How Long Do You Have to Make a Claim After a Car Accident?
8/13/2020 Car Accidents John Whitfield
Car accidents come with a plethora of questions regarding next steps, what options are available to you, who will cover the costs, and when you can file a claim for the accident. The first step in beginning to file a claim for your motor vehicle accident is to hire appropriate legal counsel that is equipped to handle your case. For this reason, it is crucial that Nashville car accident victims select a lawyer who is well versed in Tennessee law as well as experienced successfully handling cases in the local courts. Lawyers with these characteristics can provide guidance to victims as they navigate the aftermath of their car accidents, streamlining the process to make it more efficient for all involved.
Tennessee Statute of Limitations
According to Tennessee law, a car accident victim has up to one year following the date of the accident to file a claim against the other party or parties. This legally imposed deadline is known as a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations refers to the law that dictates the length of time a person has to file an action in court. Because each state has its own set of statutes of limitations, it is important to hire counsel located near the accident site. Without taking care of this first step within one year of the accident, a victim could be left to pick up the pieces – including costs – on their own, only furthering the impact a car accident has on a person’s life.
What Happens if You Can’t File?
The repercussions of allowing the statute of limitations to expire before the victim has an opportunity to take legal action are devastating. The longer a car accident victim waits to file a claim, the greater their risk of either not being able to lodge a claim for damages at all or of receiving less than favorable results. Furthermore, car accident victims that decide to not pursue civil action because they believe their insurance company will handle things for them run the same risk. While it is not intuitive to most, insurance carriers do not always work in the best interest of their policyholders.
Even though policyholders pay premiums expecting to be taken care of in the event of an accident, insurance providers still operate as a business, and are thus more concerned with paying out the minimal amount and closing the claim. It is unlikely that an insurance carrier will advocate and fight for the policyholder’s just compensation. Moreover, insurers do not fight for all damages available as a matter of course – both economic and non-economic – that a victim should receive.
Economic damages are paid to compensate victims for the direct economic loss sustained as a result of the accident. These damages can include property damage, lost wages, and medical expenses. Non-economic damages encompass emotional damages that are byproducts of the accident and economic stress. These damages includes pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and physical impairment. Non-economic damages require evidence to prove up, and only an experienced Nashville car accident lawyer can calculate and discuss these with their clients, ultimately pursuing them in a court of law.
Nashville Car Accident Lawyer
Car accidents can be complex events that come with an array of emotions and issues. Luckily, Nashville car accident victims can call upon the guidance of Whitfield Bryson LLP to support them throughout the claims process. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers are well versed in Tennessee law and regularly litigate cases in Nashville courts. This allows us to provide clients with high-level knowledge on all areas of the case and what to expect, which can reduce stress relief difficult times. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a car accident, contact Whitfield Bryson LLP today to discuss your case. Remember, you only have one year following the date of your accident to take action, so don’t delay.