The Tennessee Highway Patrol reported 1,280 fatal car accidents in 2021, up from 1,160 in 2020. As the number of fatalities continues to rise, so does the number of families struggling to cope with the aftermath. Insurance companies are quick to offer settlements, but they often fall far short of what injured victims and family members need to rebuild their lives. You don’t have to face this alone.
Contact the Knoxville car accident attorneys at Hotz and Associates for a free consultation. We’ll review your case and help you get the compensation you deserve. Call (865) 637-9000 now.
How We Can Help
We understand that this is a difficult time, and we’ll do everything we can to make the process as easy as possible for you.
Once you contact us, we will:
- Investigate the accident and secure crucial evidence, such as police reports and necessary witness statements.
- Help you find medical help, obtain your medical records, and work with a medical expert to establish the full extent of your injuries.
- Contact the insurance company on your behalf and aggressively negotiate a fair settlement.
- File a lawsuit, if necessary.
We will fight for your rights, so you can focus on what’s important – your recovery.
What to Do After a Car Crash
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are some important steps you need to take to protect your rights:
- Contact the police and file a report.
- Get medical attention, if you think you’re injured. Keep in mind that many injuries don’t show up until later, so it’s important to see a doctor right away if issues arise in the days following the accident.
- Gather evidence at the accident scene, if you are able, including photos of the damage to both cars, witness statements, and police reports.
- Notify your own automobile insurance company.
- Contact an attorney. Car accident cases can be complex, and it’s important to have someone on your side who knows the law and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call a Knoxville Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t wait to contact us.
The more time we have to build your case, the better chance we have of securing a fair settlement or winning a verdict in your favor at trial. We will start you off with a free consultation to have your questions answered and get started on the road to recovery.
We will then assess liability, calculate damages, and start building your case.
Our attorneys are available to help. Call (865) 637-9000 now.
Maximum Compensation for Your Car Accident Injuries
No amount of money can undo the damage caused by a car accident, but a fair settlement can help you rebuild your life.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are often more interested in protecting their bottom line than in helping accident victims. That’s where we come in.
The attorneys at Hotz and Associates have more than 40 years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims, and a proven track record full of favorable case results.
We’re not afraid to fight for what you deserve.
The Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict
When you’re injured in a car accident, you may be offered a settlement by the insurance company. A settlement is an agreement between the parties to resolve a dispute without going to trial. The offer is usually made before all of the facts are known and is based on an estimate of the damages that may be awarded if the case goes to trial.
A verdict is a decision reached by a jury after a trial. It is the official determination of the court as to who is right and who is wrong in a dispute. The advantage of going to trial is that you may recover more money than you would receive in a settlement. The disadvantage is that there is no guarantee that you will win, and the process can be expensive and time-consuming.
At Hotz and Associates, we always try to reach a settlement with the insurance company, if they are reasonable. If they are unwilling to provide a fair settlement, we are prepared to take your case to trial.
When should I get a lawyer for my car accident?
If you’ve been injured, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to find out if you have a case. Many injuries get worse over time, so it’s important to get legal advice right away.
Before you decide to take on your case alone, ask yourself the following questions:
- Was anyone injured in the accident?
- Did the other driver have insurance?
- How much damage was done to both cars?
- Is the other driver admitting fault?
If the other driver was at fault, your attorney can help you file a claim against them and their insurance company and get the money you need to pay for your medical bills, car repairs, and other expenses.
If a defective product caused the accident, your attorney can help you file a product liability claim. If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
It’s important to remember that time is of the essence when it comes to car accident cases. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the better chance they have of building a successful case.
What types of damages can I recover from my car accident?
Car accident damages are classified into economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that can be quantified in terms of money. They include:
- Medical Bills: Previous, current, and projected costs of medical care and treatment related to the car accident, including ambulance transportation, emergency/ ICU care, hospital stays, surgery, and physical therapy rehabilitation.
- Property Damage: The cost to repair or replace damaged property, including the cost of rental cars while your car is being repaired.
- Lost Wages: The amount of wages and salary you have lost as a result of being unable to work due to your injuries. This includes both past and future lost income.
- Diminished Earning Capacity: The amount of income you are likely to lose in the future as a result of your injuries.
Non-economic damages are those that cannot be quantified in terms of money. Because there’s no set dollar amount for things like mental anguish, it’s important to hire a strong and experienced attorney who will fight for every penny you deserve.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and Suffering: For example, the physical pain and emotional anguish you have suffered as a result of the accident.
- Mental Anguish: For example, the fear, anxiety, and depression caused by the accident.
- Loss of Consortium: The loss of the benefits of a marital or familial relationship due to the injuries suffered in the accident.
- Physical disfigurement: Any permanent scarring or physical deformity caused by the accident.
- Physical impairment: Any physical limitation or restriction caused by the accident.
- Lowered quality of life: The difference between the quality of life you had before the accident and the quality of life you now have as a result of the accident.
Your attorney will need to evaluate your case and assess the severity of your injuries to determine the amount of damages you should seek.
Punitive damages are uncommon, but they do play an important role in certain situations. They are a type of non-economic damages that are awarded when the defendant’s actions are particularly reckless or malicious. They are designed to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Punitive damages may be awarded if:
- The defendant was grossly negligent or acted with malice
- The injuries suffered were severe
- There was a large disparity between the damage done to the victim and the damages paid by the defendant
Punitive damages are not common in car accident cases, but they may be available if the circumstances warrant them. Your attorney can help you determine if you are eligible for punitive damages and will work to get you the maximum amount possible.
How much can I expect to recover from my car accident?
The amount of damages you can recover in a car accident case will vary depending on the severity of your injuries, the amount of property damage, and other factors.
In particularly severe cases, victims may receive a settlement or judgment worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The amount you receive may not be enough to cover all of your damages and you may need to seek additional compensation from other sources.
Your attorney will help you determine the best way to recover the full amount of owed damages. As with any legal matter, the best way to determine how much you can expect to recover in a car accident case is to speak with an experienced attorney. The skilled attorneys at Hotz and Associates will evaluate your case and give you an estimate of the damages you can likely recover.
What is modified comparative fault in Tennessee?
Comparative fault is a legal doctrine that allows victims to recover damages even if they are partially at fault for the accident. Under comparative fault, the victim’s damages are reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to them. Tennessee follows a slightly modified system.
If the jury finds that you are 49% or less at fault for the accident, you will be eligible for compensation. However, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you cannot recover compensation.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accident victims can suffer from many injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises to life-altering spinal cord injuries.
Some of the most common long-term car accident injuries include:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is a type of neck injury that is caused by the sudden movement of the head, often in car accidents. It can cause pain, stiffness, and headaches.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries can occur when the spinal cord is compressed or severed. They can cause paralysis, loss of sensation, and other serious medical problems.
- Brain Injuries: Brain injuries can occur when the head is hit or shaken violently. They can cause a wide range of symptoms, including confusion, memory loss, seizures, and coma.
- Broken Bones: Broken bones are a common injury in car accidents. They can take weeks or months to heal and, in some cases, may require surgery.
- Internal Organ Damage: Internal organ damage can occur in car accidents when the victim is thrown against the dashboard or other hard object. It can cause internal bleeding, damage to the liver, kidneys, or other organs.
- Paralysis: Paralysis is a serious injury that can occur when the spinal cord is injured. It can cause the victim to lose the ability to move or feel parts of their body.
- Psychological Injuries: Psychological injuries such as PTSD and depression can occur after a traumatic event such as a car accident. They can cause a wide range of symptoms, including anxiety, flashbacks, and difficulty sleeping.
Minor injuries can often be treated with over-the-counter medication and a little rest, but more serious injuries may require surgery, physical therapy, and other medical treatment.
Minor car accident injuries include:
- Bumps and Bruises: Bumps and bruises are the most common type of car accident injury. They are often treated with over-the-counter medication and a little rest.
- Cuts and Lacerations: Cuts and lacerations can occur when the victim is hit by debris or glass from the car accident. They are sometimes treated with antibiotics and bandages.
- Concussions: Concussions are a type of head injury that can occur when the head is hit or shaken violently. They can cause a wide range of symptoms, including confusion and dizziness.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Even if your injuries do not seem serious, they could get worse without treatment.
Common Types of Car Accidents
There are several different types of car accidents, and each type can result in different injuries.
Some of the most common types of car accidents include:
- Head-On Collisions: Head-on collisions occur when two cars collide front-to-front. They are one of the most dangerous types of car accidents and often result in serious injuries.
- Rear-End Collisions: Rear-end collisions occur when one car hits another from behind. They are likely the most common type of car accident and commonly cause whiplash injuries.
- Side-Impact Collisions: Side-impact collisions occur when one car crashes into the side of another. Spinal cord injuries are sometimes the result of side-impact collisions.
- Multi-Vehicle Accidents: Multi-vehicle accidents occur when two or more cars collide. Victims often suffer spinal cord injuries and head injuries in these accidents.
- Single-Vehicle Accidents: Single-vehicle accidents happen when no other cars are involved in the crash. A vehicle may lose control or collide with a guardrail, building, or other object.
- Sideswipe Accidents: Sideswipe accidents occur when two cars collide while traveling side-by-side. Sideswipes often cause minor injuries, but if the vehicle that was swiped loses control and veers off of the road, the injuries can be severe.
- Rollover Accidents: Rollover accidents occur when a car tips over onto its side or roof. Spinal cord injuries and head injuries are often seen after rollovers.
- Blind Spot Accidents: Blind spot accidents occur when a car crashes into another car while it is in the other driver’s blind spot.
Car Accident Questions and Answers