Nashville, TN Personal Injury Lawyer
By virtue of their name, people rarely cause accidents with malintent. In most cases, accidents that occur in daily life are small incidents that we can easily forgive and forget. However, not all accidents are negligible in this way. Some accidents cause serious harm to others, even if injury was not intended. Though negligence is a valid reason for causing an incident, it does not make the act excusable or forgettable. Serious injuries caused by accidents can come with life-changing ramifications, impacting an individual’s body and mind in an unforgettable way.
When you sustain serious injury caused by the negligence of a third-party, you might wonder what your options are in recovering for the numerous damages resulting from the incident. During a time that can be high in emotion, it benefits some individuals to seek the aid of a professional that can help them seek compensation for their damages. Nashville personal injury lawyers accomplish this task. With our clients at the center of our practice, we help those that seek to recover costs for accident-related damages, while allowing them to recover physically and emotionally in the process.
What Does It Mean to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit claims that an individual, or entity, caused the plaintiff’s injury by neglecting to fulfill their duty of care. When filing a claim for a personal injury-related accident, the plaintiff must provide evidence to prove the guilt of the defendant. This burden of proof is present in all personal injury cases, no matter the cause. Furthermore, each case possesses the same characteristics based in negligence law.
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. This means they owed a responsibility to act or provide services/products in a safe way that prevents injury.
- The defendant breached this duty of care. This point references the defendant’s negligent behavior.
- The defendant’s breach in duty directly caused the accident that injured the plaintiff.
- The plaintiff sustained verifiable injuries and/or damages from the accident.
When seeking legal recourse, you assume the responsibility of proving that this sequence of events occurred. This can be extremely intimidating for individuals who might not be familiar with the legal process or know where to start in gathering evidence. In this context, a Nashville personal injury attorney can expertly guide you through the investigation process.
Can I File a Claim?
In all cases of personal injury, you possess the ability to file a claim. However, it is wise to utilize a free consultation with one of Tennessee’s personal injury lawyers to determine how successful your case is likely to be. Tennessee operates under modified comparative negligence/fault laws, which holds each party involved in an accident responsible for their own role in causing it. The “modified” portion of this references the inability to file a claim if a plaintiff is responsible for more than 49% of the incident. In this case, the individual is liable to cover the other party’s damages if they sustained injury.
For example, if you sustained injury via medical procedure, the physician/hospital is assumedly responsible. However, if you manipulated or tried to treat the issue on your own, you set yourself for receiving a portion of blame if consequences, like infection, occur. Though you might still qualify to press charges, any action you take that contributes to your own injuries is reflected in your fault rating.
When Should I File?
You should file as soon as possible. Tennessee’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is one year. Though you can file on the very last day of this time period, this is not wise.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer is an individual that possesses a wealth of knowledge in personal injury law. Many of Nashville’s skilled lawyers have years of experience in handling a wide array of different cases for their clients. Lawyers provide invaluable counsel during the legal process while also granting access to resources and services during investigation.
- Witness interviewing
- Evidence gathering/examination
- Expert witness testimony
- Examination of the accident scene
- Help in completing and filing your claim forms
- Examination of damages to estimate a settlement figure
- Assistance during your settlement negotiation
- Their team of assistants and/or paralegals
Lawyers possess a huge array of tools for claimants to utilize during their case, all while explaining how to use these tools.
What Damages Can I Claim?
After examining your evidence, a lawyer can help you estimate a fair settlement figure based on your damages. You can claim some potential damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
- Immediate medical bills – This includes costs associated with emergency services, physician examination, surgery, and treatment.
- Recurring medical bills – This includes costs associated with prescription medication, physical therapy, and other necessary medical equipment.
- Lost wages accrued during the recovery process
- Therapy/family therapy
- Diminished ability to earn wages (if disabled) – This applies to individuals whose injuries caused chronic consequences that impacted their ability to continue their previous job.
- Accommodations to your home/car (if disabled)
- Substitute services (if disabled) – Substitute services provide house-hold aid for those who cannot execute their responsibilities or take care of young children.
- Funeral services, in cases of wrongful death
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (loss of a loved one), in cases of wrongful death
A lawyer dissects your case to determine what damages you can rightfully claim, incorporating each form of damage into your projected settlement figure.
The Settlement Process
Thus far, your experienced Nashville personal injury attorney has helped you build your case and determine which damages you qualify to claim. However, their job does not stop there, as an attorney is a critical part of the mediation process. When you file your claim with your local small claims court, your case does not immediately stand trial. All courts offer the plaintiff and defendant an opportunity to take part in mediation.
Mediation is often a preferred method of settling a lawsuit for both parties. Not only are the results of the mediation private, but both parties have the opportunity to negotiate rather than rest at the mercy of the judge/jury.
Dealing with insurance claims adjusters
When you receive any form of contact from the other party, it is likely through their insurance claims adjusters. Many personal injury cases deal directly with the defendant’s insurance company, as they are the entity that will pay your settlement. Because of this, claims adjusters often try to take advantage of the plaintiff filing the lawsuit.
One slick trick that they use is immediately posing an offer to the plaintiff quite quickly into the negotiation process. This first offer is usually low compared to the settlement offer that the claims adjusters know you could potentially, fairly, ask for. Unsuspecting plaintiffs often take the bait, leaving the table with much less money than they could have recovered.
A Nashville personal injury lawyer solves this problem by advising their clients on the different guidelines and tips associated with settlement negotiation. Moreover, they can go to mediation with you. This means you have a reliable source of support that can guide the negotiation in a way that ultimately results in a fair settlement. A skilled lawyer prevents insurance companies from bullying you out of a settlement that accurately reflects your damages.
Your Case on Trial
If neither party concedes during mediation, you can choose to bring your court to trial. The hearing process is stricter than mediation in that you must abide by courtroom etiquette and rules. Before attending your hearing, you attorney will provide information about what to say, or not say, during the trial.
Your lawyer provides invaluable service during a hearing by representing you. This means they present your evidence, appeal to the jury, and call witnesses to the stand. Your lawyer is your number one source of support in this situation.
Why Choose Us?
Our firm focuses on those that need our help the most. Larry R. Williams, PLLC enlists the aid of competent, quality legal representatives that know how to fight for your cause. Our firm has received accolades for being one of the highest rated legal knowledge, experience, and the ability to communicate effectively.
Each lawyer at our firm puts maximum effort into providing friendly, yet productive services to their clients. Without acknowledging the human aspect of what we do, our firm would not be nearly as successful. Client testimony has expressed our penchant for giving those that seek our help a compassionate, stress-free experience.
Combining compassion with our passion for effectively navigating the legal process, Larry R. Williams, PLLC has worked through some significantly successful cases. One such case involved a Wilson County resident, injured in a loading dock accident overseas. After working with several different liability and health-related insurers, we help this client secure a settlement of their case.
Addressing the aftermath of an accident is stressful on the best of days. Addressing the aftermath of an accident alone compounds this stress because it adds an immense amount of work to your plate. Topped with the need to treat your injuries/recover, and the consequences an accident can become too much to handle. In some cases, would-be plaintiffs simply choose not to pursue any legal action because it’s easier.
Contact Us Today
However, Nashville’s premier personal injury lawyers urge you push through the initial “what do I do?” moments. When you contact our attorneys even just for a free consultation, you open yourself up to an extensive tool cabinet that could help you recover for your damages. Hiring a lawyer not only removes the burden of doing the heavy lifting in your case, but it also gives you the chance to recover your body and mind while seeking compensation at the same time.