In 2013, Davidson and Shelby Counties led the state of Tennessee in the number of car wrecks, with nearly 50,000 combined wrecks. Many of these crashes were head-on collisions, which are some of the most dangerous. They often result in serious injuries or even death. Nashville car accident attorney Matt Hardin has significant experience litigating head-on collision cases. If you were injured in this type of crash, we can help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.
How Car Wreck Victims Can Pursue Compensation
A person hurt in a head-on collision caused by the wrongdoing of another driver can hold that driver accountable for his actions. This is usually done by filing a negligence lawsuit. Tennessee courts have set forth four essential elements of a negligence case:
The defendant must have owed the victim a duty of care;
The defendant must have breached this duty;
The defendant’s careless conduct must have caused the victim’s injuries; and
The victim must have suffered actual damages, whether economic or non-economic, from the injuries.
Crash victims then present evidence, such as expert witness testimony, police reports, and medical records, to prove that each of these elements is more likely than not true.
In most car accident cases, establishing the first element is straightforward. Every driver in Tennessee has a duty to avoid unreasonable behavior while operating a vehicle that could foreseeably injure another person.
To prove a breach, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant driver failed to meet this duty. A driver who fails to yield, drifts into oncoming traffic, or drives drunk has engaged in unreasonable behavior that could foreseeably injure another person. These and other violations of traffic rules or state law are examples of a breach of duty.
Causation may be the most difficult element to prove. A victim must show that the accident from which injuries resulted would not have happened if the defendant had not behaved carelessly. The victim also must show that the harm was reasonably foreseeable and that the defendant’s actions were a substantial factor in causing it. In some cases, defendants may argue that a victim’s own carelessness caused the injuries. Tennessee uses a rule of comparative negligence, however, which means that a victim who was partly responsible for a crash still can recover a compensation award proportionate to the defendant’s degree of fault. Our Nashville lawyers can assess whether this is a factor in your case.
Tennessee law generally gives injured persons who prevail in a negligence lawsuit the right to collect two types of damages. Economic compensatory damages reimburse the victim for the objective, easily calculated costs of his or her injuries, including medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages compensate the victim for more subjective injuries, such as physical pain and suffering and emotional distress. In rare cases, a plaintiff may also be entitled to collect punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior was especially shocking, such as in some hit and run accidents.
Discuss Your Injury Case with a Knowledgeable Tennessee Attorney
If you were harmed in a head-on collision, you may be entitled to damages. The Tennessee injury lawyer Matt Hardin can evaluate whether you have a claim, determine who is accountable for your injuries if you do, and pursue compensation on your behalf. We have significant experience helping ordinary people throughout this state shoulder the financial burden of recovering from an accident. To schedule a free case evaluation, call contact us through our website.