence and calling multiple witnesses to support your case. Your personal injury attorney has a good idea of the value of your case and will fight for fair compensation.
What evidence do I need to support my personal injury claim?
Your personal injury lawyer needs evidence to build a strong case for you. They can help you determine what information is helpful and assist you in obtaining medical records, police reports, and other evidentiary support for your claim.
You can assist your attorney by gathering or retaining the following documents:
- Medical records to show the injuries you suffered due to the defendant’s negligent acts
- Medical bills and expenses, providing a dollar amount to attach to your injuries
- Work records to help support a claim of lost wages from missed work due to hospital stays, doctor’s visits, rehabilitation appointments, or recovery
- Proof of future lost income, showing how much money you could have earned if the accident hadn’t happened, such as if you need to take a prolonged leave of absence, forced reassignment, or you cannot return to work altogether due to your injuries or permanent disability
Do I need to hire a Knoxville personal injury attorney?
Yes. Navigating the personal injury claim process is extremely difficult without the advice and guidance of an attorney. A Knoxville personal injury law firm can help you decide what evidence you need for the case, what witnesses you need to contact, and handle any third-party correspondence for you. Your attorney will know how to calculate the worth of your claim, discuss settlement proposals with insurance companies, and follow the court rules and processes to get you the compensation you deserve.
How much is my claim worth?
It’s difficult to estimate how much your claim is worth because every claim is different and based on specific factual circumstances. Your claim’s value depends on a variety of factors, including:
Physical injuries: The more severe your injuries, the more the potential worth of your claim
Medical bills: A week-long trip to the ICU will produce higher medical expenses and thereby a potentially higher payout than a quick visit to the hospital for minor injuries. It’s important to maintain medical records and reports to support your claim.
Future medical expenses: An accident that leads to a permanent injury often involves substantial future medical expenses that will likely increase your claim’s total value.
Lost wages: If you have to miss work due to your injuries and recovery, you can ask for compensation to cover your lost wages.
Future lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from returning to work long-term or permanently, it’s likely your claim will increase based on your loss of earning potential.
Pain and suffering and other non-economic or emotional damages: If your accident was particularly emotionally scarring, you might be entitled to additional compensation. Also, if you lose a loved one to an accident, you can often recover compensation for the emotional effects of your loss.
How long do I have to file my personal injury claim in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is one year, meaning you must initiate a lawsuit within one year from the date the accident occurred to receive compensation. Missing the deadline can lead to a judge barring your ability to sue. You should contact a Tennessee personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to understand your legal rights and ensure you file all documents on time.
How will my personal injury attorney get paid for handling my case?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless you do. If you prevail on your claim, our personal injury attorneys at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz are paid based on a percentage of your final settlement or verdict. Per this fee arrangement, you don’t need to pay any attorney’s fees until you win, eliminating one more thing you have to worry about during this stressful time.
You might need to pay court costs, including filing fees, deposition costs, and expert witness fees. These fees vary case-by-case. Your attorney will discuss any costs with you when you hire our firm to represent you.
When should I contact an experienced personal injury law firm?
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident. The statute of limitations starts the day of your accident, so time is of the essence, with only one year to file your lawsuit.
A personal injury attorney can help you file your insurance claim to get you the compensation you need for your recovery. Contact the legal team at NST Law today for a free initial consultation and legal advice. We deliver honest, transparent, and dedicated legal representation to our clients.