Johnson City Car Accident Lawyer

The Tennessee Traffic Crash Data documented 673 car accident-related injuries in Washington County and 17 fatal crashes in 2022. These numbers earned it 14th place on Tennessee’s overall crash rank.

For instance, the Johnson City Police Department (JCPD) reported a car crash on Bristol Highway that seriously injured two drivers. The head-on collision resulted in the pickup truck and utility vehicle drivers ending up in the hospital.

WJHL News also reported one fatality when a Saturn Vue had a head-on collision with a Chevrolet Silverado in Johnson City. According to the police, the Saturn Vue crossed the double yellow line, resulting in an auto accident.

Aside from injuries and deaths, a car crash can also lead to property damage. Contact a Johnson City car accident lawyer if you suffer from the aftermath of road accidents. They can provide legal advice and help you receive maximum compensation. 

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*Medical malpractice among doctors, hospitals, and surgical offices has surged in recent years. In fact, according to The Personal Injury Center, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States, resulting in between 80,000 and 100,000 deaths per year.*

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Common Types of Car Accidents in Johnson City

The typical auto accidents in Johnson City include head-on collisions, rear-end crashes, wrong-way accidents, drunk driving accidents, and road rage incidents.

Head-on collision

Several kinds of car crashes happen in Johnson City, Tennessee, one of which is a head-on collision. In a head-on crash, the front ends of two vehicles collide, usually resulting in fatalities. 

For example, two motorists and one passenger died in a head-on crash on Interstate 26. Photos from a bystander showed one car on fire and another with severe damage.

Rear-end collision

Another type of motor vehicle accident involves rear-end collisions where one car hits the vehicle in front of it. A rear-end crash typically  happens when the trailing car fails to keep a safe following distance or drives aggressively. It can also occur when the vehicle in front has faulty brake lights. As a result, the rear driver does not know the front driver’s intentions.

Wrong-way accidents

These accidents happen when a driver steers the car in the opposite direction of traffic, crashing into vehicles driving in the correct direction. It can occur due to impaired or distracted driving. 

But some motorists who drive the wrong way are simply unfamiliar with the area. Lack of warning signs and faulty auto equipment can also lead to wrong-way accidents.

For example, a multi-vehicle wrong-way crash at the intersection occurred in June 2021. The accident was on Browns Mill Road and the North State of Franklin Road, resulting in wrongful death, injuries, and property damage. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, a Jeep Wrangler drove into the opposite lane, hitting a Nissan Rogue. The Jeep also hit a Toyota Highlander and a Honda Accord.

Drunk driving accidents

Impaired driving claims hundreds to thousands of lives each year. In 2020, more than 11,600 people died due to intoxicated driving. A statistics map also showed that Tennessee had 290 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2019. 

The JCPD arrested a Jonesborough man after hitting a pedestrian on West State of Franklin Road. According to the police, he appeared to be highly intoxicated and did not pass sobriety tests. The 27-year-old accident victim died in the hospital, despite receiving medical treatment.

Road rage incidents

Road rage, a type of aggressive driving, is the operation of a vehicle that is likely to harm persons or property. It includes running the red light, failing to yield, speeding, and cutting off other drivers. Moreover, road rage involves criminal intimidation, and drivers may use weapons to harm their victims.

For instance, a Johnson City man caused a road rage incident when he chased his ex-girlfriend. According to the police report, the aggressive driver stopped his vehicle sideways to stop traffic. It nearly caused several collisions on Boones Creek Road.

Call a car accident attorney if you have been in similar vehicular crashes in Tennessee’s Tri-Cities.

Personal Injury Claims Process in Johnson City

The process in car accident cases seems complicated. However, a personal injury attorney can guide you in getting the compensation you deserve.

Seek medical treatment

Victims of car accidents in Tennessee should get medical treatment immediately. Although you might only have minor injuries, you should see a doctor who can diagnose your condition and prescribe treatment. Moreover, some minor bruises and headaches can lead to serious health problems.

Aside from protecting your health, getting prompt medical care can help your personal injury claim. You can use the doctor’s diagnosis as evidence in your case. For example, suppose you wait for one week before consulting a medical professional. In that case, the insurance company or other driver can argue that your injuries are due to an unrelated incident.

Consult with a car accident attorney

A lawyer can provide legal advice on how to proceed with your case. But before they can discuss legal strategies, they will discuss your case’s unique circumstances. Hence, the initial consultation may involve questions about the following:

  • Events leading to the accident
  • Parties in the accident
  • Possible liable parties
  • Injuries you sustained
  • Treatments you received
  • Future medical care you may need

Make sure that your attorney has years of experience in the related practice area involving motor vehicle accidents. You can also ask how their strategies have been effective in similar personal injury cases. At the start of your attorney-client relationship, you will also see if they show compassion. It is a quality that you should look for in legal counsel.

Aside from giving legal advice, an attorney investigates your case. It involves visiting the accident scene to request CCTV footage from nearby establishments. They also take pictures and videos of the area. Moreover, they obtain police reports and medical records to strengthen your case.

Your car accident attorney also interviews witnesses who can testify on your behalf. Pedestrians may have seen that the other driver was tailgating, which led to the rear-end collision. Witnesses usually talk to lawyers or police, so an attorney can help you collect testimonial evidence.

After gathering evidence and analyzing your case, your lawyer will discuss settlement options. In an out-of-court settlement, the at-fault party or their insurer will provide a compensatory offer. If you accept it, you give up the right to sue them for the same incident. Your attorney is responsible for discussing the consequences of receiving the offer.

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Negotiate with insurance companies and other parties

Your insurance company and the other driver’s insurer will investigate to determine the at-fault party. It also allows them to determine the claim amount they can give to the aggrieved individual. 

The adjusters will interview drivers, passengers, and witnesses in a car accident investigation. They will also inspect the vehicles and look into medical records. Attorneys can even work with healthcare providers to help prove your injury claim. 

Once the insurance company finalizes its investigation, it will make an offer. Accident victims have the option to deny or accept it. Since insurers often limit your claim amount, you need a car accident lawyer to negotiate with the adjusters. With their experience and negotiating skills, you have a better chance of receiving fair compensation. 

You can file a lawsuit if you do not agree with the insurance company or the other party. Also, most insurance policies may not cover all medical expenses for severe injuries. You might need to demand compensation from the at-fault individual.

Go to trial

Your personal injury attorney provides legal representation by filing court documents and delivering arguments. Before going to trial, you must first file a complaint against the alleged at-fault party. It contains your allegations and causes of action. The defendant will submit an answer to your complaint within the time required by law.

In civil cases, mediation can also happen where you and your attorney meet with the other party and their legal counsel. It provides another chance for settlement with the help of a court-approved mediator. The intermediary may request each party to submit a summary of facts and issues in a personal injury case.

If you did not settle, the case would now go to trial. During the trial, your attorney must attribute negligence to the defendant. The elements include:

  • Defendant’s legal duty
  • Breach of the duty
  • Plaintiff’s injury
  • The breach caused the injury

Establishing the presence of negligence allows you to recover damages for injuries and wrongful death. For instance, if you need a significant amount of money for your brain injury treatment, your lawyer must also prove the said amount.

Car Accident Laws in Johnson City, Tennessee

Drivers and accident victims in Johnson City must know the relevant laws, including the statute of limitations, auto insurance laws, negligence systems, and damage caps.

Auto insurance laws

According to the Financial Responsibility Law of 1977, vehicle owners must have insurance with the following minimum limits per accident:

  • $25,000 for each injury or wrongful death
  • $50,000 for total injuries or fatalities
  • $25,000 for property damage

The state can impose fines and suspend your driver’s license if you do not have car insurance.

Statute of limitations

Section 28-3-104 of the Tennessee Code state that parties have one year to file personal injury cases in case of bodily harm. It also requires the filing of wrongful death cases within one year. Moreover, Section 28-3-105 states that injured parties can file for property damage-only cases within three years.

Included in the legal services of your lawyer is filing your personal injury case on time. If you fail to follow the period provided by law, the court will prohibit you from recovering damages. Hence, you cannot receive reimbursement for your medical bills, repair costs, and other expenses.

Modified comparative negligence

Tennessee courts follow the modified comparative negligence principle and the 50 percent bar rule. It reduces the plaintiff’s awards according to the degree of their negligence. Consequently,  accident victims who are 50 percent or more liable cannot receive compensation.

For example, James and Emma were parties involved in a car accident, where James sustained significant injuries. The court awarded $150,000 as damages to the claimant, James. However, the court found James 45 percent at fault, while the defendant Emma was 55 percent liable. In this case, James can only get $82,500. Hence, the principle bars plaintiffs from receiving the total amount.

Damage caps

Damages refer to the compensation you can receive due to your injuries, classified into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to measurable losses, such as medical expenses and repair costs. It also includes lost wages and lost earning capacity because an auto accident can prevent you from doing your usual work.

In wrongful death cases, the immediate family can also receive non-economic compensation. They can demand reimbursement for funeral expenses, medical bills, and other quantifiable losses.

However, injured victims in Tennessee can only claim up to $750,000 for non-economic damages. These awards are subjective losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.

But in cases of catastrophic injury, the Tennessee legislature allows recovery of up to $1,000,000 for non-economic damages. These injuries include spinal cord problems, amputation, certain third-degree burns, and wrongful death of a parent with a surviving minor child.

Find Car Accident Lawyers in Johnson City

Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after sustaining injuries in a Tennessee car accident. Experienced car accident attorneys can help your injury claim by negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court. This way, you can get economic and non-economic damages.

Visit The Personal Injury Center for free legal information regarding motor vehicle accidents. We can connect you with car accident lawyers in Johnson City, Tennessee. After a quick case evaluation, we provide you with a list of reputable attorneys near you. Book a free consultation today!

Have you recently been injured in an accident?

FAQs on Johnson City, TN Car Accident Lawyers

You must be careful with your words. For example, refrain from saying, “I’m not hurt.” The other driver or the insurance company can use your statement to limit your claim. You must also avoid apologizing for the accident because other drivers can consider it as an acceptance of liability.

You cannot receive compensation for past injuries unrelated to the accident. Take note that one of the elements of negligence is the connection between the breach of duty and your injury. Hence, if the injury happened before the car crash, you have no cause of action against the other party.

You can go to any repair shop to fix your damaged vehicle. Remember to keep the invoice showing insurance companies and the courts the repair costs. They need the document to compute the economic damages.