After a car accident, it’s natural to turn to friends and family members for advice. If you know someone who has been in a crash, he or she may be able to offer tips on recovery that can help. However, this “crowd sourcing” of information can also be extremely harmful—especially if someone offers up something they heard about accidents but has never experienced firsthand.
5 Myths About Car Accident Cases and Insurance Claims
Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding car accident injuries, claims, and lawsuits, and any one of them could result in lost compensation for your injury. The most common myths that continue to circulate about crash cases include:
- Car accident laws are the same in every state. From determining fault to the time you have to file a claim, most of the laws regarding accidents will depend on the state in which you live. In Tennessee, car accidents follow a "fault" system for car accident insurance coverage, meaning that the at-fault driver is liable for the cost of injuries and damages after a crash. However, Tennessee’s comparative negligence laws also determine how much compensation can be awarded depending on the portion of fault each party shares for the accident. If you were found to be somewhat liable for the crash, the amount you receive from an insurer could be drastically reduced, even if your injuries are severe.
- It’s better to let our insurance companies work it out than hire an attorney. Since insurance companies provide much-needed payments in times of need, many people forget that they are businesses driven only by profit. Victims often treat their insurance adjuster like someone who is there to help them, when in reality these agents are paid to find ways to deny claims or pay out as little as possible. As insurers will work hard to avoid liability, you may need an attorney to get fair value for your claim. As former insurance adjusters, our firm knows the tricks insurance companies use to undervalue car accident claims, making us uniquely able to deal with them on their level.
- It doesn’t matter which attorney handles my case, as long as he has injury experience. Many attorneys claim to have experience with injury cases, but not all experience is created equal. A lawyer who primarily deals with slip and fall cases may not be a good fit for a crash claim, while an attorney who has won car accident cases may not have experience dealing with trucking companies. The right attorney for you is the one who has experience in your type of vehicle crash, your type of injuries, and your type of insurance problems, and should have success trying a case in court as well as negotiating settlements.
- If you haven’t sued by now, you missed your chance. While it is true that people have a limited window of time to get compensation for an injury, that time limit is determined by the state. The Tennessee statute of limitations on car accident cases is one year, meaning the case has to be filed within one year of the date of the accident (or the date of death resulting from a crash) or you lose your right to payment. Many victims suffer injuries that seem minor at first, then worsen over the next few weeks—and some of these can cause arthritis or other permanent effects. If your doctor says your injuries are related to your crash and the one-year time limit has not passed, you are still eligible to pursue a case.
- Hiring an attorney is too expensive, and not worth the hassle. If your accident involved minimal damage and only minor injuries, you may not need to hire an attorney. However, victims of any accident that causes significant medical bills, vehicle damage, and prolonged time off work are usually best served by getting an attorney’s advice. Our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no upfront fee for legal representation and that we are paid only after you receive a settlement.
If you or someone you love has suffered significant losses due to a car accident in Tennessee, we can help. Call our Franklin law office at (615) 823-8233 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team.