The pain, suffering and emotional trauma from an injury can have serious implications for your financial well-being and that of your family. The last thing you want to deal with after a lengthy recovery is the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and damaged property.
Your case may warrant a personal injury lawsuit. Since these cases can become complicated, getting help from an attorney at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC is an important part of getting compensation for the damages you deserve. Our Chattanooga personal injury lawyers can gather evidence from the accident scene and collect information from insurers and police to prove your case. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free case evaluation.
What steps should I take after an injury?
If you suffered an injury, you should seek medical help immediately. Even if your injury does not seem serious, the effects might not become apparent until later. It also is important that you follow the advice of the doctor or medical professional who treats you, because failing to do so might damage your case.
Our lawyers can help you collect documentation of your incident that will bolster your case. This can include records such as:
- Medical bills;
- Records documenting any hospitalization, treatment, prescriptions, rehabilitation, or other medical procedures;
- Photos of the accident scene;
- A police report documenting the accident;
- Contact information for people who might have witnessed the injury; and
- Personal observations about your recovery or the pain you have suffered.
You should also contact your insurer to make them aware of the incident. It is important to note that your insurance company may use anything you say as evidence against your claim. Call us today for help dealing with your insurance company.
How do I prove someone else was at fault for my injury?
If we can show that another party caused your injury either through a reckless action or by failing to act, we may be able to prove negligence. Negligence is the foundation of tort law in Tennessee and many other states. A tort is any action—or inaction—that results in an injury to a person or damage to their property.
Usually, we must prove negligence in order to collect damages for your injury. Similar to most other states, Tennessee requires the injured party to prove five factors:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to reasonably protect the safety of another person;
- The defendant failed to perform this duty;
- This neglect of duty is what caused your injury;
- The defendant should have foreseen the consequences of their neglect; and
- Your injury is verifiable.
This kind of case can be difficult to prove. If you are unsure where to start, contact us to begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve.
How do I get paid damages for my injury?
You can seek damages to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and repairs to any damaged property after an accident. The party responsible for your injury might also owe punitive damages or additional compensation for pain and suffering you have endured if they acted with particular recklessness.
Depending on the circumstances of your injury, it is possible you will be dealing with the defendant’s insurance company. The bad news is that insurance companies have extensive experience fighting against injury lawsuits and will do whatever they can to avoid paying.
Our lawyers know how to deal with the insurance company and will investigate the circumstances relevant to your case. Our investigation may involve:
- Visits to the accident site;
- Interviews with witnesses;
- Reviewing bills and documents to calculate the amount of damages you should receive;
- Finding experts to testify on your behalf; and
- Determining whether another element, such as a defective product, was a factor in the injury.
The at-fault party’s insurer may try to offer you a settlement shortly after the injury in order to avoid paying more damages later on. You should not speak with another insurer or the defendant’s lawyer before consulting us about your case.
What if I was partly at fault?
Injury cases are not always a simple matter of finding a person or company at fault. Determining the causes of an injury—and who was responsible—may be difficult. Tennessee follows a modified comparative negligence law, which divides fault in an injury case among the parties involved.
After an accident, the court will assign fault by percentage. If the court assigns you less 50% of the fault, you can claim damages from the other parties involved. However, this law also allows them to claim damages from you. The more fault you share, the less compensation you can collect.
There could be another layer of complexity if a third party was partly at fault in your injury. Such a case could involve a company that ignored regulations or otherwise created a situation that resulted in an employee causing your injury.
If you need help determining fault in your case, contact us today. Our personal injury lawyers can help identify the responsible parties that may owe you compensation for your damages.
When should I contact a personal injury lawyer?
The sooner you reach out to our office, the better chance you have of collecting damages for your injury. Tennessee observes a one-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. This means you only have one year to file a suit from the day the injury occurs.
The evidence of an accident may also disappear if you wait too long. It can be difficult to contact eyewitnesses after the fact and local government agencies may repair any environmental hazards that played a part in causing your injury.
Seeking our expert legal counsel is one of the most important decisions you can make. If you have suffered an injury in Chattanooga, the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC can help with your case. Call 865-546-1111 today to arrange a free consultation.