Montgomery County, Tennessee has a population of 172,331. Its county seat is Clarksville, which is the fifth-largest city in Tennessee. Clarksville was named for a frontier fighter and Revolutionary War hero, and a number of notable entertainers have lived there, including Roy Acuff, Jimi Hendrix, and Little Richard. If you or a loved one is hurt in Montgomery County because somebody else acted negligently, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover the compensation to which you may be entitled.
In Tennessee, most plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits must establish negligence. Although there are occasions in which a defendant’s conduct is intentionally wrongful or reckless, careless or negligent conduct is far more common. Negligence has four elements that a plaintiff must prove: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty is often straightforward. All drivers on public roads, for example, owe a duty of care to other people using the road. This simply means that a driver needs to follow the rules of the road and common sense. The issue of duty is more complex in medical malpractice cases, by contrast, when a doctor is held to the professional standard of care expected from physicians in the relevant specialty.
Breach of duty and causation can be more challenging to prove, even in car accident cases. The difficulty with proving these elements may turn on the question of a plaintiff’s own negligence. If you believe you were partly at fault for an accident, you should let your attorney know.
If you might have been partly at fault, the defendant’s insurer may contact you, trying to get you to admit at least a share of the responsibility. The insurer’s goal is to discredit you if you later bring a lawsuit. It is important not to reveal your side of the story to an insurer before you get a chance to talk to your own personal injury lawyer about whether you have a case after a Montgomery County accident.
Tennessee is a comparative negligence state. This means that a defendant may defend a case by arguing you were also negligent and therefore partly responsible for your own injuries. He or she will have the opportunity to present this defense to the jury. The jury will evaluate whether the defendant is liable for the accident, but it will also examine whether you are at fault and allocate fault between the parties. If a jury finds you were 50 percent or more at fault, you will not be able to recover anything. Similarly, in the context of a wrongful death lawsuit, if the deceased was 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, his or her estate or loved ones cannot recover.
The defendant’s ability to use comparative negligence to completely bar you from recovering for your injuries is one reason it is important to retain an attorney to represent you. It can be difficult for two people in an accident to know exactly why the accident happened. A skillful personal injury lawyer will work with an accident reconstruction expert to assess the chronology of events. The expert will consider not only your version of events and the defendant’s version of events but also other evidence, like skid marks and damage to the car. From these clues, an expert can reconstruct what happened and help a jury unravel who should be held responsible for the accident.
Whether you are in a motor vehicle accident or you are hurt in another context, an aggressive Montgomery County personal injury lawyer can help you pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled. Many insurers will not take a claimant seriously unless he or she is represented by an attorney with a strong trial reputation. Contact Matt Hardin by calling (615) 200-1111 or send us a message through our online form. We represent Tennessee plaintiffs in connection with car wrecks, truck wrecks, motorcycle wrecks, personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice in Clarksville, Nashville, and throughout Montgomery County.