Whether you are on vacation or your car is in the shop, renting a car is a simple and affordable way to get around when you don't have a car. Of course, while you don't want to imagine that you will get in a car accident, particularly when driving a rental car, the fact is that being involved in an accident is an extremely common occurrence, particularly when rental cars are involved. Since rental car drivers usually aren't familiar with the vehicle they are driving, or the roads they are driving on, rental cars tend to have a higher collision rate per registered vehicle than non-rental cars. This makes it important that you are aware of the steps you should take following an accident if you plan on renting a car.
In many ways, handling an accident involving a rental car is similar to what you'd do after any other accident. However, rental car agreements and rental car insurance can add a few complexities to the claims process. To help ensure that your interests are looked out for following an accident, here is a look at what you need to know if you are injured in a crash involving a rental car in East Tennessee.
Witnessing a car accident can be a traumatic experience, and you may find yourself unsure of how to react in the moment. Do you have an obligation to pull over and help any injured parties? If you do decide to pull over, what are your responsibilities as a witness at the scene of an accident? Knowing the steps that you should take as a witness to a car wreck can help you feel more prepared the next time you see an accident on the highway. Keep reading for a look at the dos and don'ts of what you should do if you witness a car wreck in East Tennessee.
Don't: Feel Obligated to Stop
It is important to remember that Tennessee does not have a law that requires witnesses to provide assistance. If you see a car crash, you are not legally required to stop, call 911, provide medical aid, or provide assistance in any way. If you see an accident and it looks like other witnesses are already providing aid, you do not feel safe pulling over, or you do not feel fit to provide assistance, you should not feel obligated to stop. If you do feel a responsibility to provide assistance after witnessing an accident, it is important that you take the right precautions in order to ensure the safety of yourself and the people involved in the car accident.
Do: Ensure Your Safety
The most important thing to keep in mind when acting as a witness to a car accident is that your safety needs to come first. Before taking any steps to provide aid to the people involved in the accident, make sure that you get yourself to safety. If you are on the road, pull over to the shoulder and turn on your hazard lights. Make sure that you stop at least 100 feet away from the accident so that you are not in any danger if there is a fire or spilled fuel. This will also ensure that there is plenty of room around the crash site for emergency vehicles. If you are a pedestrian, stay on the sidewalk and keep a safe distance from the scene of the accident. You do not want to put yourself in danger when assisting others.
Do: Call 911
Once you have ensured your safety, your next step should be to call 911. Never assume that someone else has already alerted the authorities to the accident. Making sure that help is on the way is one of the most useful things that a witness can do following a car accident, particularly if it looks like either party may be injured.
Even if the accident does not look serious, authorities need to be made aware of the accident so that the police can come and file a report. Be prepared to provide the 911 operator with information about the accident such as the location of the accident, how many cars/people were involved, and whether it looks like anyone was seriously injured.
Don't: Rush to Move Any Injured Parties
After providing details about the accident to 911, assess the scene of the accident to determine if it is safe for you to check on anyone who may be injured. If the accident scene is in the middle of traffic, it may be best to stay in your car and wait for paramedics to arrive at the scene.
If you are able to safely approach the crash site, be cautious when trying to provide medical care to injured parties as you could make things worse if you don't know what you are doing. Sometimes, simply reassuring people that help is on the way is the best thing that you can do at the scene of an accident. You can also provide injured parties with pieces of cloth to apply pressure to wounds if they are bleeding profusely.
One of the biggest mistakes car accident witnesses often make is trying to move an injured person to get them away from the scene of the accident and to a safer location. However, if the victim has hidden/severe injuries, you could make things worse by trying to move them. Unless the car is on fire, it is best to wait and let experienced first responders move anyone who is injured.
Don't: Let Any Vehicles Leave The Scene Before Authorities Arrive
After an accident, it is important that both parties involved exchange insurance and contact information before they leave, even if there are no injuries and only minor property damage. However, a driver may attempt to flee the scene of an accident in order to avoid facing consequences if they know that they are at fault.
While you should not try to physically restrain anyone who attempts to flee the scene of the accident as this could put you in danger, you can try to convince them to stay by reminding them of the consequences of a hit-and-run. If they still try to leave the scene of the accident, write down their license plate number or any identifying information about the car and driver that you can remember, as this can help the police track them down. Witness accounts are often instrumental in helping solve cases involving a hit-and-run.
Do: Give a Statement to The Authorities
When the police arrive, be prepared to give a statement about what you saw when the crash occurred. Be honest about what happened and provide as many details as possible, as your account could help establish who was at fault for the accident, allowing victims to receive compensation for their injuries. You will also need to provide your contact information to the police, as you may be contacted by insurance agents and/or either party's attorney to provide more information about what happened.
Do: Be Prepared For a Deposition
As a witness to a car wreck, you may be deposed by either party. A deposition is merely an opportunity for an individual's attorney to ask you further questions about what you observed on the day of the accident. While depositions do not take place in a courthouse, you will be under oath and must answer all questions truthfully. Depositions can be crucial in helping victims establish fault and obtain compensation for their injuries. If the case ends up going to trial, you may also be asked to provide testimony in court as a trial witness.
Consult an Attorney if You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident
Witnesses can play a key role following a car wreck by ensuring that help is on the way, and by providing an account of what happened that can help establish fault. They can also provide vital evidence that can help track down the other driver in the event of a hit-and-run accident. If you are injured in a car accident and there are any witnesses at the scene, make sure that you get their contact information, as their perspective may be critical in proving the other driver's negligence. You will then want to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to find out what steps you should take to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries.
Feel free to contact us to learn how consulting an experienced personal injury attorney could benefit you if you were injured in a car wreck in East Tennessee as the result of another driver's negligence. As The Car Wreck Pro Attorneys, Fox and Farmer will always be there for you if you are involved in a car accident.
What Will Happen if My Personal Injury Claim Goes to Court?
Most lawsuits (about 95%) are settled out of court. This is accomplished by the negotiation of a pre-trial settlement agreement between a plaintiff's lawyer and an insurance company. But what if your case is one of the small percentage in which you, as the plaintiff (the injured party), are denied fair compensation?
If the insurance company of the person or entity responsible for your injury refuses to agree to a sufficient settlement arrangement, you can file a personal injury case in civil court to seek payment for damages - as long as you are still within the statute of limitations. This designated time limit for filing a civil court case differs in various states, and for various types of cases. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is one year following the injury-causing incident.
However you were injured as a result of the negligence of someone else, whether by:
Let us calm your fears about filing a court case with the following overview of the process.
Why Cases Go to Trial
A trial is usually the last resort of a claims process. Insurance companies don't like court cases any more than the individuals filing them. But if they believe the risk of potentially paying more due to a trial verdict is worth the denial to pay the amount you and your lawyer are asking, you'll have no choice but to file a case, to obtain the amount in damages of which you are deserving.
A skilled and experienced personal injury attorney can fairly assess your case. If the party you believe caused your injury was clearly negligent, an attorney will likely agree to represent you and strive to negotiate a successful settlement. But if the negotiations fail to result in a fair agreement, they will be prepared to take your case to trial - and support and guide you through the entire process.
What is a Personal Injury Trial Like?
It's probably nothing like you may anticipate, if your only courtroom experience is watching crime drama-themed television shows. There are some similarities, but there are definite differences.
A judge will be present to oversee the proceedings, but civil trial verdicts are normally determined by a jury made up of individuals accepted by your lawyer and the attorney representing the insurance company of the negligent party.
The lawyer representing each side will make an opening statement.
Both sides will submit evidence to support their position, including:
Both sides will make a closing statement.
The jury will convene privately to make a judgment, following the closing statements.
In a personal injury civil trial, if the jury agrees negligence was a factor in causing your injuries, they must then make two determinations.
They must agree on the monetary value of your case. Then they must decide how much negligence can be applied to either side.
If the jury votes that you are less than 100% at fault for your injuries, they will then determine how much compensation you should you receive.
The amount will be reduced by any percentage of negligence they believe you exhibited, which contributed to the injury-causing incident. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 in damages, yet determined to be 30% responsible, you would only receive $70,000. in compensation.
If you were injured in a vehicle crash or in another manner involving negligence on the part of another, personal injury lawyers like "The Car Wreck Pro Attorneys", at Fox and Farmer, will utilize their extensive skill and experience to present your case.
A responsible attorney will do so in a manner that minimizes any perceived negligence on your part, to obtain the highest possible damage award. At Fox and Farmer, we'll do the work, and support you in every manner, so you don't have to worry if your claim goes to court.
Will I Have to Make a Statement?
This is the big question. The reason many people accept less than they deserve in a settlement. Some worry they may inadvertently make an inaccurate statement that could hurt their case. But personal injury trials are straightforward and, for the most part, predictable. All you have to do if called as a witness in your own case, is to respond honestly to the questions presented.
The insurance company's lawyers do have the option of calling you as a witness. But our legal team can anticipate the issues that may be addressed. They will prepare you to respond truthfully, and appropriately, to the probable questions.
We can then cross-examine you, if needed, to help clarify your statements if we feel the jury may misinterpret the words you chose in your response. So there's no need to fear the potential need to make a statement.
At Fox and Farmer, we are well-known as skilled Knoxville - Tri-cities - Chattanooga - East Tennessee car, truck, and motorcycle accident attorneys. Our personal injury lawyers also specialize in workplace injury cases. Explore our website to become familiar with all of the services we offer. We are a family law firm and will treat you like family.
Contact us for a free consultation. We're here to help when times are tough. If we believe a personal injury lawsuit is in your best interest, we'll do our best to negotiate a fair settlement, out of court. But even if a fair agreement can't be reached, we're prepared to support you throughout the process if obtaining the amount in damages you deserve requires a court appearance.
With more traffic on the roads than ever before, car accidents are becoming an
increasingly common occurrence in East Tennessee, with hundreds of accidents taking
place each day. Unfortunately, car accidents can have serious consequences, resulting
in severe injuries and even death. In fact, fatal car accidents have been on the rise in
Tennessee in recent years, and there have already been over 4,500 fatal or serious
injury car accidents in the state so far this year.
Considering that car accidents are often caused by driver negligence, it is important that
drivers do their part to prevent accidents by driving safely and by taking precautions
when behind the wheel. A great way to reduce your risk of being in a car accident is to
know why car accidents occur. To help keep you safe on the road, here is a look at the
most common causes of car wrecks in East Tennessee.
One of the most common causes of car accidents in Tennessee is distracted driving,
which accounts for more than 20,000 accidents annually. Inattentiveness behind the
wheel can be serious, as taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can lead
to a potentially devastating car accident.
It will likely come as no surprise that cell phone use is the most common cause of
distracted driving accidents, followed by eating, adjusting the radio, and applying
makeup. Ultimately, any activity that diverts your eyes or attention from the road can put
you at risk of being involved in a car accident. This makes it critical that you avoid all
distractions while behind the wheel. The fact is that picking the right song, or replying to
a text, is not worth putting people's lives at risk.
Another frequent cause of car accidents is driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Even as states across the country crack down on intoxicated driving by imposing stricter penalties for DUIs, intoxicated driving continues to be a leading cause of accidents. In Tennessee alone, the Department of Safety & Homeland Security estimates that over 6,000 car accidents each year are the direct result of alcohol use.
It is then critical that you do not make the mistake of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as your impaired thinking and reduced reaction time could put yourself and others on the road at risk. The fact is that DUI accidents can lead to severe injuries and even death. Additionally, drivers caught driving under the influence could lose their license, face higher insurance rates, find it difficult to get employment, and they could even face jail time. Thusly, if you plan on going out and having drinks with friends, it is critical that you make a plan to get a ride home or use a ride-sharing app so that you do not drive intoxicated.
Speeding is another leading cause of car accident-related injuries and fatalities in Tennessee. Of course, most people have been guilty of pushing the speed limit from time to time, particularly when running late. However, the fact is that speed limits are put in place for a reason, as they are meant to keep everyone safe on the road. When you drive higher than the posted speed limit, this reduces the amount of time that you will have to react to changes in road or traffic conditions, which drastically increases the chances that you will be involved in a car accident. In fact, speeding is a leading cause of rear-end collisions, as drivers who are speeding often do not have enough time to stop when traffic slows down suddenly.
Not only does speeding increase one's risk of being involved in a car accident, but speeding also increases the risk that a car accident will result in serious injuries. Driving fast means that, should you collide with another vehicle, greater force will be involved, which can lead to serious injuries for you or the other driver. It is then important that all drivers do their part by slowing down and abiding by posted speed limits to ensure everyone's safety.
Running late for school or work can be frustrating, but it is never an excuse to drive recklessly, as driving in a reckless manner can put drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists at risk. Reckless or aggressive drivers may tailgate (by driving too close to the car in front of them), or they may even swerve in and out of lanes to try to get ahead of other drivers; however, such tactics greatly increase the risk of a car accident.
Not only will swerving in and out of lanes to get ahead of other cars not save you much time, but it will increase the likelihood that you will change lanes into another car if you are driving erratically, particularly if you do not use your turn signal. Tailgating can also have serious consequences, as following the car in front of you too closely will not give you time to respond if they slow down/stop suddenly, which could cause a rear-end collision. It is then important that drivers slow down, have patience, and leave plenty of room between themselves and other vehicles on the road.
Running a Red Light or Stop Sign
As a driver, it is likely that you frequently see people run red lights or ignore stop signs altogether. Unsurprisingly, such actions commonly cause car crashes, as the car who failed to yield to the direction of traffic that had the right-of-way will often be hit by, or collide with, another vehicle, resulting in a t-bone accident. This makes it important that drivers pay attention to the road so that they do not miss any stop signs or red lights. Also, you should make a point of taking a second at intersections to make sure that cars coming from the other direction are stopping (even if you have the right-of-way), as this could reduce your risk of being t-boned by a reckless driver.
Knowing the most common causes of car accidents in Tennessee can allow you to take precautions to help you stay safe on the road. Of course, even if you take every possible precaution, you may still be involved in a car accident if another driver acts negligently.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you believe that another driver's negligence is to blame, it is important that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help you secure compensation for your injuries. Feel free to contact us to find out how we can assist you if you have been injured in a car accident in East Tennessee. As The Car Wreck Pro Attorneys, Fox and Farmer will always be there for you if you are involved in a car accident.
If you've been injured in an accident, you may feel overwhelmed by the paperwork and work
required to settle your claim. It would help if you didn't have to be the one who does all that work.
If you want to end this stress, contact a personal injury lawyer for help. These professionals can
handle all of these tasks for you to focus on getting better and healing from your injuries or illness.
Here are five reasons why:
To Determine Liability
To File Your Claim
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they will file your claim. This means they will take care of
everything from filing it to getting paid for their services. If you don't file a claim yourself, it is
possible that no one will be able to help you with this legal process, and any money awarded would
go back into the government's coffers instead of being given directly to those who need it most.
Your lawyer can also help guide you through the process and explain what needs to be done if your
case goes before an expert panel (like an arbitration hearing). They may also represent other
people in similar situations as yours, so they know how best practices can be applied across
different cases without making things too complicated for anyone involved!
A Personal Injury Lawyer Conducts an Investigation
A good personal injury lawyer will also investigate on your behalf. The best way to do this is by
interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence, such as medical records and police reports.
You may also want to find out whether or not there are other people involved in the accident who
could be liable for any damages you sustained. This can be done through a thorough review of
insurance coverage documents which may shed light on who was responsible for causing your
injuries in the first place.
To Gather Evidence
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they will be able to gather evidence from the scene of
your accident and witnesses. They can also get statements from other parties involved in an
A good personal injury lawyer will be able to help you gather evidence by:
To Handle Insurance Companies
If you've been injured in an accident, it's important to know how to approach insurance
companies. A personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve and the best
As law firms across the country are seeing more and more clients who have suffered injuries due
to car accidents or other incidents, they're becoming familiar with all aspects of insurance
companies' procedures, including their claims handling process. Many personal injury lawyers
have experience working directly with these companies, so they can offer advice on how best to
handle them during a claim.
Always fight for what you deserve with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is crucial if you've been injured in an accident. A lawyer can help
you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries and will fight for what's
If someone causes an accident that results in bodily harm or death, they should be responsible for
paying damages and any medical bills incurred by those involved. If they don't pay these costs, it
could lead to bankruptcy proceedings being filed against them by our office (or another firm).
The best thing about hiring an experienced team of attorneys at our firm is that we know how
important it is for us all involved during this period—including ourselves—to have someone on our
side who understands how difficult things can get when dealing with medical bills alone without
having access to proper legal representation.
We hope you're feeling a little better about your injuries now. A personal injury lawyer can make
all the difference in the world regarding getting what you deserve, so don't hesitate to contact us
if you have any questions or concerns!
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