If you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of a car accident and had injuries caused by another driver, you can still pursue compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Keep in mind that if you pursue compensation, the at-fault driver or the driver’s insurance company may claim you were partially responsible for causing your injuries because you were not wearing a seatbelt. Once again, this should not prevent you from filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. The right legal team can help you maneuver through these processes, an example of the benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer.
Tennessee’s Seatbelt Law
Tennessee Traffic Safety Law requires drivers and passengers in all seating positions within a vehicle to buckle up. The state’s Child Passenger Safety Law requires children under 18 to use a seatbelt while sitting in the rear or the front seat. Younger children must ride in specific types of safety seats based on their age.
Anyone who violates the seatbelt law commits a Class C misdemeanor and faces a $30 fine for the first violation and $55 for a second or subsequent violation.
However, under Tennessee’s seatbelt law, the fact that you were not wearing a seatbelt is not admissible in a lawsuit unless you intend to file a products liability claim. Theoretically, this should not hurt your chances of getting compensation.
Nonetheless, you should seek legal advice because the at-fault driver’s insurance company or a jury—if your case goes to trial—may use this to reduce the amount of compensation you receive.
Potential Reduction in Overall Compensation
By applying a Tennessee law called, comparative fault, your total amount of compensation can decrease based on your percentage of responsibility for your injuries. Under comparative fault, if you were not 50 percent or more at fault in an accident, you can recover compensation for your damages.
For instance, if injuries and other damages from the accident totaled $60,000, but you were found to be 30 percent at fault, your award will be reduced by $18,000. So, you might only receive $42,000.
Possible Compensation for a Tennessee Car Accident Claim
The amount of compensation you can receive will depend on the circumstances of your accident. Until we discuss the details of your accident and the injuries you suffered, it is difficult to give you an estimated dollar amount. However, some of the most common damages sought in personal injury cases include:
Collecting Enough Compensation to Pay Bills
Discuss your situation with a lawyer who specializes in handling car accidents. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril have extensive experience managing all aspects of car accidents claims. Not only do we offer legal advice, but we can also file and negotiate insurance claims for our clients. We can usually settle claims out of court. But, we file lawsuits when insurance companies refuse to negotiate fairly or offer fair settlements.
Insurance companies want to make a profit so they use every opportunity they can to reduce, delay or deny a claim. We know how to counter the strategies and arguments insurance adjusters make so that we can get injury victims and their families the compensation they deserve.
How an Attorney can help with your seatbelt case.
We can help you by thoroughly investigating your car accident so that we can build a solid case on your behalf. Our case must prove that the driver’s negligence caused your injury.
To do this, we will gather evidence that shows how the driver owed a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing injury to others. The driver’s breach of this duty caused an accident, and you suffered quantifiable damages.
Our investigation may show how the driver’s negligence played a role in the crash. For instance, the driver may have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting, or speeding. We use the evidence we collect to strengthen your case.
You are still entitled to file a claim if you suffered injuries and did not wear a seatbelt. You can discuss your situation with one of our motor vehicle accident attorneys in Tennessee. We offer free, no-obligation legal consultations.
We also work on a contingency basis which means you do not have to pay for our services unless we win compensation in your case. Call us today at 1-865-888-8888 to schedule an appointment.
What to Do at the Scene of an Accident?
If you are in a car crash, it can be difficult to know what to do at the scene of an accident. First, do not panic. Check to see if you, your passengers, or the other parties involved sustained injuries. After assessing the situation, call 911 to report the accident and ask for an ambulance if necessary. Try to prevent anyone from leaving the scene of the accident. Hit-and-run drivers face serious consequences.
If you suffered injuries in a car wreck, your loved one died in an accident, or you do not know who to hold liable for a multi-vehicle crash, contact the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril at (865)888-8888. Our attorneys have more than 20 years of combined experienced helping Tennessee motorists recover compensation for damages suffered in crashes across the state.
We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations to crash victims. Our attorneys can answer any questions you have about your accident. If you have a viable case, we can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
What Information Should I Exchange With the Other Driver?
The most critical information to exchange includes the following:
Should I Call Police If There Were No Injuries?
Yes, you should report the accident for several reasons. For one, Tennessee Vehicle Code §55-10-106 requires you to report a car accident to the local police, the county sheriff’s department, or the nearest highway patrol when the crash involves injury, death, or property damage of $50 or more.
Similarly, Tennessee Vehicle Code §55-10-107 requires drivers or vehicle owners to file a written report with the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security if an accident involves bodily injury or death or if the property damage to any one person is $400 or more. If you do not file the report, you risk suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration. You have 20 days to file the report.
Should I Report the Accident to My Insurance Company?
Yes, you should also report the accident to your insurance company. Your insurance company will need a copy of the police report of the accident in case you file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurer or the other driver files a claim against your insurer.
Pay attention to what you tell your insurance company when you report your accident. If you admit to fault, it could jeopardize your claim for compensation.
If possible, take photos of the accident scene to show damages done to the vehicles. If you cannot take photos, write down as much as you can about the injuries you sustained and the vehicle damages. This documentation will help prove your claim.
How Will I Pay for My Damages If the At-Fault Driver Did Not Have Auto Insurance?
If you carry Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage in your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim with your own insurance company. UM pays for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages after an accident an uninsured driver caused.
What If the Other Driver Offers to Pay My Damages If I Do Not Report the Crash?
Sometimes drivers do not want to report accidents because they may not have a driver’s license, they do not have auto insurance, or they do not want to have contact with police. Instead, they offer to pay for car repairs or offer large amounts of cash in exchange for not reporting the accident.
We recommend that you report your accident. You have no guarantee the driver will pay for your car repairs and damages. If you later face unforeseen costs, you will have no way of getting compensation for them. Finally, accepting a check or cash payment from the driver means are in violation of Tennessee’s accident-reporting requirements.
How Can I Get Help Recovering Compensation for My Damages?
Call the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril at (865)888-8888 to discuss your recent car accident. We will thoroughly investigate your crash and handle all aspects of your insurance claim, from filing the paperwork to negotiating a fair settlement.
Our firm works on a contingency basis, which means you do not pay us unless we provide a favorable outcome for your case.
You do not have to go to court if you file a personal injury claim. To settle your claim requires working with a claims adjuster from your own insurance company or the insurance company representing the person or entity that you are holding responsible for your personal injury. You may go to court if you file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurance company that refuses to settle your claim. In this scenario, a judge or jury will determine the settlement amount the insurance company owes you.
What Is The Difference Between A Personal Injury Claim And A Lawsuit?
A claim is a formal request to an insurance company to reimburse you for medical bills and other costs for injuries and other damages you sustained in an accident. Individuals can file and negotiate their own claims or have a personal injury lawyer handle the claim on their behalf.
A lawsuit is a legal action filed in a court against an insurance company or an individual or entity a person holds liable for his or her damages. The person who files a lawsuit is a “plaintiff,” and sues an individual or entity called a “defendant.” Plaintiffs and defendants are represented by personal injury lawyers who can negotiate a settlement out of court or take the case to trial for a judge or jury to resolve the matter.
Should I File An Insurance Claim Or A Lawsuit Over My Personal Injury?
It depends on the circumstances of your accident and the severity of your physical injury. For instance, if you were in a motor vehicle accident and suffered minor injuries, you can file a claim with the driver’s auto insurer to recover costs for repairing your car and other damages.
However, if you suffered a catastrophic injury, such as loss of limbs or a spinal cord injury that caused some level of paralysis, and the insurance company does not want to negotiate a fair settlement, you may decide to file a lawsuit.
A personal injury attorney can advise you on whether to file a claim or a lawsuit based on the circumstances of your accident and the type of injury you suffered.
What Information Do I Need to File Along with a Personal Injury Claim?
You will need proof that the negligence of an individual or entity caused your injury. The evidence you collect depends on the circumstances of your injury. For example, if injured in a car accident, you may collect the following evidence:
Can I Use This Evidence If I Go to Court?
You may use this and more evidence should you take your case to court. Your attorney will ask the defendants to produce certain documents or videos, depose witnesses (take their statements under oath), and conduct extensive investigations into your accident. The defendants will also want information from you and may also take your testimony under oath.
The court process is more detailed and usually takes longer than settling a personal injury claim out of court.
Will I Recover More Money by Going to Court?
It is possible, but difficult to say whether you will recover more money from filing a lawsuit rather than settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company. If you contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation, we can talk with you about the court process and the insurance settlement process.
How Do I Settle a Personal Injury Claim?
Settling a lawsuit involves negotiating with an insurance adjuster for your monetary losses. Your damages may include your medical expenses, lost wages, physical therapy costs, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies typically do not want to pay out high settlements, but a proficient personal injury lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement that takes into account your present needs but your future needs as well.
Call The Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril have decades of experience handling personal injury claims. We not only file claims, but we conduct thorough examinations of accidents to build a solid claim on behalf of our clients. We negotiate claims and uncooperative insurance companies do not intimidate us. We fight for the fair compensation our clients deserve even if we have to go to court for your personal injury claim.
The Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril work on contingency, which means that you do not pay us unless we win your case. Call us today at 865-888-8888 to schedule an appointment with one of our personal injury lawyers.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident another motorist caused, you deserve compensation for your losses. Before you pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit, however, you can arm your attorney with documentation to support your personal injury case. Attorneys use various documents to prove another driver’s negligence caused an accident that injured their clients.
The Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril have successfully helped individuals throughout Tennessee pursue compensation for losses they suffered after a car crash. In each instance, we had solid evidence to present to auto insurance companies or to a jury if the case went to court.
Call us today at 865-888-8888 to schedule a free consultation. We can further explain which photographs and other documentation are helpful to an attorney pursuing your claim.
Some people want to know if photographs will help their claim?
After your get in an accident, make sure to turn your car off first, but after that you should take pictures. Photographs help an attorney visualize the accident scene to understand how the crash happened. Accident scene photos can also support statements you or eyewitnesses make about the accident. At our law firm, we not only look at vehicle damage in the photos, we also examine:
Do I Need the Police Report From My Crash?
Obtaining the police report from your crash will give us access to vital information, such as:
What Documentation Do I Need to Prove My Injuries?
Medical reports serve as proof that you or a loved one sustained injuries in the accident. In an attempt to avoid paying full compensation, insurance adjusters sometimes allege that accident victims had pre-existing conditions prior to the crash. X-rays, diagnostic tests, MRI scans, surgeries, or your treating physician’s written statements on the severity of your new injuries can help us counter these allegations.
Medical reports also impact the value of your insurance claim. The more severe your injuries are, the more compensation you can recover to take care of yourself or your loved one. For instance, a traumatic brain injury diagnosis or a spinal cord injury can result in a higher settlement than a whiplash injury.
How Can I Show My Medical Expenses?
You may recover the full cost of medical treatment for the injuries you sustained in the crash. For instance, after the accident, you may have arrived at the hospital via an ambulance before undergoing emergency surgery. After spending time in the hospital, your doctor may transfer you to a rehabilitation facility for physical therapy and further recovery.
These life-saving procedures would leave you with:
What About My Time Missed From Work?
An injury accident can keep you away from work for an indefinite period of time. This means that you may lose income and have difficulties paying your bills. You can recover your lost wages by asking your employer to provide documents showing the time you spent off work and how much income you lost as a result of your accident.
Do I Need Documentation of My Vehicle Repair or Replacement Costs?
You can recover compensation to pay for your car repair or replacement. We recommend getting two or three vehicle repair estimates we can include in your claim. If the crash totaled your vehicle, we can determine your car’s actual value before seeking reimbursement.
How Can I Get Help With My Claim?
The Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril, can help you file a claim to recover compensation for your accident-related damages. Call us today at 865-888-8888 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We work on contingency, so if we take your case, you do not pay us unless we win a favorable outcome for you.
The first thing to do after a car accident is to see if you and your passengers suffered injuries. Then, if you are physically able, check on the welfare of the driver and passengers in the other car involved in the accident. Offer assistance, if needed. If anyone is unresponsive, dial 9-1-1 to request an ambulance and a police officer to respond to the accident.
If the crash has backed up traffic, move your vehicle to the side of the road, if it is safe to do so. Tell the other driver what you are doing so that the driver does not think you are leaving the accident scene. Stay with your vehicle until the police arrive.
Communication With the Other Driver
Limit your conversation with the other driver. Emotions run high after accidents; it is easy to get upset and say something that you may later regret. Do not admit fault — even if you believe you caused the crash.
Instead, exchange the following information with the other driver:
While You Wait for the Police to Arrive
Something else you should do after a car accident is use this time to gather information that may be used if you later file a claim. You may want to do the following:
If the Other Driver Asks You Not to Call the Police
Even if you have not sustained substantial damage to your car or physical injuries, you may want a police report. Sometimes it is not easy to determine the exact extent of the damages to your vehicle or to gauge your injuries appropriately. The police report establishes proof of the accident.
Your insurance company and the other driver’s insurer may also want a copy of the police report for insurance claim purposes.
Additionally, Tennessee requires drivers to file an accident report with the Department of Safety within 20 days when an accident involves physical injuries, death, and over $400 in property damage.
If the Other Driver Offers You Cash to Pay for Your Car Repairs
There are instances where drivers who cause an accident offer cash to the other driver. In exchange for the cash, the accident victim agrees not to call police or report the accident to his or her insurance company.
If you accept cash, there is no guarantee that the money is enough to pay for your car repair or medical bills to treat injuries that may later develop.
Filing an Insurance Claim If You Were Injured in a Car Accident
If you were injured, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In Tennessee, the party that causes an accident pays for damages resulting from the accident. The at-fault party’s insurer usually pays for the damages.
If the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
If the insurer denied your claim, you may want to speak with a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can review your claim to determine why it was denied. A lawyer can also investigate your accident and help you collect evidence to build a solid case for your claim.
We Can Help You File a Claim After a Car Accident
The Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril help car accident victims with all aspects of a personal injury claim or a lawsuit. If you were injured in an accident caused by another driver, call us today at 865-888-8888 to schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.
It's hard to tell you exactly how much money you can get from filing a hernia mesh lawsuit without conducting a full investigation of your case. What we can do now is help you understand how hernia mesh complications can impact your life and how this plays a role in any recoverable damages you might receive.
Possible Hernia Mesh Complications
There are a wide variety of documented complications related to hernia mesh failure, infection, migration, and rejection. The nature and severity of your complications and how they affect your everyday life are key factors in determining the value of your case. Some of the most common complications include:
When we discuss your case with you, we ask questions about your symptoms and how they affected your life. We talk about how they continue to affect your life and the pain and suffering you have endured.
Recoverable Damages in a Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
If we win a verdict in court or negotiate an out-of-court settlement in your hernia mesh lawsuit, you will be eligible to collect compensation representing the damages you suffered. We will need to prove your damages and make a strong case for a payout that covers them. While the exact damages vary depending on the facts of your case, they may include:
Medical Care Coverage
As you can imagine, the payout in this type of case varies depending on your damages. Whether you suffered an infection not requiring surgery, or something significantly more serious, such as a bowel perforation, requiring a colostomy and several surgeries—while missing months of work—we want to hear from you. We want to help you explore your options for recovery.
Let Us Review Your Case for Free
If you suffered complications or required revision surgery related to a hernia mesh implant, the team from The Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril can take legal action on your behalf. We pursue compensation for you, building a strong case on your behalf.
Our team conducts a full investigation to learn the facts of your case. As a part of this investigation, we identify and collect:
Talk to a Hernia Mesh Complications Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered complications or required revision surgery after a hernia repair using a mesh implant, the team from the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril is here to help. We offer free case reviews and can help you understand your legal options.
We handle all hernia mesh cases on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe us anything unless we recover compensation for you. Call us today at 865-888-8888 for your complimentary consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team.
Rear-end accidents are some of the most common accidents. They can result in victims experience extensive vehicle damage and injuries. If you were a victim of a rear-end accident you could be eligible to receive compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, your medical expenses, and any wages lost because of an injury.
What does it mean to get rear-ended?
A rear-end collision is defined as two vehicles going the same direction where the front of one car strikes the rear of the other. Rear-end crashes usually occur in congested traffic or at intersections, but they sometimes occur in fast-moving highway traffic as well.
Usually these accidents happen at a low-speed resulting in less damages. There are, however, some situations where things can become dangerous, such as a multi-car pileup that features a chain reaction of numerous rear-end collisions.
The worst rear-end crashes can result in serious injury, including those to the neck. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that neck strains and sprains, otherwise known as whiplash, are the most commonly cited injuries in insurance claims in the United States. Rear-end collisions can also cause injuries to the face, lower body, and torso.
Who is usually at fault?
The driver of the rear car is usually responsible for causing the collision. There are several ways in which a motorist might negligently rear-end another driver:
If another party was also to blame for your accident, your claim can become complicated. The rear-end accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril can help you determine all of the parties responsible for your rear-end collision.
What if I was partly at fault?
Most state uses a comparative negligence system to assign liability in personal injury or property damage cases such as rear-end collisions. This means a court can determine what percentage of fault corresponds to which driver. The more you were at fault, the less you can claim in damages.
While rear-end collisions tend to be the fault of the rear driver, there are situations where both parties share the liability. For example, if another driver rear-ended you but your tail lights were not functioning, it is likely that you were partly to blame for the accident. If a court determines you were 20% at fault, you are only eligible to collect 80% of your damages.
If you believe that you were partially to blame for your collision, contact us before speaking with another party. Admitting your fault to the other driver or to their insurance company may lessen the amount of damages you can recover.
How big will my settlement be?
This will depend on several factors. If the driver that rear-ended you was fully at fault, you are eligible to receive full compensation for your injuries, property damage, and lost wages. Depending on the severity of the accident and the length of your recovery, you may also be able to recover punitive damages or compensation for pain and suffering.
How can I get the largest settlement possible? As with any personal injury case, your claim will have a better chance of earning full damages if it includes documentation of everything that happened in your accident. This is where a skilled lawyer can help. Our attorneys can collect evidence, such as:
The Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril can help you recover a fair settlement. Any kind of car accident is traumatic, especially if it results in an injury to your neck or back. Filing and negotiating an injury claim on top of that can add even more stress to your life.
While you recover from your rear-end accident, a car accident attorney with the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril can work on getting you the compensation you deserve. Call 865-888-8888 to set up a free consultation.
Posted on behalf of the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril on January 30, 2019
If you suffered an injury in a car accident, there are several good reasons you should hire a car accident lawyer. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the claims process to ensure that you receive the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
At the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril our car accident attorneys can help you recover damages after your car accident. Call us at 865-888-8888 to schedule a case evaluation.
Car accident attorneys have experience navigating the legal process. They can help you file a claim with an insurance company or file suit against a liable party.
An attorney may keep you from settling too early.
If you settle your claim too early—before you know the full extent of how your injuries will affect your life and your job—you may miss out on compensation you will need to cover future costs related to your accident. Insurance adjustors often try to get injured people to settle quickly without a lawyer to advise them. If you accept an early settlement, you waive all rights to additional money for the accident, regardless of whether you develop new complications.
If you were in a car accident, call our lawyers immediately. We can help you determine if a settlement offer is fair and keep you from losing out on money you may need in the future.
He or she will keep you from giving statements that will damage your case.
After a car accident, the insurance company of the at-fault party may ask you to provide a written or recorded statement regarding your case. If you divulge any information that may hurt your claim, the insurance company can use it against you to avoid paying damages.
Insurance companies use this tactic regularly, especially if you have not yet hired a car accident lawyer for your claim. The insurance company can ask trick questions and take your responses out of context. This may make it look as if the accident was your fault, and not the fault of the other driver.
If the insurance company of the at-fault driver requested a statement, it is important to contact our lawyers before divulging any information regarding your case. We can help make sure you provide the information needed without jeopardizing your right to compensation.
An attorney can stand up against strong-arm or scare tactics.
Insurance adjustors are under a lot of pressure from their supervisors to settle cases for as little money as possible. When you have suffered an injury in a car accident, you are vulnerable. You may be in pain and scared about your future. You may be on medication that makes it difficult to think clearly. A lawyer will protect your best interests while you recover.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ooten, Betz, and Baril will stand between you and the insurance company and protect you from strong-arm or scare tactics.
Your lawyer will collect the evidence necessary to prove your case.
In order to prove your case, you will need to present evidence related to your accident. This evidence may include police reports of the crash, medical records documenting your injuries, and photos of the accident scene, including skid marks and any dangerous or hazardous conditions that may change after the accident.
You may also need testimony from eyewitnesses, accident reconstruction experts, and other expert witnesses to prove what caused your accident or to prove other important aspects of your claim.
Our lawyers can assist by collecting the evidence you need quickly, before it disappears. We can also issue subpoenas to gain access to evidence that may impact your case, such as security camera footage and cell phone records. These pieces of evidence are often difficult or impossible to obtain without a subpoena.
An attorney can help determine fault in the accident.
If you were partially at-fault for your accident, you may still qualify for damages. Some states follow the legal rule of comparative fault. This means that an adjustor will proportionally reduce the amount you receive in compensation by the amount of your fault in the crash. Certain states include a caveat that if you were 50% or more at fault in the accident, you will not receive any compensation.
Our lawyers will help you understand the fault rules in your state and determine if your fault in the accident will still allow you to collect compensation for your damages.
A car accident lawyer can calculate your compensation.
Many factors come into play when calculating your compensation after an accident. You must consider the current and future medical costs associated with your injuries, the cost of wages you lose while recovering, and the emotional costs of any pain and suffering you endure. The at-fault party may be liable for extra damages if they behaved in a grossly negligent manner.
Our car accident lawyers can take these factors into account to calculate a reasonable amount of compensation you should receive for your injuries.
We can also determine the sources of compensation after your car accident. In many cases, you will seek compensation from your insurance policy and the policy of the at-fault driver, but depending on the specifics of your case, other