Common Questions From Accident Victims in Tennessee

The victims of serious injuries and accidents are often left with a lot of questions. In our FAQ, you can get the answers to some of the most common questions our Nashville injury attorneys hear, as well as important information about your rights and legal options if you’ve been hurt in Tennessee.  

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  • Can I wait a day or two before going to the doctor after an injury?

    doctor talking to patientSome accident victims suffer significant pain right after an accident, and others are taken immediately from the scene by ambulance. However, those lucky enough to walk away from a crash may be tempted to skip a visit to the emergency room. It’s important for these victims to know that accident injuries cannot always be seen by the naked eye—and injuries that remain untreated could have long-term (or deadly) effects.

    Why It’s Important to Get Prompt Medical Care After an Injury

    As a personal injury trial attorney, I always recommend that accident victims receive medical attention on the same day as the accident. The longer you wait, the worse it could be for your:  

    • Health. Your health is the most important thing you have, and it should be your highest priority after an accident. If you are hurt, no matter how minor your injuries seem, you should not wait to get medical help.
    • Insurance coverage. The bills for your medical treatment are vital proof of your injuries for the insurance company. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you will have the necessary evidence to negotiate a settlement of your claim. This includes prompt emergency treatment but also avoiding any gaps in your follow-up doctor visits.
    • Personal injury lawsuit. In order for your personal injury claim to be successful, you will have to show that your injuries were caused by the accident. The longer you wait to see a doctor, the more likely it is that that the insurance company will argue that 1) you were not seriously injured or 2) that something else caused your injuries.

    Insurers have a dedicated team of lawyers to fight and defeat injury claims, so it is vital that you have your own attorney by your side. If you suffered a serious injury, the legal team at GriffithLaw would be honored to fight on your behalf. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or give us a call at (615) 823-8233 to learn more.

  • What proof will I need in a dog bite case?

    dog bite injury on hand

    Even if you or your child has suffered significant injuries in a dog bite incident in Tennessee, the law gives you the burden of proof against the dog’s owner. Most of these claims are paid using the owner’s home insurance policy, and insurers often attempt to fight against victims seeking compensation. For this reason, it is vital that you gather clear and comprehensive evidence to support your claim.

    How to Prove Negligence in Your Dog Bite Injury Claim

    The best way to remember all of the details is to write down a firsthand account of the incident as soon as possible. You may also consider keeping an injury journal to give the jury a day-by-day account of the pain you experienced, the problems you had during recovery, and other ways the attack affected you and your family.

    In order to build a convincing personal injury claim, you should:

    • Gather your medical records. Medical records are key to getting compensation for your past and future treatment. Request copies of your emergency room records, hospital stays, test results, physician’s notes, and any other records related to the injury. Any pictures of the wounds you suffered—both before and after treatment—can be extremely useful.
    • Contact animal control. Dangerous animals should be reported to animal control. When you report the attack, an investigator will contact the dog’s owner to collect proof of current rabies vaccinations, inquire about the health of the dog, and obtain animal safety reports that could be useful in your case.
    • Re-create the scene. If you can do so safely, take a video of the dog at the home or business where the dog lives. Include any notable items or defects in the area around the dog, such as torn up toys or holes in a fence where the dog could escape. Show the precise location of the attack, and note any witnesses who were at the scene who could be called to give testimony.

    If someone else’s negligence caused your dog bite, we can get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and help prevent a negligent owner from harming others in the future. Our injury lawyers can gather evidence on your behalf and advise you on your next steps, and we do not collect any payment from you until we secure a recovery. Simply call (615) 807-7900 today to set up a free initial consultation.

  • Is there a difference between left brain and right brain injuries?

    sketch of left and right hemispheres of the brainThe brain is your body’s computer, performing all of the functions necessary for human activity. Everything you do—including moving your limbs, understanding social cues, and even breathing—starts as a signal in a specific area of your brain.

    The brain is divided into two halves, known as hemispheres, with each half controlling the movement and sensation for the opposite side of the body. If you were to suffer a brain injury, the location of the impact could play a role in predicting the types of symptoms you may experience.

    What to Expect After a Left-Brain Injury

    The left half of the brain houses your language and communication center. If this area is damaged, you could experience:

    • Difficulty speaking or understanding spoken language
    • Trouble reading and writing
    • Inability to recall certain words
    • Difficulty expressing yourself verbally
    • Depression or anxiety
    • Problems with logic or sequencing
    • Impaired control of the right side of the body

    What to Expect After a Right-Brain Injury

    The right half of the brain governs intuitive functions and helps you put pieces of information together to make a full picture. Trauma to the right side of the brain may result in:

    • Difficulty recognizing or recalling faces
    • Inability to pick up on nonverbal cues
    • Difficulty following spoken or visual patterns (such as interpreting music or art)
    • Trouble expressing or understanding emotions
    • Coordination problems from an impaired sense of distance or spatial arrangement
    • Inability to recognize deficits or judge hazards accurately
    • Changes in creativity or imagination
    • Impaired control of the left side of the body

    There are many symptoms that can arise regardless of where the head trauma occurred. Victims often suffer slowed or impaired cognitive skills, confusion, difficulty concentrating, attention deficits, and other complications that prevent them from earning a living and affect their quality of life. As these accidents can have long-lasting consequences, it is important that you get full payment for your suffering that will last throughout your lifetime.

    At GriffithLaw, we offer brain injury clients a free initial consultation to understand their concerns and explain their legal options. We also represent their interests on a contingent fee basis and do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery. To learn more about your claim, download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.

  • Am I liable if I refer a case to you and something goes wrong?

    referrals file folder on computer keyboard

    It can be daunting to refer a client to a fellow attorney. Your reputation is at stake even when everything in the case runs smoothly—but if something goes wrong, your entire law firm could be held accountable.

    How Our Law Firm Protects Against Referral Liability

    The Tennessee Ethics Rule allows division of a reasonable fee between lawyers of different firms only if the division is in proportion to the services performed by each lawyer, or each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation. Simply put, you may be held jointly and severally liable if you refer a client to an attorney whose conduct falls below the standard of care. This is exactly why you should refer to your case to GriffithLaw, as we:

    • Have a proven track record. Our attorneys excel in all types of injury cases, getting fair payment for clients throughout Tennessee. We are able to devote adequate staff and financial resources to effectively handle every case we take.
    • Have professional liability insurance. While we stand behind our services, we also have a strong professional liability insurance policy in the unlikely event that any of our clients assert a claim. As some lawyers fail to purchase professional liability insurance (or do not have sufficient insurance to protect themselves from loss), you can rest easy knowing that your role and risk in these actions are mitigated.
    • Stay in constant contact with you. John Griffith believes in every case that comes through the door, regardless of where the client came from. Not only will we tell you upfront whether the case is a good fit for us, but we will also keep you updated throughout the claim to ensure that your client’s wishes are respected and their concerns are addressed.

    No matter what point your personal injury case has reached, GriffithLaw will accept any referral that we feel will benefit our peers and their clients. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or give us a call at (615) 807-7900 to learn more about partnering with our firm.

  • How can I tell if the case I want to refer is a good fit for GriffithLaw?

    referrals file folderIf you have decided you're not the right lawyer to represent a client, you should consider your next steps very carefully. When it comes to your professional reputation, it's not a question of whether you should refer your cases to other law firms, but which attorney should be entrusted with the client.

    Your Personal Injury Case May Be Perfect for GriffithLaw

    When we accept attorney referrals, we consider it an honor as well as a responsibility and treat your professional standing as if it were our own.

    Your case may be a good fit for us depending on:

    • The strength of the case. Some attorneys may refer out a client simply because they don't believe in their case. This can include clients with difficult personalities or whose motivation for litigation is harassment or unwarranted personal gain. If you aren't willing to take a case on its merits, your colleagues may feel the same.
    • The cause of the accident. Our attorneys excel in all types of injury cases, including traffic accidents, slips and falls, dog bites, aviation accidents, and wrongful death. If a case is outside of the type of work you have done in the past, we may be able to help.
    • The type and extent of the client's injuries. As our case results show, our past clients have been compensated for a wide range of injuries. We have the resources to employ medical experts and create visual aids and exhibits, but we also have the ability to craft arguments that give a full picture of a client's symptoms and the losses they have suffered.
    • The likelihood of going to trial. While some attorneys may shy away from the courtroom, John Griffith has the experience and staff support to take all cases to trial if necessary. He has served in multiple positions within the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and maintains the highest possible standard of ethics throughout his practice.

    No matter what point your personal injury case has reached, GriffithLaw will accept any referral that we feel will benefit our peers and their clients. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or give us a call at (615) 807-7900 to learn more about partnering with our firm.

  • Can injured police officers or emergency responders file a lawsuit if they are hurt on the job?

    injured firefighter in firehouse

    Police officers, firefighters, and paramedics are all entitled to workers' compensation benefits when they are injured on the job. Unfortunately, these injuries are often severe due to the nature of their work, and the financial losses incurred may go beyond the payments provided by workers' compensation. In these cases, it is worth considering a third-party personal injury claim against a negligent party.

    On-Duty Injuries That Could Lead to a Third-Party Claim

    Emergency responders and police officers may file a claim against members of the public if they have suffered:

    • Violence. Police officers may suffer acts of violence as they attempt to keep the peace, including animal attacks, stabbing incidents, shootings, or fatal injuries.
    • Falls. A slip, trip, or fall can result in injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to head trauma and spinal cord injuries from falling from a height (such as a collapsing building).
    • Car accidents. EMTs may be struck by passing cars while administering to victims at a crash scene. In these cases, responders may sue an at-fault driver to recover the costs of their injuries.
    • Overexertion injuries. Long hours and daily stress can take a high physical and mental toll on the body. First responders may be owed compensation for heart problems or damage to tendons, ligaments, or joints sustained in the course of their duties.
    • Struck-by injuries. Officers attempting to make an arrest may be struck with weapons or heavy objects, resulting in broken bones, back injuries, crush injuries, or nerve damage.
    • Exposure to harmful substances. Exposure to chemicals, toxins, drug components, or radiation can have long-lasting effects on a worker. In addition to lung damage and chemical burns, some hazards can result in the formation of certain cancers or an inability to bear children.
    • Fires and explosions. Home and commercial fires place responders at risk of smoke inhalation, burns and scarring, and severe emotional trauma. Firefighters may take action against a property owner if they suffered injuries due to building code violations, arson, or other forms of negligence.

    If you have suffered a serious injury in the line of duty, our lawyers can discuss your next steps in your free initial consultation—and we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you. To learn more about your claim, please fill out the short contact form on this page or download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.

  • What good can come of filing a wrongful death case?

    headstone with rose wrongful death

    Some family members are reluctant to put themselves through the stress of a lawsuit because the only remedy they can hope for is a financial award. This may seem insufficient to cover the full scope of their losses—after all, how could any amount of money replace the person who was taken away? What these relatives may not realize is that their claims can offer many rewards that have nothing to do with profit.

    How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Could Benefit You and Your Family

    Relatives file wrongful death claims for a variety of reasons, and each family will have different goals for the outcome of the case. Your wrongful death claim may be able to give you:

    • Justice. Although the person responsible for the loss of your loved one will have to pay compensation for a wrongful death, he or she must also acknowledge the wrongdoing, giving you and your family a sense of closure.
    • The chance to help others. The legal remedies that are available to you do not just offer compensation; they are also a disincentive to negligent parties everywhere. For example, drivers may think twice after drinking if they know that people like you are not afraid to file claims that could impact them for the rest of their lives.
    • A guide to the “business” of death. The sooner we hear from you, the greater the chance that we can assist with any legal matters related to the case. This could include answering questions about estate matters, filing insurance claims, or requesting documentation that can be used as evidence in your claim.
    • An end to the confusion. Family members only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim, and that time is usually taken up with grief and uncertainty. An attorney’s advice can help you make the right decisions now to avoid hardships later in life.

    Our wrongful death attorneys can handle the legal aspects of your claim and advise you during one of the most difficult times in your life, and it doesn’t cost anything to discuss your claim with us. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page to get started, or download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.

  • Is it ethical for me to refer my case to another attorney?

    It speaks highly of our fellow attorneys that they consider the ethics of accepting referral fees. Rest assured, Rule 1.5(e) of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct permits contingent fees to be divided between two (or more) law firms as long as the client has given written consent. In addition to providing you with payment for any legal services you have already provided, a referral may also be better for your client's case.

    Referring Your Case Allows You to Keep Your Promise to Your Client

    Some attorneys know that a case is not a good fit for them from the first phone call, while others may realize it only after spending a great deal of time and effort on the case. Unfortunately, the decision to refer the case out only gets harder as time goes on, potentially risking your relationship with a client who views you as a trusted advisor.

    If your top concern is the best outcome for your client, it is far more ethical to refer a case that needs additional work to us than risk losing in court. Our dedication to your client and your professional reputation is reflected in our:

    • Written fee agreement. Our fee agreement details the percentage of each law firm’s fees in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Tennessee. It is signed by you, your client, and a lawyer from our firm, ensuring full compliance with the ethics rules concerning fee division.
    • Service to your client. Some lawyers will continue to represent a client even if they cannot afford the increasing costs of going to court. As an experienced trial attorney, John Griffith will not hesitate to put the full force of the firm’s resources into hiring expert witnesses, creating exhibits or demonstrations for evidence, or using focus groups if it will benefit a client’s personal injury case.
    • Adherence to contingency laws. Upon successful resolution of the case, we issue a percentage of the contingent fee as payment to referring attorneys. If there is no recovery, no referral fee is paid.

    No matter what point your personal injury or wrongful death case has reached, GriffithLaw will accept any referral that we feel will benefit our peers and their clients. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or give us a call at (615) 807-7900​ to learn more about partnering with our firm.

  • What can I do to help my truck accident case succeed?

    patient talking to doctor

    The best thing you can do in the days after a wreck is to speak with a Tennessee trucking accident lawyer. Tennessee truck crash victims only have one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, so it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible. Your attorney can determine if trucker negligence, maintenance problems, improper loading, or other trucking company failures led to your injuries, and send a spoliation letter to prevent the destruction of vital evidence.

    Common Mistakes Victims Make After a Truck Crash

    Unfortunately, victims often make simple missteps that have big consequences throughout the injury and recovery process. You should be wary of doing something that hurts your case:

    • At the scene. Victims may be in shock and in significant pain after a crash, causing them to say things that can be used against them. Offering police more information than they ask for or saying “I’m sorry” can be misinterpreted as an admission of fault.
    • During your recovery. Never attempt to “walk off” or delay treatment for injuries that were caused by someone else’s negligence. Failing to get prompt medical attention, skipping doctors’ appointments, or posting too much on social media can all impact the value of your insurance claim.
    • When dealing with an insurance company. The trucking company’s insurance provider will do everything it can to pay you as little as possible for your claim. Never submit to a recorded statement when discussing the accident with insurance adjusters.
    • Before you settle your case. If you accept a settlement from an insurer before you know the true value of your losses, you could lose the right to receive future compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, disability costs, and pain and suffering.

    If you have suffered a serious injury in a trucking accident, our lawyers can discuss your next steps in your free initial consultation—and we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you. To learn more about your claim, please fill out the short contact form on this page or download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.

  • What Do I Have to Do to Earn a Referral Fee?

    scales of justice attorney referralSome lawyers put a great deal of work into attracting a potential client and learning more about their case, only to discover that the case is not a good fit for their firm. Instead of “writing off” all of that time and effort, Tennessee law allows lawyers to earn a fee simply by referring a valid case to a fellow attorney. As a personal injury trial attorney, John Griffith routinely works with other firms to provide accident victims with the quality representation they need.

    How Our Referral Process Works

    One of the benefits of referring your case to GriffithLaw is that it allows you to be as involved in the case process as you like. Your active participation in the case is not necessary to earn a referral fee. The only thing you have to do is call us at (615) 807-7900 or use our online contact form and tell us a little about the case.

    If we decide that the case is a good fit for us, we will:

    • Enter into a written fee agreement. We will work out a shared fee agreement at the beginning of the case, outlining our role and responsibilities. It will also state your responsibilities if you wish to act as co-counsel with us.
    • Invite you to be a part of proceedings. We will notify you of the date and times of all client meetings, depositions, hearings, and trial, which you are welcome (but not required) to attend.
    • Keep you updated on our progress. Unless you prefer otherwise, our firm will copy you on all relevant correspondence and decisions in the case by phone or email.
    • Ensure timely payment of fees. Once the case is settled, we will issue a referral fee payment to your firm in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Tennessee.

    GriffithLaw is honored to accept referrals from attorneys nationwide, offering our skills and resources to benefit both your client and your professional reputation. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page or give us a call at (615) 807-7900 to learn more about partnering with our firm.