If You Have a Question About Car Wreck Injury Cases, We Have an Answer
Have questions about what to do if you have been injured in a car or truck wreck in Tennessee or one of the neighboring states? Don’t know how to proceed if a medical error or birth injury has harmed or killed a loved one in Memphis or another Tennessee location? The experienced trial attorneys at the Holton Law Firm have the answers you need. If you do not see your question answered here, contact our office to learn more about your individual case.
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What can I do if an uninsured driver hits me?
As a responsible driver, you follow the laws that govern road safety, and you keep your auto insurance policy up to date. However, not all people carry auto insurance, even though Tennessee state law requires drivers to have liability insurance. If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you may wonder who will pay for the damages.
Understanding Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you were hit by an uninsured motorist, you should first check your own policy for uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, as auto insurers offer coverage against drivers who don’t carry insurance. To find out if you have UM coverage, get a copy of your policy from your insurance company, check your declarations page, and look for UM coverage. If you have it, there should be a dollar amount listed next to it for how much your policy covers you against uninsured motorists.
What If I Don’t Have UM Coverage?
In 2009, the Insurance Research Council reported that 24 percent of Tennessee drivers didn’t carry insurance. Some of these drivers cite rising insurance costs and poor economy as reasons for not maintaining adequate car insurance. If you are a driver who doesn’t carry UM coverage, you still have options, including:
- Personal injury protection. Your insurance policy may provide personal injury protection coverage, which should cover any injuries from the crash. Again, check the declarations page on your policy to see if you have this type of coverage.
- File a claim against the at-fault driver. If you pay for your own medical bills, rental car, and car repairs, it’s possible to file a claim against the uninsured driver to recover these costs.
If you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver and you have questions about your insurance policy or how to proceed with filing a claim against the driver who hit you, call the experienced lawyers at Holton Law. We can help you navigate the legal process to recover damages after the accident.
What is subrogation, and how does it affect my car accident case?
If you are involved in a car accident and file a lawsuit against the negligent driver, you may have to deal with a process known as subrogation if you win. This process allows for the healthcare insurance company to be paid back for the medical bills it paid on your behalf if you win your lawsuit and recover damages.
After an accident, you may have a growing number of medical bills to deal with it. Hospital stays, doctor visits, medication, and other treatment can make the cost of an accident very expensive. Usually, a secondary payer such as a private health insurance company will cover the costs of these expenses. If you take legal action against the negligent driver and receive compensation after the case, that secondary payer will want to be paid back for the amount covered for you. In other words, that company has a right of subrogation.
If you’ve hired a legal representative but don’t have insurance, the attorney can help get you needed medical assistance and have your medical bills paid. However, if you recover damages after your lawsuit, those medical providers who helped with the cost expect to be reimbursed. In this case, the medical provider has a right of subrogation.
Negotiating the Subrogation Process
It’s important to know that subrogation is often negotiable. The amount you owe back to the insurance company or other party may be far less than what is being communicated. And a skilled attorney can help you with this part of your financial obligation of reimbursement. Additionally, your insurance company is required to let you know they are seeking subrogation. Failing to communicate this action is against the law.
We Can Help
If you’ve been in a car accident and need assistance with your case and potential subrogation costs, don’t hesitate to contact the Holton Law Firm. We’ll work with you to determine the specifics of your accident and attempt to lower potential subrogation costs.
Do I need a copy of the police report after my accident?
After seeking medical care for your injuries, one of the first things you should do following a car accident is obtain a copy of the accident report. This report was written by the police officer who responded to your accident and contains information that will be important for any accident or injury claim you decide to make.
What Information Is in an Accident Report?
If you were injured in the accident, or even if you were just shaken up, it will be difficult for you to gather information at the scene and you may have a hard time remembering details from the crash even a few days later. The police report will provide the following details:
- The date and time of the accident
- Where the accident occurred
- Names of other drivers involved
- Makes and models of all of the vehicles involved
- Whether the drivers have insurance
Also included in the report will be a narrative explanation of what happened in the crash. The responding officer will examine the scene, survey the damage, and interview witnesses in order to piece together what happened and who was at fault.
What Can You Do With the Report?
Because the officer did not actually witness the accident, his report will not be admissible in court. However, the information will be used by attorneys for those involved and by insurance adjusters to determine fault and settlement amounts. It is important that the information in the report is accurate. If you feel that the report contains inaccurate information, you may be able to take action to correct the mistakes or at least submit an addendum to the report with your version of events. In order to do this, you will need the assistance of an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney will know how to get a report, how to use it to your advantage, and how to correct it if necessary.
The Holton Law Firm Can Help
While you can obtain your own copy of the crash report from the Central Records Office for less than a dollar, if you are planning to pursue a settlement for your injuries, you may want to find an attorney to represent you. Schedule a free evaluation of your case at the Holton Law Firm and we will help you get a crash report and investigate your crash.
Where do I get a Copy of My accident Report and how much will it cost?
If your car accident occurred in Memphis, the Memphis Police Department will have a copy of the accident report.
Accident reports are available for pick up in person Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 201 Poplar Avenue on the 11th floor. The cost is 50 cents per page. Most accident reports are 4 or 5 pages in length.
The Holton Law Firm will get a copy of your accident report for you as part of our initial investigation.
I was ticketed for the accident but it wasn’t my fault, can I still sue the other driver?
Just because you were ticketed for the accident does not mean that you can not sue the other driver. Tickets are written by the officer who is called to the accident scene.That officer did not see the accident happen and so all he can go on is what he is told by the drivers and witnesses. Police Officers are human and they do make mistakes. If you received a ticket for the wreck and it was not your fault, you should contest the ticket. Even if the ticket is not dismissed, you can still bring a lawsuit if it can be shown that the other driver was at fault. If the Holton law firm represents you, we will talk to all the witnesses and thoroughly investigate the accident on your behalf.
What is an Accident Report and why should I get a copy of it?
If you have been involved in a car or truck wreck, the accident report is the most important document you can have. The accident report is filled out by the officer who investigates your accident, and in most cases, it will have all of the information you will need to make a claim, or file a lawsuit.
The accident report will have the exact time and location of the wreck. It will have the names of all the drivers involved and their driver’s license numbers. It will also have the names of the owners of all the vehicles involved.
The accident report will also have the names, addresses and phone numbers of all of the witness who saw the accident and who were interviewed by the investigating officer.
In most instances the accident report will also have a statement about how the wreck happened and who was at fault.
The Holton Law Firm will get a copy of your accident report as part of our initial investigation.
I am not sure who owned the car that hit me, how can I find out?
All of the information about a car or truck wreck should be in the accident report which is completed by the investigating police agency. If the wreck occurred in Memphis, the Memphis Police Department will complete the accident report. If the accident occurred outside the city, in Shelby County, the Shelby County Sheriff’s office or the Tennessee Highway Patrol will complete the accident report.
I’ve been in a car wreck in Tennessee. If I was injured, how long do I have to file a lawsuit?
The time limit to file a lawsuit is called the Statute of Limitations. Each state has its own Statute of Limitations. There are also different Statutes of Limitations for different types of lawsuits as well as different Statutes of Limitations for Adults and Children.
In the case of a car or truck wreck involving injury to an adult, Tennessee has a one year Statute of limitations. What that means is in Tennessee, an adult has just one year from the date of an accident where they were injured to file a lawsuit. The one year Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury cases in Tennessee is a very strict deadline. If you do not file the lawsuit within that year, in almost all cases, you will have missed the deadline and you will not be able to recover.
In the case of a minor, (someone under the age of 18), the minor has until one year from their 18th birthday in which to bring a lawsuit for personal injuries from a car or truck wreck.
There are a number of exceptions to the Statute of Limitations which may apply in your particular case. We recommend you call the Holton Law firm as soon as possible to make sure that you comply with the statute of limitations deadlines.