The decision to file a legal suit after a car accident can be a major one. If you were injured in the crash, you could be dealing with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and property damage. Taking on the complications of a legal case might seem daunting while coping with your injuries. But filing a case in a timely fashion – before the Tennessee statute of limitations runs out – is an essential step in seeking the economic relief you need in the aftermath of a devastating car accident.

An experienced car accident lawyer in Clarksville, TN, can help you explore your options and file a case before time runs out.


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injured woman after car accident in ClarksvilleTypes of Car Accidents

Vehicle crashes vary in intensity and their level of danger to drivers and passengers. Not all crashes necessarily lead to lawsuits, but it’s important to understand your rights and seek legal counsel immediately if you think you might be eligible for remuneration due to a car accident. The time to start preparing your case is immediately following the accident, well before the statute of limitations in Tennessee runs out.

There are many different types of car accidents, and they can happen for a variety of reasons, including distracted driving (including as a result of cellphone use), bad weather conditions, lack of safe distance when making turns, negligent drivers, and more. Some of the most common types of car accidents include:

  • Rear-End Collisions: Fender benders are a very common type of crash. This type of car wreck occurs when the driver of one vehicle runs into the back of another.
  • Low-Speed Collisions: Low-speed collisions are less deadly than crashes that occur at high speed, but they may still result in whiplash or other injuries.
  • Side-Impact Collisions: Side-impact collisions, also known as T-bone collisions, often happen within an intersection when a driver runs a stoplight or underestimates the speed of oncoming traffic when attempting a turn.
  • Small Overlap Crashes: When a car is clipped on the edge of the hood, the crumple zone can’t effectively absorb the blow of impact. The metal of the hood might fold and be forced into the cabin where it can cause injuries.
  • Rollover Accidents: When a car rolls over, passengers bounce around the cabin, causing multiple points of impact, including shattered windows that shower passengers with broken glass.

What to Do if You’re Involved in a Car Accident in Tennessee

When you’ve just been in a disorienting car accident (and possibly suffered an injury), it’s easy to make mistakes in how you handle the situation. Taking the following steps after a crash is essential to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible and to help build your case:

  • Call 911: Report the accident to law enforcement right away. Be sure to file a police report.
  • Collect Contact Information: Gather contact information from the parties involved and, if possible, from witnesses who saw the accident take place.
  • Gather Evidence: If possible, take the time to gather evidence by documenting the scene of the crash with photos and videos.
  • Seek a Medical Exam: Sometimes injuries don’t present until days after the event. It’s best to seek medical attention right away, even if you don’t immediately notice injuries.
  • Document and Save Post-Accident Evidence: Save all medical bills, doctor’s notes, bills for accident-related expenses, and evidence of lost wages.

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The Burdens and Costs of Car Accidents

No matter what type of car accident you’ve experienced, collisions often have serious consequences for drivers and passengers. It’s important to understand what to expect following a wreck and to act promptly – ideally well before the statute of limitations in Tennessee expires – to protect any right you may have to compensation due to the crash.

Financial Burden

If you’ve been injured in a car crash, the associated costs may significantly impact your financial situation. By filing a lawsuit, you can seek remuneration for the costs you experienced as a result of your injuries, such as:

  • Medical Expenses: You can seek compensation for medical expenses, providing evidence through bills, doctors’ notes, and more.
  • Lost Wages: If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you may be eligible to receive remuneration for the wages you would have earned otherwise.

Emotional Distress

Although the emotional impact of a car accident may seem more difficult to establish (as opposed to medical bills and lost wages), they nonetheless provide very real consequences for those who have experienced a crash. Suppose you have suffered from PTSD, depression, or other emotional struggles as a result of the crash. In that case, testimony from a therapist, family, friends, and you yourself can help establish the emotional distress you have experienced.

Car Accident Statute of Limitations in Tennessee

If you suspect you may have a viable lawsuit related to a Tennessee car crash, it’s important to seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. As with other states, Tennessee places a time limit on when you can file this type of case.

The statute of limitations is the legally defined window of time during which you can file court cases after a specific incident. According to Tennessee code § 28-3-104, the statute of limitations for a car accident is one year from the time of the crash in most cases.

Limited Exceptions May Be Possible

There are some exceptions, such as cases involving minors. Additionally, if the state chooses to bring criminal charges against the defendant whose actions led to your injuries, it is possible that you might have up to two years to file a complaint.

What Happens if You Miss the Statute of Limitations in Tennessee?

If the statute of limitations has passed by the time you file your complaint, the opposing counsel can file for dismissal.

  • If there are no exceptions to the statute that can be brought to bear, the court will dismiss the suit.
  • If your case is dismissed, you will not recover anything for your losses, and you will not be able to file again.

filing a car accident claim before statute of limitations expiresPrompt Filing is Critical for Car Accident Claims

Given the time it takes to prepare a case and, potentially, attempt a settlement rather than going to court, it’s best to retain an attorney early to avoid running into (or passing) the statute of limitations. It’s ideal to hire an attorney as soon as you suspect you may have a case.

Hiring an Experienced Clarksville Car Accident Attorney

The sooner you retain a lawyer, the sooner they can gather evidence for your claim and start the claim, hopefully resulting in a faster resolution. Your attorney will also need time to investigate, negotiate with insurance, and prepare any and all legal documents.

Preparing for Court Filing

Preparing for a case may seem daunting, but an experienced car accident attorney can help you prepare and file all the necessary paperwork. The process for a case generally involves:

  • Investigation: Insurance companies conduct an investigation of the accident to determine fault, damage, and the settlement amount they will offer you. They will review evidence such as police reports, medical records, interviews with witnesses, and more.
  • Insurance Negotiations: Since insurance companies often try to minimize the settlement amount you deserve, you or your attorney must negotiate with them to ensure the recovery amount is adequate for your situation.
  • Take the Case to Court: If the settlement amount is inadequate even after negotiations, your lawyer may recommend taking the case to court.

Each step takes time, which is why it’s important to retain an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help ensure your case is on track so you don’t miss the statute of limitations deadline.

Let Our Clarksville Car Accident Lawyer Help You File Before Time Runs Out

If you’ve been injured in a crash and need help seeking compensation for your losses, one of our personal injury attorneys can help. Our Clarksville car accident lawyer will guide you through the process of insurance negotiations and, if necessary, filing your case with the court.


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Click the button above to schedule a free consultation, and let us help you protect your rights so you can focus on your recovery. For immediate assistance, call 1-877-GETPETE now!