Best Car Accident Lawyers Memphis, TN Of 2024 – Forbes

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Filing a lawsuit is not always required to recover losses after an accident in Memphis, Tennessee. You can often resolve your claim simply through the other driver’s insurance. However, there are certain situations where initiating a lawsuit might make sense, such as when the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement that aligns with the value of your case.

In the following sections, we provide you with important information regarding crucial deadlines, car accident laws, fault assignment and guidance on finding a reputable car accident attorney in Tennessee if you do decide to sue for damages.

Tennessee Statute of Limitations

After a car wreck, Tennessee’s statute of limitations restricts your time to bring a car accident injury lawsuit against the other driver (or another liable party) or their insurance company to just 1 year. The court can render your claim invalid if you attempt to commence a civil action after this deadline.

However, there are a few exceptions to this one-year rule:

  • Victim is a minor or mentally incompetent: The timeframe for filing a lawsuit changes a little if the victim is a minor. In such cases, they are granted a year from their 18th birthday to bring a civil claim. Similarly, if the victim is mentally impaired and incapable of making sound decisions, the Tennessee court will halt the statute of limitations until they’ve recovered from their disability. Subsequently, the victim will have a year from that date to bring a claim.
  • Wrongful death: If the car accident victim has died from their injuries, eligible family members—typically the spouse, surviving children or parent—are granted a year from the date of death to file a lawsuit.
  • Property damage: If your vehicle or personal belongings were damaged in the crash, you have a three-year window from the accident date to seek compensation for repair or replacement.

Tennessee Laws for Car Drivers

Similar to other states, Tennessee requires drivers to carry car insurance with the minimum coverage limits. This is helpful to cover any losses in case you’re involved in an accident where you’re at fault. To meet the requirements, you must have an auto insurance policy with the following minimum limits:

  • $25,000 for each injury or death per accident
  • $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

However, you are not legally obligated to maintain the insurance if the car is stored or doesn’t work. Unless you fit the exemption, failing to carry the necessary insurance can result in fines or the loss of your driving privileges.

If the car accident resulted in an injury or property damage, Tennessee law requires you to stay at or near the crash site, exchange identifying information with the other driver(s) and wait for the authorities to arrive. You also must file an accident report within 20 days if any of the following conditions apply:

  • There was a death or personal injury involved
  • The property damage exceeds $1,500
  • There was damage to state or local government property amounting to over $400

Identifying Fault for a Car Crash

Tennessee is a fault state—the driver, or another party, that is found at fault for the crash will be required to pay for any resulting damages. This generally means the insurance carrier of the one at fault will be liable to cover the losses up to the policy limits.

If your case goes to court, the jury will evaluate all evidence and decide who is responsible for the accident. Even if the other driver bears the majority of the blame, you may still hold some liability. So how does your portion of the blame affect how much money you collect?

Under Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence rule, you still receive compensation, granted that your share of liability is under 50%. The money you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. So, if the court finds that the whole spectrum of losses you have incurred totals $50,000 and the jury assigns 20% fault to you, then you will be eligible to collect $40,000 of the total award.

The car accident lawyer in Memphis you work with will play a crucial role in minimizing your liability in the crash before the insurance adjuster, judge or jury. This way, you retain as much of the total award compensation as possible.

How Can a Memphis Car Accident Attorney Help You?

While the exact services a lawyer provides will depend on your case’s complexity and type, here’s a general view of how a lawyer will help:

  • Review police reports, photographs, medical records and other pieces of evidence to identify fault and the full range of losses you’re facing
  • Build a compelling evidence-backed case
  • Communicate with the at-fault driver’s insurance and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf
  • Represent you in court, if necessary
  • Keep you updated about the progress of your case and address any concerns

Car accident cases can quickly compound in complexity when commercial vehicles, government entities or corporations are involved. Multiple parties may share liabilities in these situations, making the legal process much more convoluted. With a Memphis car accident lawyer managing your case, you can have peace of mind knowing that they will handle all the necessary procedures and save you from the chaos of dealing with multiple insurance companies independently.

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