Many people make attempts to collect compensation after a car accident on their own. Others seek advice from friends, family members, and the internet. These things may work in rare cases, but there are several mistakes that can happen without seeking professional legal advice. If you feel that you were not offered enough compensation to cover your expenses, consider seeking guidance from a Tennessee car accident lawyer.
Common Legal Mistakes
It is common for people to think that all states share the same laws regarding what to do after a car accident. However, not every state uses the same method for proving negligence. The differences can have substantial effects on how much compensation you end up receiving.
For example, Tennessee operates under comparative negligence laws. This means your percentage of fault will be compared to the other driver’s percentage of fault to determine how much compensation you are entitled to. On the other hand, New York is a no-fault insurance state that expects both insurance companies to cover each driver’s expenses. Additional compensation from a lawsuit is only offered in New York under special circumstances like if you experience severe injuries. Tennessee holds the negligent driver liable for car accident expenses.
Some people decide it is better and less stressful to let each of the insurance companies work out a deal for compensation. Too much trust is placed in claims adjusters and many people lose compensation as a result. The reality is that insurance companies are businesses who function by protecting their profits. Claims adjusters are often discouraged from offering too much compensation instead of fair compensation.
Working on the Case Without a Lawyer
Many people believe that hiring a lawyer can be expensive and time-consuming. Lawyers may charge you a certain percentage of your compensation if you win the case, but they also know what steps to take to increase your chances of receiving the compensation you need. This can save time because trying to figure out all the legal steps between you and the insurance companies can be overwhelming without an in-depth knowledge of the law.
In terms of costs, your lawyer may earn you more compensation than you would have received without legal help. Your insurance company may have already offered you compensation for most of your medical bills, but they may have failed to cover pain and suffering damages, vehicle repair costs, and lost wages.
Others worry about whether their time limit for filing a lawsuit or personal injury claim ran out. This may not be true, depending on the state you live. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for car accident cases is one year.