Laid out early in the 1800s in the Cumberland Region of Tennessee, Carthage is a small city that serves as the county seat of Smith County and forms part of the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was laid out on the Cumberland Turnpike, which was an early stagecoach route linking Knoxville and Middle Tennessee. Carthage is also located where the Cumberland and Caney Fork rivers meet, and it is the hometown of former Vice President Al Gore. Due to the city’s location near rivers, it became a shipping and steamboat port. When river travel became obsolete, and highways and railroads gained prominence, other sites gained more significance as industrial centers. If you are hurt near Carthage in a car crash caused by someone else’s carelessness, an experienced attorney can evaluate whether you have a sound claim against the responsible party. Carthage car accident lawyer Matt Hardin is experienced in all areas of injury law, ranging from car, truck, and motorcycle wrecks to wrongful death, medical malpractice, defective products, slip and falls, and more.
A victim trying to recover damages after a car accident must establish the defendant’s duty, the defendant’s breach of duty, actual and proximate causation, and compensable damages. Sometimes more than one party may be at fault for a crash. In Tennessee, courts do not follow the doctrine of joint and several liability. Accordingly, any defendant who is held accountable for causing an accident will only be responsible for damages up to his or her percentage of fault. The jury will assess an overall compensation award and then divide it among the responsible parties. A Carthage lawyer who has handled car accident cases can help you determine how to pursue compensation from all of the responsible entities.
For example, a drunk driver may be tailgating you, forcing you to switch lanes for safety. Meanwhile, a piece of furniture flies off a truck in the new lane and heads toward your windshield. You swerve and crash into a car that is illegally parked on the side of the road. In this scenario, you may be able to sue the drunk driver, the person operating the pickup truck, and the owner of the illegally parked car. If the driver of the pickup truck is working for a moving company at the time, you can potentially sue his or her employer under a theory of vicarious liability because he or she was acting within the scope of employment at the time of the crash.
Once the jury assesses a compensation award, it will allocate fault among the allegedly responsible parties. Suppose you succeed in your claim, and the drunk driver is found to be 30% at fault, the pickup truck driver is 50% at fault, and the owner of the illegally parked car is 20% at fault. If the total damages amount to $200,000, you theoretically could recover $60,000 from the drunk driver, $100,000 from the pickup truck driver, and $40,000 from the owner of the illegally parked car.
However, if the drunk driver is uninsured and insolvent, you cannot recover the $60,000 from one of the two other parties, as you might be able to do in another state. Instead, as your Carthage car accident attorney can explain, you may need to file an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim with your own insurer. In Tennessee, every automobile insurance policy is supposed to include uninsured motorist coverage equal to the liability limits on the remainder of the policy. However, some policyholders decline this coverage to save costs on their premium. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to recover the $60,000 from your insurer.
Car wrecks can have serious consequences. You may have exorbitant medical bills, and you may need time away from work to recover. If you have endured catastrophic injuries, you may experience significant pain and suffering. A knowledgeable auto accident lawyer can seek to hold all responsible parties accountable for your harm after a collision in the Carthage area. Contact Matt Hardin by calling (615) 200-1111 or filling out our online form to set up a free consultation.