Knoxville Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury refers to the area of law known as negligence or torts. Individuals and businesses owe a duty of care toward others, and when they breach that duty by acting carelessly or failing to act when they should, they can be liable for any injury they cause by their negligence. Being liable means they are responsible to compensate the injured party for their medical expenses that result, as well as income they missed if they couldn’t work due to the injury, and compensation for their pain and suffering and other legal damages.
Most often, the responsible party is covered by liability insurance meant to cover the expenses of an injury. However, the insurance might be inadequate to cover the loss, and even if the insurance is sufficient, the insurance company will try to avoid paying all they should. Persons who don’t have an experienced personal injury attorney representing them don’t get fair settlement offers from the insurance company; instead, they get the runaround, delays, and excuses for why their claim isn’t worth very much or the company isn’t responsible.
Rather than trying to deal with the insurance company on your own and winding up with less than you are owed, contact the Knoxville personal injury attorney Michael Brezina at Atkins Brezina, PLLC. You concentrate on getting better and getting your life back together, and we’ll concentrate on getting you the full amount of compensation that is due to you.
How long do I have to bring a personal injury claim?
Tennessee law only gives you one year to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party, or two years if criminal charges are brought against the party that injured you. There are a couple of other limited exceptions, but it is crucial to your case that you don’t miss this deadline. In between recovering from your injury, dealing with paperwork, and getting into drawn-out back and forth settlement talks with the insurance company, this deadline could easily slip by, which would be disastrous to your case. Contact an experienced Knoxville personal injury lawyer at Atkins Brezina, PLLC as soon as possible after an accident. We’ll make sure evidence is preserved, that you get proper medical care, and that you don’t say anything that could jeopardize your case. When the time is right, we’ll negotiate a settlement of your claim or take your case to court. It takes time to prepare a successful lawsuit, so don’t wait until the last minute to contact a lawyer or risk missing Tennessee’s strict one-year statute of limitation.
What if the insurance company says the accident was my fault?
This is a very common tactic insurance companies use to avoid liability or lessen the amount they have to pay. If you are considered partially to blame for the accident, then any amount you could recover from the other negligent party is reduced proportionately. If you are deemed 50% or more at fault, then you can’t recover anything at all from the other party. Insurance company adjusters are quick to stick you with as much blame as they can, but don’t take their word for it; they don’t have the final say. We’ll argue the facts with the insurer, and if necessary, we’ll go to court and let a jury decide who is at fault. We work to protect your rights and recover the maximum amount of compensation for your benefit.
Knoxville Wrongful Death
Atkins Brezina, PLLC also takes on wrongful death cases in Knoxville. Tennessee law recognizes a legal action called a “wrongful death” claim that is available when a person dies because of another’s negligence in a situation where they would have had a personal injury claim had they lived. A wrongful death claim can be filed by the following parties:
- The surviving spouse
- Surviving children or next of kin
- The personal representative of the estate for the benefit of the spouse or next of kin
- Surviving parents if the deceased was dependent on them for support
The plaintiff in a wrongful death case has to prove the same elements from a personal injury case – the defendant owed a duty to the deceased but breached that duty, the defendant’s negligence caused the death of the deceased. Wrongful death cases can sometimes be more challenging than personal injury cases when the deceased was not able to describe the accident before dying. Instead, the facts of the accident have to be recreated or gathered in other ways.
If successful on a wrongful death claim, the estate of the deceased and the surviving spouse or other family members can recover the following types of damages:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Hospital and medical bills
- Lost wages between the time of injury and death
- Compensation for the physical and mental pain and suffering experienced by the deceased
- Loss of future income the deceased would have earned
- Compensation for the mental anguish suffered by the survivors
- The loss of love, society, companionship, guidance, and affection experienced by the surviving family
If the deceased had started a personal injury lawsuit before dying, the spouse or next of kin can continue that lawsuit against the defendant. This is known as a survival action and can increase the financial recovery for the survivors and the estate of the deceased.
Call Atkins Brezina, PLLC for Help With Knoxville Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claims
For help with a Knoxville or Tennessee personal injury or wrongful death claim, call Atkins Brezina, PLLC at 865-500-3121. Your initial consultation is free, and we won’t charge any fee until after we are successful in getting compensation on your behalf.