Automobile accidents are the most common type of personal injury case filed in the United States. The attorneys at The Sexton Law Firm are seasoned Knoxville personal injury attorneys and can help you if you are the victim of an auto accident in Knoxville or Eastern Tennessee.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a vehicle accident occurs every ten seconds in the United States. In 2005, there were 6,000,000 auto accidents in the United States, resulting in 43,443 deaths and 2,699,000 injuries. For more information on common accident injuries, see our injury information page.
Causes of Auto Accidents
- Distracted drivers
- Intoxicated drivers
- Reckless driving
- Defective vehicle components
- Improper road design or maintenance
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, there are important steps you should take in addition to contacting a competent personal injury attorney. They include:
- Calling local law enforcement
- Calling your insurance carrier
- Getting the driver’s license number, contact and insurance information of the other driver(s) involved
- Getting contact information of any witnesses
- Visiting the emergency room of a local hospital and/or contacting your physician
- Attending all scheduled medical appointments. Insurance companies sometimes seek to reduce compensation if the insured has missed medical appointments, and therefore, failed to mitigate damages
- Taking photographs of the damage to your automobile before any repairs are made
- Taking photographs of skid marks, debris, traffic signals and overall road conditions at the scene of the accident
- Keeping track of the number of days missed from work
- Keeping records of any additional expenses incurred, including medical
Insurance Coverage Information for Automobile Accidents
Although Tennessee does not mandate liability insurance for driver’s licenses or car registrations, residents do have to comply with Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Laws. Under the Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 55-12-139, if a driver is involved in an auto accident where notice is required, such as accidents involving property damage of fifty dollars or more, the Knoxville police officer will request evidence of financial responsibility. If a person fails to provide proof of financial responsibility, he or she can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of no more than one hundred dollars.
Tennessee law requires the following minimum amount of liability insurance coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons in any one accident
- $15,000 for damage to property for one accident
Other types of insurance coverage include:
- Medical Payment Coverage, also known as “med-pay” or “personal injury protection (PIP)”, covers the insured driver and his or her passengers for payment for injuries sustained, regardless of the fault of the driver
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects you against a negligent driver who does not have liability insurance coverage, or has coverage that is inadequate to fully compensate you for your damages
- Collision and Comprehensive Coverage covers the repair or replacement of your own automobile after an accident, regardless of who is at fault
Auto Accidents Largely Caused by Negligence
Under the law of negligence, automobile drivers are under a duty to use reasonable care to any foreseeable victim when operating a vehicle. If the driver fails to use reasonable care, this failure can be the basis of a lawsuit for damages caused by an automobile accident.
Factors Used to Prove Negligence:
- Inattentiveness of driver to other motorists
- Driving too fast or too slow for the prevailing conditions
- Disregarding weather, road or traffic conditions
- Failure to observe traffic signs or signals
In Tennessee, there is a statute of limitations, or time limit on when certain legal causes of actions can be filed in court. With regard to personal injury suits, such as auto accident lawsuits, a person generally has one year from the time of the injury date to file a personal injury claim. To view the applicable statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Tennessee, please read §28-3-104(a)(1) of the Tennessee Code.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident in Knox County it can be a traumatic experience. It is important to act promptly in order to preserve not only evidence, but the integrity of your legal claim.
The attorneys at The Sexton Law Firm are experienced in this area of law and have the respected reputation you can count on.
We can assist you with all of the required legal paperwork to file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations. For your convenience, we have offices in Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville and Maryville.
To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys call us toll free at (865) 691-7900, or fill out the quick contact form.