If you have been injured in a car accident in Tennessee, it is critical to determine the clear fault of the accident in order to collect the financial damages you may be entitled to. One of the Memphis car accident attorneys from our firm can assist you in pursuing those damages, either through a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or through a personal injury lawsuit.
There are many firms that have been helping victims obtain the damages they deserve and will work diligently to get you the best results based on the circumstances of your case.
Who pays for damages in a car accident?
The majority of car accidents have factors that the insurance company may try to use against the victim in order to reduce the financial compensation of the claim or reject it entirely. Before settlement negotiations can really begin between your attorney and the insurance company, fault for the accident must be established.
How is fault determined?
Car accident attorneys in Memphis examine different aspects of the crash to prove that fault. One way is to see if any traffic laws were broken by the other party. If there is a police report on the accident that describes that violation, as well as any citation the at-fault driver received, that is very strong evidence of fault that will likely not be able to be disputed by the driver’s insurance company.
If for some reason no police report was written up, then it will be up to the attorney and insurance adjuster to make that determination. In some cases, there may even be an accident reconstruction to help bolster the victim’s case.
What if both drivers were somewhat at fault?
There may be accidents where both parties were guilty of some type of traffic violation, however, only one of the party’s actions actually caused the crash. For example, if the victim’s brake lights were not working, but the accident was a T-bone crash because the other driver ran a stop sign, then the brake light malfunction would not be an issue in the car accident claim.
However, if the brake lights were not working and the accident was a rear-end collision, an accident reconstruction could show mitigating circumstances. For example, if the other driver had been speeding when he or she rear-ended the victim’s car, then both parties may be at fault. In these types of cases, comparative negligence may apply.
What is comparative negligence?
Comparative negligence is a principle that many states use that says when there is an accident, the fault of each party is based on how much each party’s actions contributed to the accident. Whatever percentage of fault is assigned to the victim is the percentage that will be deducted from the final amount of settlement or award. For instance, a car accident victim is found to be 30 percent at fault for the crash. A jury awards them $100,000 for their injuries, but 30 percent – or $30,000 – would be deducted from that amount.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call Patterson Bray PLLC to speak with one of our Memphis car accident attorneys and find out what legal recourse you may have.