Experienced Springfield Personal Injury Attorneys Ready To Help You
If the accident that injured you was somebody else’s fault, you are entitled to full compensation. The problem is that the Tennessee civil compensation system is just as complex as it is everywhere else. Never fear. We are highly experienced Springfield personal injury lawyers. At Batson Nolan, we have been serving clients for over 150 years now. That’s not a typographical error. When Batson Nolan was founded, the Civil War was brewing and Abraham Lincoln was running for President.
Although beautiful and historic Springfield, Tennessee, sitting right in the heart of Robertson County, enjoys a high quality and relaxing standard of living, it is not paradise; accidents happen here, too. When they do, peace of mind flies out the window as you struggle to deal with shock, pain, and sudden financial problems as medical bills mount and lost work time accumulates.
What Happens After You Are Injured in an Accident?
So, you have been injured in an accident in Springfield, Tennessee. What happens now? At this stage, the answer is entirely dependent on you. As an accident victim, it is up to you to take action to protect your legal rights, and this means doing much more than simply filling a complaint or submitting an insurance claim.
The specific steps involved will depend on the type of accident in which you were injured. For example, in the case of a car or motorcycle accident, there are fairly standard procedures for dealing with insurance companies. On the other hand, if you were injured by a defective product, or if you slipped and fell on government property, the process of seeking just compensation will be very different.
However, regardless of how and where you were injured, there are certain steps you can (and generally should) take in order to protect yourself. By “protect yourself,” we mean to obtain the medical treatment you need to recover from your injuries and secure the financial compensation you need to move on with your life.
1. Gather Evidence if You Can
In the immediate aftermath of any type of accident, our ability to think clearly can be compromised. So if you are unable to collect any evidence at the scene, that is perfectly understandable. However, if you are able or if you have a friend or family member there with you, then it is in your best interest to document as much information regarding the accident as you can. For instance, if you were in a car wreck, have someone take as many photos of the scene as possible. Locate witnesses if you can and get their contact information. If you are waiting for the police to show up, document everything that you remember about the accident while you are waiting. Your memory only gets worse with time, so documenting your perceptions can be incredibly useful later.
2. See a Doctor
It is extremely important that you promptly see a doctor as well. When seeking financial compensation for injuries sustained in a collision, fall, or other accident, your medical records are key evidence in support of your claim. Seeing a doctor promptly will not only allow you to receive the treatment you need as quickly as possible, but it will also produce documentation of the cause, extent, and potential long-term effects of your injuries.
If you fail to get medical treatment right away after an accident, the insurance defense attorneys will likely say that your injuries were not caused by the accident but by some intervening event that happened after the accident and before you initially saw a doctor. The defense could also claim that, by not seeking immediate medical help, you caused your injuries to get worse and therefore should not receive full compensation for your medical costs.
3. Focus on Your Recovery
Speaking of potential long-term effects, the next most important thing you can do is to focus on your recovery. By this, we mean to follow your personal injury lawyer’s and doctor’s advice. Be sure to see a doctor immediately and follow your doctor’s instructions on follow up visits, additional testing, and/or any therapy that is ordered. All of this will help your case by showing that you did everything in your power to lessen the damage caused by the accident.
It’s important to prepare yourself for the weeks, months, and perhaps years to come. While awaiting your recovery both physically and financially, it’s time to take stock of your situation and decide if vocational retraining will be necessary to prepare for work once you’ve healed. Getting your life back might not be easy. But with the right professional help, it can be done.
4. Speak with a Springfield Personal Injury Lawyer
After an accident of any type, one of the most important things you can do is to speak with a personal injury attorney. Ideally, you should do this as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury legal team will learn everything you know in detail, promptly launch an investigation, and – equally important – help you feel a sense of comfort about your situation. If someone else is to blame for what happened, Tennessee law says you are entitled to just compensation, and an experienced attorney will be able to effectively assert your legal rights on your behalf.
5. Don’t Speak to Insurance Adjusters
Under no circumstances should you ever speak to an insurance adjuster yourself during the pendency of your case. Insurance adjusters are not your friend. They have one job, and that is to find a way to pay you the least amount possible for your injuries and save money for their company. They are trained professionals who use a myriad of tricks and tactics to get injured victims to settle prior to even contacting an attorney if they can. Why? Because they know that experienced attorneys know what is in their bag of tricks, and they will steer their clients away from these traps and get them what their case is actually worth. Also, anything that you let slip while speaking with an adjuster can hurt your case. So it is best to leave the negotiations to the professionals and focus on getting well.
You Probably Won’t Need to Go to Court
Most of our personal injury cases are resolved at the settlement table with insurance companies – not in court. That doesn’t mean you don’t need a top-tier injury attorney, however. Insurance adjusters are typically skilled negotiators, and they are notorious for the bag of tricks they bring to the table. As seasoned and winning Springfield personal injury lawyers, we don’t let insurance companies or defendants take advantage of our clients. We won’t fall for a single one of their tricks; we’ve seen them all before.
“Excellent, knowledgeable, and sound advice when you need it the most. Philip Mize is the best in town!” — David Powers, March 24, 2018
Some of Our Personal Injury Practice Areas
Following are some of the types of cases our personal injury law firm frequently handle:
- Car Accidents
- Trucking Accidents
- Federal Tort Claims Act Cases
- Boating Accidents
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Domestic Assault
- Dog Bites
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Federal Tort Claims Act Cases
- Wrongful Death
- Products Liability
- Premises Liability
- Other Serious Injuries
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the statute of limitations and how might it affect my case?
The statute of limitations sets the deadline by which you must either file a courtroom lawsuit or abandon your claim altogether. Unfortunately, Tennessee has one of the shortest statute of limitations deadlines in the nation. In most cases, it expires only one year after the date of the accident. If the victim dies, it expires one year after the date of death.
What is comparative fault and how might it affect my case?
Tennessee comparative fault law is designed to apportion damages when more than one party was responsible for the accident. If you sue over a truck accident that was partly your fault, for example, you will be barred from compensation if the court decides that the accident was at least 51 percent your fault. If you were 50 percent or less at fault, your damages will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault.
What are my options if my close family member dies from his injuries?
In this case, the surviving spouse can file a wrongful death claim. If there is no surviving spouse, then children or next of kin can file the claim. Damages are apportioned among surviving relatives, and they can include:
- Any amount the deceased would have been entitled to had he survived his injuries (medical expenses, pain, and suffering, etc.);
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of financial support by the deceased;
- Compensation for emotional suffering and deprivation; and
- Similar items.
Can I still try to negotiate a settlement once the statute of limitations deadline has expired?
Although there is no law forbidding you from attempting to settle your claim after the statute of limitations deadline has expired, the defendant or insurance company will have no motivation to negotiate with you. If you can’t file a lawsuit, then the opposing party cannot be penalized for ignoring your request for compensation.
How much can I recover for my injuries?
If you have been seriously injured in an accident, the amount you are entitled to recover will depend on the cause (or causes) of the accident, the extent of your injuries, your current financial circumstances, and various other factors. While it is not possible to estimate your financial recovery without knowing the details of your case, the types of damages that are generally available to accident victims in Tennessee include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Other current and future out-of-pocket costs
- Lost wages and lost future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and other non-financial losses
How is financial compensation calculated for “pain and suffering” in Tennessee?
There are a few different methods for calculating financial compensation for pain and suffering resulting from accident-related injuries. One method involves applying a “per diem” (or daily rate) for each day that pain and suffering are experienced or expected. Another method involves applying a multiplier to the accident victim’s financial losses. When we represent individuals who have suffered severe traumatic injuries, we work closely with our clients and trusted medical and financial experts to ensure that we are seeking maximum value for our clients’ non-financial losses.
How can I prove that the person who injured me was negligent?
Proving negligence is one of the most complicated and most important aspects of any personal injury case. Establishing liability requires evidence, and this means that it is important to conduct an investigation as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the accident and the circumstances involved, some of the types of evidence that may be available to prove negligence in your case include:
- Skid marks, vehicle damage, and road damage
- Phone records
- Police reports
- Vehicle or property maintenance records
- Business or employment records
- Traffic, surveillance, or dashcam video footage
- Witness testimony
How will my case be different if I was injured on federal property or by a government employee?
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) places restrictions on private citizens’ ability to sue the government for accident-related injuries. While certain types of claims are barred entirely, in most cases, the FTCA simply places procedural hurdles in the way of filing a successful claim for compensation. Our Springfield personal injury attorneys are well-versed in the FTCA procedure. And if you are entitled to compensation, we can help you pursue a successful claim against the federal government.
I’ve Been in an Accident But Feel Fine. Do I Need to See a Doctor?
Yes. Even if you think you were not injured and feel OK after an accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. There are two major reasons for doing this. The first is that many injuries do not show themselves for days or even weeks afterward. Immediately after an accident, your endorphins and adrenaline are likely to kick in and cloud your pain response. Because of this, you may not feel a soft tissue injury like whiplash for days after the accident. A doctor would be able to assess the possible damage to your muscles and bones in advance of you feeling any pain. And in the case of internal injuries, you may feel fine but be bleeding internally. Undetected, this could cause major complications or even death in just hours.
The second reason to contact a physician immediately is to document the injuries you sustained in the accident. The insurance company will do anything that it can to pay you less than your claim is worth, and one way that they do this is by saying that your injuries were not a result of the accident. If you wait to see a medical doctor until weeks after the accident, you are giving the insurance company a basis to claim that you received your injuries sometime between the accident and your first doctor’s appointment. And the challenging part is, it would be tough for you to prove otherwise.
For more information regarding these or any other questions please get in touch with our very skillful and seasoned Springfield personal injury lawyer.
You Pay No Legal Fees Unless We Win Your Case
At Batson Nolan, we operate on a contingency fee basis when it comes to personal injury cases. That means no upfront fees and you won’t owe us a dime, ever, unless we win your case. The risk of working for nothing doesn’t bother us because we win the vast majority of our personal injury cases.
Act Quickly – Contact a Springfield Personal Injury Law Firm Today
In a Tennessee personal injury case, the statute of limitations deadline is always looming. In any case, it is always to your advantage to get started as soon as possible after you are injured. Call us and talk to a dedicated Springfield personal injury attorney at (615) 382-4420 or contact us online. Our Springfield office is right across the street from the courthouse. We have been serving Springfield for years. Our former clients hail from Black Patch, Barren Plains, Lakeside Estates, Saddlebrook, and elsewhere in town.