Side impact accidents can be particularly dangerous because the force of one car is concentrated in an area with less protection for occupants of the other car. People injured in a side impact crash caused by a negligent driver are entitled to seek compensation. The Nashville car accident attorneys of Matt Hardin Law have litigated countless car accident cases for injured Tennesseans. If you have been injured in a side impact crash, you may be able to collect compensation.
Dangerous side impact accidents can happen in a number of ways. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, failure to obey traffic controls contributed to 4,868 accidents in 2013. A driver who fails to stop at a stop sign or a traffic signal can easily enter an intersection and cause a serious side impact collision. Fortunately, negligent drivers who injure other people can be held liable for their irresponsible behavior.
When a person injured by a negligent driver seeks compensation for her injuries, it is usually by filing a personal injury lawsuit in court. In order to prevail, Tennessee law requires that the plaintiff prove all of the elements of common-law negligence:
The defendant in a negligence case arising from a side impact accident is usually the driver who caused the accident, but it can also include other responsible parties, such as the manufacturer of a faulty vehicle part. When the defendant is the other driver, the first element is typically easy to prove. All drivers have a duty to behave reasonably when driving, which is a duty owed to everyone else on the road. If a driver speeds through a red light and T-bones a car in the intersection, the driver has clearly breached this duty. The same goes for a distracted driver reading text messages who runs a stop sign. If a driver who breaches his duty causes an accident that injures another person, the driver can be held liable in court, and our Nashville car accident lawyers can represent you in those proceedings.
The statute of limitations — the time limit an injured person has to file a case — in Tennessee for a personal injury case is one year. This is a relatively short time period compared to other states, which makes it important for a person injured in any sort of car accident to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as practicable after the incident. Failure to meet the filing deadline may result in the case being dismissed permanently by the court.
If a plaintiff proves all of the necessary elements of a negligence claim, the defendant must pay money damages to compensate the plaintiff for her injuries. Although in everyday language, the term “injury” means physical harm, in a lawsuit it refers to any kind of harm suffered by the plaintiff. Financial costs of the accident, like medical bills, lost wages, and damage to a vehicle, are all compensable injuries. Likewise, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other subjective injuries are also considered injuries for which a plaintiff can recover damages.
Tennessee law gives people injured by a negligent driver the right to collect compensation for their injuries. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to maximize your legal interests. The Tennessee car accident lawyers of Matt Hardin Law have the knowledge and experience to litigate your side impact accident case. If you have been injured in a side impact accident, call (615) 200-1111 or email us to see how we can help you.