Johnson City Car Accident Lawyer
Helping Victims of Serious Auto Collisions
If you or a family member has been involved in a serious car accident, you need a law firm with experience in helping crash victims recover fair compensation for their injuries or a family member’s wrongful death. Serving Johnson City and all of East Tennessee, the Johnson City personal injury attorneys of the Meade Law Group have more than 30 years of experience in investigating claims, handling court filings, and negotiating solutions with negligent parties’ insurance companies. We are also comfortable in front of a jury when an insurance company refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer.
Car Wreck Cases & Tennessee Negligence Law
Car accident cases fall under the umbrella of what is known in the legal field as negligence law. While the general public may have an idea of what it means to be “negligent,” there are four specific legal requirements that must be met. First, the claimant must prove that the defendant owed him or her a legal duty. In automobile accident cases, this requirement may be met through a particular statute pertaining to driving in the state of Tennessee, such as the requirement to yield in certain circumstances. Otherwise, it may fall under the general requirement that drivers keep a proper lookout.
Once the claimant has shown that the defendant owed him or her a legal duty, the second step is showing that the defendant breached that duty.
There are several types of evidence that may be offered to prove this:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Data recorded by an automobile
- Expert reconstruction to show that the defendant was careless behind the wheel
Causation & Damages
The third step in a negligence case is that of causation. This step requires the claimant to prove that the damages that he or she claims were, in fact, caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. This is when issues such as pre-existing conditions and aggravation of injuries can come into play. Defendants and their insurance companies want to keep settlement values low, so they will seize any available opportunity to discount the claimant’s damages. An aggressive Johnson City car accident attorney will fight back by securing all necessary medical records from both before and after the accident and go over these carefully with the medical providers, if necessary.
Once the causation element has been satisfied, the final element of proof is showing that the person who seeks to recover compensation has suffered actual damages.
The particular damages to which a party may be entitled vary from case to case but may include:
- Medical expenses, such as doctor fees, hospital bills, and ambulance charges;
- Lost wages, both immediately following the accident and in the years to come in cases of permanent disability;
- Disfigurement, particularly of more visible areas such as the face or hands;
- Property damage; and/or
- Pain and suffering resulting from the physical injuries sustained in the accident.
Comparative Fault: Defendants Who Try to Divide the Blame
Another frequent tactic used by defendants in car accident cases is to allege that the claimant was at fault in the accident. Many times, this is just an avoidance technique by the insurance companies, but the argument may be legitimate in some instances. If two or more people contributed to the cause of an accident, the doctrine of comparative fault allows a jury (or the parties, by agreement in a settlement document) to assign blame to those responsible. A claimant’s recovery is reduced in proportion to his or her fault in the accident, so long as the other party is at least 51% responsible. If the fault is found to be 50-50, the claimant does not recover anything.
Johnson City Car Accident Lawyers Representing Victims
If a car accident or other personal injury suffered in the Johnson City area has disrupted your life, an experienced lawyer can help. The determined advocates at the Meade Law Group can help you explore all of your legal options, including settling your case out of court if that is the option that makes the most economic sense.
Call us at (423) 464-7779 or contact us online to schedule your appointment. We work with clients from throughout East Tennessee, including Erwin, Elizabethton, and Kingsport. The first appointment is free, and in many cases, we are able to be paid out of the settlement or judgment rather than requiring legal fees upfront.