A careless Tennessee driver who slams into the back of another vehicle not only can cause major property damage, but life-threatening injuries as well.
If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a rear end accident and have questions about getting compensated for your damages, the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can provide answers. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation with a rear end collision accident lawyer in Jefferson City.
If you have a valid case, we can help you establish the rear driver’s fault for the accident and pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If your loved one died from a rear end accident involving a commercial truck or a high-impact crash, we can discuss filing a wrongful death claim.
Why Do I Need to Establish Fault If the Rear Driver Hit Me?
While a driver may have hit you from the rear, we must still prove negligence to pursue compensation for your damages.
We can help you by showing how the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the accident. In investigating your case, we may find the rear driver caused the accident because they were:
- Speeding or tailgating;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Driving while drowsy;
- Texting behind the wheel or otherwise distracted; or
- Ignoringdeteriorating road conditions.
The overwhelming majority of rear end crashes occur because the rear driver fails to pay attention to the traffic ahead. If the rear driver’s inattention caused your crash, we can hold them responsible for their negligence.
Gathering Evidence of Negligence
Because the at-fault driver or their insurance company may dispute our findings, we secure evidence to support your claim. The evidence includes:
- Apolice report that provides crash details and information about the driver’s actions prior to the accident;
- Your medical records showing the severity of your injuries;
- Traffic camera video footage of the accident;
- Eyewitness statements about the accident; and
- Costs for repairing or replacing your vehicle.
To secure more proof of the other driver’s fault, we work with specialists who reconstruct accidents to determine how and why a crash happened. We can also have a doctor provide a professional opinion on the severity of your injuries and your prognosis. We use as many resources as necessary to build a strong claim.
Proving the Elements of Negligence
The evidence we gather must support the following legal elements of negligence:
- The rear driver had a duty to drive in a manner that would not cause you harm;
- They violated that duty by acting carelessly;
- The rear driver’s negligence caused your injuries; and
- You suffered damages as result of the accident.
Proving these elements with solid documentation offers a better opportunity to prevail in a personal injury claim.
What If the Rear Driver Says I Caused the Accident?
If you contributed in some way to the accident, the rear driver’s auto insurer may try to reduce your settlement amount or deny your claim under Tennessee’s comparative negligence system. This system provides a way to measure fault after an accident.
Comparative negligence reduces your compensation based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you were driving at night and made a sudden stop, but your brake lights were not working, the insurance adjuster might say you were 20 percent at fault for the accident. This means you would see a 20-percent reduction in your total compensation.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover?
The amount of compensation you recover depends on several factors, including the type of injuries you sustained in the accident. For example, you would receive more compensation for a spinal cord injury that disrupts your life compared to whiplash, a neck injury that lasts for a few days or months. We can give you an estimate during your legal consultation.
In addition to payment for your injuries, you may also pursue compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses;
- In-patient rehabilitation;
- Lost wages;
- Physical therapy;
- Prescription medication;
- Assistive mobility devices; and
- Property damage.
We may also ask for non-economic losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
Negotiating Your Insurance Claim
Our firm’s attorneys have decades of combined experience handling insurance claims and negotiating with insurance adjusters. Because we realize that insurance companies want to underpay or reject claims, we come to the table prepared to defend our clients’ claims so they can receive the compensation they deserve.
If the auto insurer denies the claim or does not want to offer full and fair compensation, we will speak with you about filing a lawsuit. We would continue negotiating the outstanding issues even after filing suit. If we cannot reach a settlement, a judge or a jury would decide the case.
Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit
Under Tennessee’s statute of limitations, you have one year from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. Even if we do not need to take your case to court, filing your claim as soon as possible helps to preserve evidence and makes it more likely the insurance company will offer a fair settlement. It is in the insurer’s best interests to settle out of court and avoid a lawsuit. If we are unable to file suit in your case, it could make the insurer less amenable to negotiation discussions.
Let Us Help You With Your Rear End Collision Accident Claim
After a rear end crash, you may have several questions about what to do next. At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we can answer your questions during your free consultation.
We do not charge upfront fees because we work on a contingency basis. This means you do not pay for our services unless we successfully recover a settlement for you. Call us now at 865-546-1111 to arrange a consultation with a rear end collision accident lawyer in Jefferson City.