Car Accidents

Can I Be Compensated for Lost Income After a Car Accident?

When you suffer physical injuries in a car accident, recovering from the wreck takes top priority. However, the more serious your injuries, the longer you will have to take off from work. While you may have some paid sick leave available, what happens when you use up all of your days? What if you are self-employed and do not have a paid sick leave account? 

Car crash victims can be compensated for lost income after a car accident. If you find yourself struggling financially while recovering from your injuries, OEB Law, PLLC, can help. Our attorneys will help you file a car accident claim for your monetary losses and hold the party who was at fault for the wreck responsible for your losses. You may file a claim for your lost wages in addition to your medical bills and pain and suffering. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Proof Do I Need to Show My Lost Income?

We recommend contacting your employer to obtain proof of your income either by providing copies of paycheck stubs or other documents that show:

  • Your hourly or biweekly wages;
  • The amount of income you lost since your accident;
  • The amount of income you expect to lose; and
  • Bonuses, commissions, overtime, or promotions you lost or expect to lose.

You can also obtain a written statement from your doctor detailing when your treatment began and when—or if—your doctor expects you to be able to return to work.

What If I Am Self-Employed?

Independent contractors, freelancers, and sole proprietors may find it more difficult to prove lost wages because they receive payment by the job or project and typically do not have paycheck stubs to show proof of income. However, you can show proof by obtaining:

  • Copies of 1099 forms;
  • Your previous year’s tax returns; or
  • Any outstanding or paid invoices.

You may also use signed contracts promising future delivery of services that you cannot perform because of your injury. Documents detailing any work you were doing before the accident occurred—but now cannot complete—can also strengthen your claim.

How Can I Get Compensation From the At-Fault Driver?

If the at-fault driver has automobile insurance—which Tennessee requires all vehicle owners to have—we can file a claim on your behalf with the driver’s insurance company. Before filing a claim, however, we need to ask you for details about your accident and your injuries, such as:  

  • What type of injuries did you sustain?
  • How long have you been off from work?
  • How much longer does your doctor project you will be off from work?
  • Do your injuries prevent you from working in the same capacity once you return to your job?
  • How much damage did the accident do to your car?

These and other questions will help us determine the value of your claim.

What If the At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Car Insurance?

If you were in a crash with an uninsured driver, you can file a claim for compensation with your own auto insurance company—if you purchased Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Tennessee law requires insurance companies to offer UM coverage, but policyholders can reject this in writing if they choose. UM covers lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Should I File a Lawsuit Instead of an Insurance Claim?

Prior to filing a lawsuit, we would first negotiate a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. We will not only stand up to the auto insurer to get compensation for your lost income, but also for your medical bills, physical or occupational therapies, assistive medical devices, and other damages.

If the auto insurer refuses to budge from a low settlement offer or denies the compensation you deserve, we will file a lawsuit to get you payment for your lost income and other accident-related expenses.

How Long Do I Have to Take Legal Action?

In Tennessee, you have one year from the date of your car accident to claim injury. It takes time to gather evidence to develop a strong claim. That is why we recommend you contact one of our attorneys as soon as possible after your car crash. We stand ready to begin the claims process as soon as you decide to take legal action.

How Can I Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer About My Claim?

The car accident attorneys at OEB Law, PLLC, are ready to help you recover your lost income after a crash. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay for our services unless we achieve a successful outcome for your case. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a complimentary legal consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

Car Accidents

Do You Need A Lawyer To Fill Out Plaintiff List Of Exhibits?

You legally do not need a lawyer to fill out a plaintiff’s list of exhibits, because you are not required to have a lawyer to file and execute a lawsuit in civil court. But you have a substantially higher chance of succeeding in your case with an attorney representing you.

The legal process is complex and has many potential pitfalls for a person to navigate on their own with any reasonable chance of a positive outcome. Even the best, most highly trained attorneys in the world almost never serve as their own lawyer. If you are in the process of filing a lawsuit against a person or business, or are considering doing so, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney first.

What Is a Plaintiff’s List of Exhibits?

Before a trial begins, each side, the plaintiff and the defendant, is required to disclose the evidence they plan to present to the court in support of their claim. Each piece of evidence is an exhibit. The list of pieces of evidence presented is an “exhibit list.”

State Laws on Disclosing Exhibits Vary

The reason both parties must disclose exhibits is so that the other side can review them and prepare appropriate responses for each. If a plaintiff or defendant fails to disclose an exhibit within a certain number of days of the trial—the number varies by state—the exhibit is normally inadmissible.

As appropriate, plaintiffs and defendants may add exhibits to their original list, including after the trial has begun. These additions are supplements.

A plaintiff’s list of exhibits, then, is simply a catalog of evidence that the plaintiff plans to use at trial to back up their claim that the defendant is culpable for some act.

What Items Might Appear on a Plaintiff’s List of Exhibits?

Many items could potentially appear on your plaintiff’s list of exhibits. They can vary a great deal based on the nature of the case and the accusations you are making against the defendant.

If you are suing over a car accident your list of exhibits will look different over other areas of the law. A list of exhibits for a car accident case might include:

  • Police reports
  • Pictures of your car
  • Statements from bystanders who witnessed the accident
  • Cell phone records showing that the defendant was distracted when they caused the accident.

As a general rule, the more evidence you can show the court in support of your claims—within reason, as it needs to be relevant and back up your statements—the stronger your case will be. A robust plaintiff’s list of exhibits, then, is often a critical component of a successful lawsuit.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me File a Plaintiff’s List of Exhibits?

When it comes to filing your plaintiff’s list of exhibits, a lawyer can help in several ways. First, and perhaps most important, a knowledgeable attorney can determine exactly what pieces of evidence you need to present at trial. You should never underestimate the importance of gathering the right evidence for your case.

Even the order in which you present this evidence can be pivotal to the outcome of your case. To get it right, you need a lawyer who focuses on cases like yours and who has a track record of fighting and winning them.

A Lawyer Can Minimize Errors

A lawyer can also help you with all the paperwork and minutiae that goes along with filing a lawsuit. Though the process might sound simple—gather your evidence, write it all out in a list, and submit it to the court by a certain date—it rarely is.

Judges can be very picky about how you submit your documents to the court. If you make a mistake, leave something out, or get confused about a deadline it may delay your trial. The worst-case scenario is it can sink it. A lawyer can help you avoid falling prey to these pitfalls.

To Schedule a Free Consultation With an Attorney to Discuss Your Case, OEB Law, PLLC, at 1-865-546-1111

At the OEB Law, PLLC, we fight aggressively for the rights of our clients. No matter what issue you are facing, we want to help. To schedule a free consultation to meet with one of our team members, call us today at 1-865-546-1111.


What To Expect In A Deposition For Car Accident

A deposition is recorded testimony that either a plaintiff or defendant delivers before a Tennessee lawsuit goes to trial. The person delivering the deposition — or deponent — is under oath as if it were taking place in a courtroom. It can be nerve-wracking but you can protect yourself by knowing what to expect in a deposition for a car accident.

Why do I need to give a deposition?

If there is a lawsuit after a car accident, it is likely that the facts of the case are in dispute. So each party’s account of what happened is an important part of determining who ends up paying damages and in what amount.

An attorney may ask other people with knowledge of the accident to provide depositions as well, including passengers in either of the vehicles or law enforcement officers who responded to the crash.

These depositions allow the judge and/or jury to determine exactly how the accident happened without relying on one person’s account of the accident. Plus, since all deposed parties are under oath, they will likely give the full, true account of what occurred.

Where does a deposition take place?

There is no specific place where depositions must happen. They will typically occur in an office of one of the lawyers involved in the case or some other, more neutral place. In cases in which a deponent resides a great distance away, the attorneys will likely make some other accommodation, such as videoconferencing.

Even though depositions do not take place in a courtroom, a court reporter will most likely be on hand to record the testimony in a transcript. Sometimes the attorney will make an audio or video recording of the deposition.

What should I do if I have to give a deposition?

Preparation is key. In most lawsuits, the plaintiff’s and defendant’s depositions will form the basis for arguments, settlements, or jury decisions in a car accident lawsuit, so you should take it seriously. While your lawyer will do the legal prep work, there are a few things you can do on your own:

  • Get some sleep: Depending on the number of questions the other side has, depositions can last hours. To prevent yourself from saying something that will jeopardize your case, make sure you are well-rested.
  • Watch what you wear: While a deposition is less formal than a court appearance, you should still consider the impression you make. Do not wear jeans, a t-shirt, or flip flops.
  • Remember that you will be under oath: Think of the deposition as exactly what you would say in court if you are on the witness stand. If an account of the accident at trial differs from the contents of a deposition, the other attorney will point this out in cross-examination, and it can irreparably harm the case.

What should I expect during questioning?

In most cases where there are depositions, the plaintiff’s attorney will question the defendant, and the defendant’s attorney will question the plaintiff. Whichever side you are on, your attorney will be present.

In a car accident lawsuit, the purpose of the deposition is to reconstruct the incident in as much detail as possible, but also to provide context.

Expect seemingly unrelated questions. The other attorney probably will ask about your family life and occupation and also if you have a criminal background or have been involved in similar accidents before.

The other person’s attorney will ask you to provide as much information as you can recall about the accident. If you cannot remember certain details, it is OK to admit this. It is also OK to ask the attorney to clarify a question you do not understand.

You should also be prepared to explain how the accident has affected your quality of life, so the court will understand what damages you might deserve to receive.

Should I lie in my deposition if I think it will make my case stronger?

This should go without saying, but absolutely not. Always tell the truth, but err on the side of saying less, not more. The more you talk during a deposition, the more you might risk contradicting yourself, even if it’s not on purpose.

If the question has a yes or no answer, simply say yes or no and do not elaborate on this answer. Never use the word “because.” This can lead to follow-up questioning you would prefer to avoid. Do not try to anticipate additional questions.

How should I act during the deposition?

If your case goes to trial, your demeanor while testifying can influence how a jury interprets the facts of the case. The attorneys for both sides will decide on the basis of your deposition whether calling you to the stand in a trial would be a good idea.

Even when you are telling the truth, a jury might not believe you if your answers or body language are distracting or unconvincing. It is important to remain calm and keep your answers succinct. Talking more than necessary could signal a jury that you are nervous, which can hurt your case.

Do I have to give a deposition?

There is no law forcing you to give a deposition in a lawsuit if you do not want to. However, if you refuse, a judge may dismiss your case.

Since a judge or jury’s perception can be a major factor in deciding car accident cases, it will not look good if you are unwilling to submit to a sworn deposition before the case goes to trial.

Get help from a Knoxville car accident attorney today.

A Knoxville car accident attorney will know how to prepare you for every step of your case, including the deposition. For a free case consultation, contact OEB Law, PLLC at 865-546-1111.

Car Accidents

What you can do after car accident

Everyone wants to stay safe on the roads and should take all possible precautions to make sure that happens. However, if a car accident does happen to you, you may suffer personal injury with your vehicle sustaining damage. If so, there are key things that you will want to consider when looking at how to move forward.

What You Can Do After Being Involved in a Car Accident

  1. In some cases, depending in part on the type of vehicles that were involved, you may need to demonstrate that no negligence on your part was involved. The other driver may be clearly at fault, but if you are shown to have been negligent in some measure, the damages awarded to you can be reduced by a corresponding degree. For example, if you are viewed as having been 25 percent at fault, the award to you for damages may be reduced by 25 percent.
  • Another consideration is how much insurance coverage the driver of the other vehicle has. Even if they are 100 percent at fault, they may be uninsured or underinsured. Either case will make collecting damages more challenging, but that by no way means impossible.

Of course, it will be very important for you to comprehensively document all the injuries that you suffer and all the damage that your vehicle sustains, keeping clear and specific records. Those records serve in turn as a clear paper trail on which to base your claim for damages. They may include photographs of yourself and your passengers, assessments from doctors in regards to personal injuries.

The experienced attorneys at OEB Law, PLLC can help you map out exactly what you will need so a solid personal injury may be filed on your behalf. If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, contact us today at (865) 546-1111.

Source:, “What to do after getting involved in a car accident” Sep. 09, 2014

Car Accidents General Motorcycle Accidents Truck Accidents

Are Car Accident Settlements Taxable?

Do I have to pay taxes on my car accident settlement?

Yes and no, some portions of a car accident settlement are taxable. Whether you pay taxes depends on what type of damage awards you received in the settlement. For example, you may have to pay taxes on a settlement for your lost wages.

However, you do not have to pay taxes on certain damages you recovered in your car accident settlement. For instance, if you suffered a physical injury in the car accident, you will not have to pay taxes for the compensation you recovered for medical bills. Additionally, you may not have to pay taxes on a settlement amount that reimburses you for repairing or replacing your car.

Taxes on a Judgment From a Court vs. an Insurance Settlement

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not distinguish between a settlement negotiated with an auto insurance company and a judgment rendered in a jury trial for a car accident lawsuit. The IRS looks at what you received the compensation for, not the way you received compensation.

Taxable Parts of Your Car Accident Settlement

The following are some settlements the IRS deems taxable:

Lost Wages

The compensation you recover for lost wages is taxable because your regular wages would have been taxed had you been working. Depending on the severity of your car accident injury, you may have received a settlement for wages you expect to lose in the future. You will have to pay taxes on that portion of your award too.

According to the IRS, severance pay and back pay are taxable. Keep in mind that you will also have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes from your lost wages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are treated as taxable income because this type of award is not intended to reimburse you for your injury or other losses from your car accident. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for reckless behavior that harmed someone and to deter others from behaving the same way in the future.

Interest Income

Receiving a car accident settlement from an insurance company or a jury award takes time. If you recover compensation, interest can be added to the award, and this interest is taxable.

To ensure that you pay the appropriate amount of taxes and are not subject to an IRS penalty, you may want to consult with your car accident lawyer or your tax advisor.

Exceptions for Paying Taxes on Damages for Medical Bills

According to the IRS, if you claimed an itemized deduction in a prior tax year for medical bills related to your car accident injury, you will have to pay taxes on those expenses in the year you received your settlement award.

Otherwise, you do not have to pay taxes on a settlement for medical expenses related to a physical injury or physical sickness.  

Taxes on a Pain and Suffering Award

You do not have to pay taxes for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, and emotional distress, as long as the damages resulted from your car accident.

Pain and suffering comes from the physical pain you suffered because of your accident. Emotional distress is the negative mental reaction you had to your accident.

In civil cases that do not involve a personal injury, such as harassment or discrimination, damage awards for pain and suffering and emotional distress are taxable.

Would a Structured Settlement Work Better for Tax Purposes?

No matter how you choose to receive your settlement, some car accident settlement awards remain taxable. To structure your settlement means that you would receive fixed monthly payments over a certain period of time. Insurance companies usually set up an annuity for structured settlements. You can also add beneficiaries to the annuity.

You can also choose to receive your settlement in a lump-sum payment. You will have to pay more taxes all at once with a one-time payment. You can speak to your financial advisor to determine the best way to save your money over time for your ongoing medical needs.  

Contact OEB Law, PLLC

At the OEB Law, PLLC, we can help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

We also handle all aspects of car accident injury claims. We file personal injury claims on behalf of accident victims and negotiate settlements on their behalf with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. When necessary, we will file a lawsuit and take the matter to court.

We work on contingency, which means you do not pay us unless we recover compensation in your case.

Contact us today at 865-546-1111 for a free consultation.