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Car Accident Attorneys in Memphis, TN

Helping injured victims and families recover compensation from a serious car crash

Find Out If You Have a Case

Were you or a loved one hurt in a crash near Memphis or Shelby County, TN?

In the aftermath of a severe collision, physical, emotional and financial recovery is difficult. Our award-winning law firm has represented Tennessee families for over 40 years.

The population of Shelby County has risen steadily over the last several decades, with approximately a million residents currently living in Tennessee's most populous county that includes Memphis, Bartlett, Germantown, Lakeland, Millington, Arlington and Collierville. The Greater Memphis metro area is home to over a million people, and hundreds of thousands more commute daily to Memphis from all over West Tennessee, East Arkansas and North Mississippi.

As Tennessee's second-most populous city (behind Nashville) and the largest city situated along the Mississippi River, Memphis is a hub of commerce, transportation and industry. The city is the site of several national transportation route crossings, from Interstate 40 and Interstate 55 to barge traffic along the Mississippi River and the Memphis International Airport (home to FedEx's "SuperHub" facility) to numerous freight railroads. All of these factors work in concert to make driving in Memphis a particularly challenging, frustrating and dangerous activity.

In fact, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, Shelby County ranked number 2 in the state for the highest overall crash rate from 2015 to 2019. (source)

If you or a loved one were one of the thousands of individuals each year involved in a traffic crash, collision or accident near Memphis, it's important that you understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to what to do following a car accident and how to secure compensation for your damages.

At Gilreath & Associates, our Memphis injury attorneys have proudly served residents of Memphis, Shelby County and West Tennessee for over 40 years.

In that time, Gilreath lawyers have been successful in thousands of cases, helping clients receive just compensation for their injuries and restore their quality of life.

If you or a loved one were seriously injured by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your loss.

Contact our Memphis accident lawyers to discuss your legal options and seek justice in your case.

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Common Types of Automobile Collisions

No 2 crashes are exactly the same. However, researchers and officials commonly categorize auto accidents based on their characteristics and the components surrounding the collision. At Gilreath & Associates, our Memphis attorneys regularly represent accident victims and the families of individuals lost in catastrophic and fatal traffic crashes.

We specialize in the following types of cases:

Car Accidents: Verdicts & Settlements

When choosing a Tennessee personal injury law firm, an attorney's experience and proven results can make a big difference in your case outcome. Our attorneys represented countless individuals injured in catastrophic automobile crashes. Here are just a few examples of compensation recovered for our clients.

What to Do After a Car Accident (7 Steps)

  1. Call 911. Contact local authorities and fill out a police report. If there are any injuries, notify the dispatcher so that they can send an ambulance. If you are hurt, wait until help arrives and get emergency medical care immediately. You can worry about the remaining steps later. Your health and safety is your top priority.
  2. Exchange information. If nobody appears to be seriously injured, exchange insurance information with the other driver. Get their name, address and phone number, as well as their license number and license plate number.
  3. Take pictures. Using your phone or a camera, take photos and/or videos of the accident scene. Be sure to show damage to your own vehicle, as well as any other vehicle involved. Also take pictures of the intersection or stretch of road where the crash occurred, including road and weather conditions.
  4. Find witnesses. If possible, seek out people who witnessed the accident and ask for their contact information—including their name, phone number and address. They don't have to tell you exactly what they saw right away, but they may be able to help you and your attorney later if there's a dispute with the other drivers about what happened.
  5. Notify your insurer. Call your car insurance company and put them on notice that you've been involved in a crash. You do not need to give a recorded statement or file a claim yet. It's best to know the full details of your coverage before you file an insurance claim, and it's also worth waiting to talk to a lawyer before agreeing to a recorded statement.
  6. See a doctor. Even if you only have mild or no pain following a crash, it's important to visit a doctor as soon as possible in order to get a full medical evaluation. Some injury symptoms, like whiplash and back injuries, might not appear right away due to adrenaline. Visit a physician to get any possible injuries diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
  7. Talk to an attorney. If your doctor finds significant injuries or you suffered major property loss, consider meeting with an experienced Memphis car crash attorney to discuss possible options for financial recovery and compensation. And don't delay, since there is a deadline to file a legal claim.

Tennessee Car Accident Laws

Car accident liability and modified comparative fault

Liability in Tennessee is determined on a case-by-case basis. In certain collisions, there is little doubt as to who is responsible, such as in the case of a rear-end crash or left-turn accident. However, often crash liability is more complicated and must be determined by the police report and traffic laws.

Tennessee is an "at-fault" state, meaning that whichever driver is found to be responsible for the accident is legally liable for any damages and injuries they caused.

What's more, when collisions are caused by more than 1 party, liability is distributed amongst the at-fault parties. For example, the court or judge may find that each driver is 50 percent liable for a crash. In Tennessee, if you are ruled to be 50 percent or more responsible for a crash, you are unable to seek any damages. Only if you are 49 percent or less responsible for the accident can you seek recovery, and your damages will be reduced by your degree (percentage) of fault. This is known as the modified comparative fault rule.

Statute of limitations on personal injury cases

The legal deadline (known as the "statute of limitations") varies from state to state and depends on the type of case. For most personal injury cases involving traffic accidents, injured accident victims in Tennessee have only 1 year from the date the accident occurred in which to file a claim (TN Code § 28-3-104).

There are few exceptions to this deadline. In most cases, if you miss the statute of limitations then your claim will be denied—no matter how strong of a case you have. For this reason, it's vitally important that you speak with an attorney about your case as soon as possible following a wreck.

What damages can I recover from a car accident?

Accident victims in Tennessee can either file a claim directly with their insurance company, file a claim against a third party's insurance company, or file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the driver in civil court. If you choose to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you can sue for the following damages:

  • Economic damages. Property damage, medical expenses, lost wages and income, etc.
  • Non-economic damages. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, etc.
  • Punitive damages. Compensation intended to punish the defendant for grossly negligent and reckless behavior; infrequently awarded in personal injury cases, but possible in cases of drunk or distracted driving
  • Wrongful death damages. Funeral and burial expenses, medical costs, loss of income and benefits, etc.

Tennessee places a damage "cap" or limit on non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering), which is set at $750,000 (or $1 million for catastrophic injuries). However, this cap can be waived if the at-fault driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, or if they are convicted of a felony connected to the crash. These damage limits and exceptions are why it's important to consult with a Memphis personal injury attorney before agreeing to a settlement.

When to Consult a Memphis Auto Accident Attorney

Figuring out what compensation you are entitled to and what rights you have following a car accident in Tennessee can be confusing and complicated. There's a lot of legal paperwork that must be completed and important deadlines that can't be missed. In addition, the other driver or an insurance company might be fighting you every step of the way.

If you or a loved one were seriously injured, this process can seem overwhelming. At Gilreath & Associates, we want you to know that you don't have to face this alone.

For the last 40+ years, we've stood alongside accident victims and fought vigorously for their right to justice and compensation. Whether it's negotiating a fair settlement or taking a corporate insurance company to court for failing to pay out your claim, we aren't afraid to do what needs to be done to secure financial relief for you and your family.

By hiring an experienced and professional attorney to represent you, you can even the playing field and turn the odds of winning in your favor. From our law office in the heart of downtown Memphis on Jefferson Ave., we serve people in West Tennessee and across the southeast by securing the best possible outcome in their personal injury and accident cases. When you're ready to learn more about how we can help you, we invite you to reach out.

Ready to discuss your case?
Contact our Tennessee car accident attorneys today for your free consultation.

Frequently Asked Personal Injury Questions

  • What should I do if I have a car accident in Tennessee or elsewhere?
  • What not to do after a car accident in Tennessee?
  • What should I do after I have left the scene of the car accident?
  • What if the other driver is at fault and has no insurance?
  • Will my policy pay for a rental car if my car is damaged?
  • If my car is totaled, will insurance pay off my car note?
  • What is the meaning of "subrogation" when applied to my automobile insurance?

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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilreath & Associates offer free and personal consultation to help you evaluate your legal options.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover financially from an injury stemming from someone else's negligence.