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Smithville is a Tennessee city that was referenced in the 1949 John Wayne film Sands of Iwo Jima. It is the county seat of DeKalb County. Alongside the city’s Edgar Evins State Park is Center Hill Lake, a 64-mile reservoir with a wide array of recreational activities. The city is home to the annual two-day Fiddler’s Jamboree & Crafts Festival, started by Congressman Joe L. Evins, which is famous throughout the world. If you are a resident or tourist harmed in an auto wreck near Smithville, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney to explore your legal options. Smithville car accident lawyer Matt Hardin is skilled in helping victims of all types of accidents, ranging from car, truck, and motorcycle crashes to medical malpractice, defective products, slip and falls, wrongful death, and more.
An individual who has been injured by the careless actions of someone else can assert his or her rights through a negligence claim. This involves showing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, that the defendant breached this duty, that the accident was a direct result of the careless conduct, and that the victim incurred damages that can be compensated. In many cases, more than one driver may be at fault for a collision. A defendant can raise the doctrine of comparative negligence in Tennessee. A jury will evaluate the total damages caused by an accident before apportioning liability among the different people or entities found to be responsible for it.
A victim may be partially at fault for his or her own injuries, and a lawyer with experience handling car accident cases in Smithville can help you navigate this issue. As long as he or she is found 49% or less negligent, however, he or she can recover damages in proportion to the amount of a defendant’s responsibility. By contrast, a victim who is found 50% or more at fault for an accident will not be able to recover anything. If someone runs a stop sign and was T-boned by a defendant driving 30 mph over the speed limit, the jury might assess $50,000 in damages but find the injured person 50% at fault. On the other hand, if the victim was speeding and was T-boned by a drunk driver at an intersection, the jury might find the victim 25% at fault. In that case, he or she could recover 75% of the total damages assessed, or $37,500. The potentially stark difference in outcomes between relatively similar situations are a key reason why it is important to consult a knowledgeable Smithville car accident attorney who can build the strongest possible case for you.
In Tennessee, courts do not follow the joint and several liability doctrine. This means that each party will be responsible only to the extent of his or her individual degree of fault in causing an accident. It also means that if one of the parties found liable for the crash is insolvent and uninsured, it may be necessary for a victim to file a claim with his or her own insurer under the policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. All Tennessee policies are required to have this option, but drivers who want to save money on their premiums have the choice to waive this type of coverage.
Whether it is large or small, a car crash in Smithville or its surroundings can have significant repercussions. If you are injured because of another driver’s negligence, experienced advocate Matt Hardin can help you pursue compensation for your damages, including your medical bills, lost wages, cost of household services, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. In particularly egregious cases, punitive damages may also be available. Arrange an initial consultation with Matt Hardin at no cost by calling 615-200-1111 or using our online form.