Suing After A Car Accident
Being in a car accident can be both confusing and frustrating for a victim. In fact, someone does not necessarily need to be injured to suffer damages and losses. Is it possible to sue the at-fault party if you were not hurt? Is it still worth suing after car accident if the victim only suffered property damage? Filing a lawsuit may be necessary to maximize compensation. It is not uncommon for insurance companies in Tennessee to refuse to pay accident victims an adequate amount of money to repair or replace their damaged vehicles. However, suing following a car crash can be complicated, which is why victims may want to consider consulting with a car accident attorney to help navigate the process. The attorneys at Labrum Law may be able to help determine if it makes sense to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Consider calling (615) 338-9500 today to schedule a consultation.
Can You Sue the At-Fault Party if You Were Not Hurt?
Yes, victims have a right to file a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused their car accident, even if they were not injured in the crash. In Tennessee, victims of car accidents can sue the at-fault party even if they were not physically hurt in the accident. By filing a lawsuit, victims can pursue compensation for the cost of repairing their damaged vehicle, the cost of replacing a totaled vehicle, out-of-pocket expenses, and other losses.
Suing after a car accident might make sense when the at-fault party's insurance company refuses to settle their claim for a fair amount. In these situations, victims can move forward with filing a lawsuit to obtain the compensation to which they may be entitled.
How Long Do You Have to Sue the At-Fault Party After a Tennessee Car Accident?
Tennessee law imposes a time limit, also known as the statute of limitations, for personal injury and property damage claims after car accidents. Under Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) § 28-3-104, injured victims have one year after the date of the accident to sue the at-fault party for their injury and related damages.
However, victims who were not injured in a crash have three years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in Tennessee's civil court system pursuant to TCA § 28-3-105.
The Danger of Not Suing After Car Accident
While three years or even one year might seem like “plenty of time” to sue the negligent party, waiting too long could jeopardize your claim. The longer you wait following the car crash, the less likely it is to secure maximum financial compensation. Victims who miss the deadline to file a lawsuit after the crash may be barred from recovering any compensation at all. Consider contacting a knowledgeable attorney to launch an investigation into the accident and represent your best interests throughout the legal process.
At Labrum Law, our experienced car accident attorneys in Tennessee represent victims of motor vehicle accidents and help them pursue the compensation they deserve.
Recoverable Damages in a Lawsuit After a Car Crash in Tennessee
When it comes to recovering compensation through a lawsuit after a car accident, damages awarded may be comprised of three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
- Economic damages are intended to reimburse a victim for the financial losses related to their injury and/or accident. These damages include medical expenses, loss of income, property damage, and others.
- Non-economic damages are relatively subjective damages that account for the victim's emotional distress, suffering, pain, and other types of intangible losses.
- Punitive damages are awarded to car accident victims who can prove that the at-fault party acted recklessly, intentionally, maliciously, or fraudulently pursuant to TCA § 29-39-104.
Consider speaking with a knowledgeable attorney to review your specific case and calculate adequate compensation for your damages and losses related to a car crash.
Settling vs. Suing After a Car Accident
Only five percent of personal injury cases in Tennessee and across the United States actually go to trial. Most victims and their attorneys prefer to settle claims pre-trial because doing so is a less expensive and faster way to obtain compensation.
In many cases, insurance companies make settlement offers within hours or days after the car accident. However, victims may want to consider speaking with an experienced attorney prior to accepting the offer from an insurance company. Insurers are not interested in settling claims for the amount victims deserve. In that case, suing after a car accident might make sense for victims to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve under the law.
Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney to Sue the At-Fault Party?
Legally, no person needs to hire a car accident attorney. However, an experienced car accident attorney will assist a victim the following ways:
- Investigate the accident
- Collect evidence to build a strong case
- Negotiate with insurance companies on the victim's behalf
- Provide legal advice throughout the case
- Represent your best interests in court if you move forward with filing a lawsuit
An experienced personal injury attorney can review the victim's specific case and determine the all of the different legal options.
Is It Worth Suing After a Car Accident in Tennessee?
As experienced and reputable car accident attorneys in Tennessee, our legal team hears this question on a regular basis. However, each case is unique, which is why determining whether it is worth suing the at-fault party after a car crash requires a detailed investigation of the crash and a thorough understanding of many legal issues. Victims may want to consider contacting Labrum Law for help with concerns related to their car accident. Schedule a free case review with our attorneys for answers to any questions or further legal guidance. Victims can call (615) 338-9500 if they are considering suing after a car accident in Tennessee and need help.