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Nashville, TN Auto Accident Attorneys

Helping injured crash victims and their families recover compensation after a serious car accident

Find Out If You Have a Case

Were you or a loved one seriously injured in an accident near Nashville or Davidson 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.

In 2016, Nashville overtook Memphis as the largest city in Tennessee by population. Unfortunately, Music City, USA is also at the top of the list when it comes to auto accident injuries and fatalities. From 2016-2020, Davidson County ranked #1 in the state based on its rate of overall accidents reported, crashes involving injury, speed-related crashes, crashes involving young drivers (age 15 to 24) and crashes involving senior drivers (age 65 and older). The county ranked #2 for its rate of motorcycle crashes.

According to state crash data from 2020, 289 people lost their lives in fatal car accidents in Tennessee's 3rd District—which includes the counties of Davidson, Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson.

Nearly the same number of people died in 2019, indicating a disturbingly consistent and common trend.

Since 2019, the most deadly roads in the Nashville metro areas include:

  • I-24
  • I-65
  • I-40
  • Nolensville Pike
  • Murfreesboro Pike/Lafayette St.
  • Dickerson Pike
  • Gallatin Pike

Unsurprisingly, roads with higher speed limits tend to lead to more serious accidents and crash fatalities since faster speeds result in a greater force of impact and reduces a driver's ability to avoid a wreck.

In 2020, nearly 600 people suffered either major injury or were killed in car accidents in Davidson County alone. That's 1-2 lives forever changed every day, not to mention the long-term suffering experienced by the families of accident victims.

If you or your loved one were one of the hundreds of individuals each year who are involved in a serious or fatal crash in the Nashville area, then we want you to know that you're not alone. Picking up the pieces of your life following a life-changing accident can feel overwhelming and stressful. Our job is to counsel you through this difficult time by helping you to understand your rights and responsibilities after an auto accident.

At Gilreath & Associates, our Nashville personal injury attorneys have proudly served residents of Nashville, Davidson County and Central Tennessee for over 40 years. In that time, we've been successful in thousands of cases, helping clients receive just compensation for their injuries and restore their quality of life.

We have successfully resolved many types of auto accident cases including:

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

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

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Car Accidents Injuries Can Be Serious and Costly

Minor car accidents and parking lot fender benders can be relatively straightforward, but many serious collisions require emergency medical care, costly treatment and ongoing physical therapy. What's more, these injuries can take a tremendous toll on your financial and emotional well-being due to missed time at work and emotional distress.

Catastrophic injuries that commonly arise after a serious collision include:

Immediately following a wreck, your adrenaline and shock may conceal injuries. In the days or even weeks after, a small twinge of pain may develop into a debilitating condition. For this reason, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after any crash (even a seemingly minor one) to check for any serious injuries with delayed symptoms.

Common Causes of Nashville Car Accidents

Common causes of Nashville car accidents

According to crash data, some of the most common factors and driver actions that result in crashes are:

  • Careless or erratic driving
  • Driver distractions
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Following another vehicle too closely or improperly
  • Inattentive driver
  • Failure to obey traffic controls and signs
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Speeding
  • Improperly backing up
  • Unsafe lane changing
  • Improper turning
  • Failure to stay in the proper lane or running off the road
  • Operator inexperience
  • Reckless or negligent driving
  • Overcorrecting
  • Improper passing

A Brief Guide to Tennessee Car Accident Laws

Liability, Fault and Negligence

Tennessee is an "at-fault" state, which means that anyone who is injured in a Nashville car accident that wasn't their fault can seek financial compensation from the person who caused the wreck. What's more, Tennessee is also a "modified comparative fault" state, meaning that when collisions are determined to be caused by more than 1 party, liability is distributed amongst all at-fault parties.

For example, if another driver ran a red light and hit you but you were also speeding through the intersection, liability might be split in such a way that the other driver is held 75 percent liable while you are held 25 percent liable. In this case, you wouldn't only be able to recover a maximum of 75 percent of your total damages. If, however, a judge rules that you and the other driver are each 50 percent responsible for the crash, then you would be ineligible for damages under Tennessee's modified comparative fault rule.

In order to win damages in your case, you have to establish negligence. To prove negligence, you must show that your auto accident meets the following standards:

  1. The defendant (other driver) owed you a reasonable duty of care;
  2. The defendant breached this duty;
  3. The defendant's breach of duty was the proximate cause of your injuries; and
  4. You suffered measurable financial harm (damages).

Insurance and Licensing Requirements

Since Tennessee is an at-fault state, car insurance plays an important role in compensating accident victims. Under Tennessee's Financial Responsibility Law, car insurance is required for all drivers and liability coverage must meet the following minimum policy limits:

  • $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of 1 person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $15,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.

The purpose of liability insurance coverage is to pay for the medical bills, property damage and other accident-related expenses of another person in a crash the insured individual caused. This 25/50/15 requirement is the minimum standard. The policyholder can be held personally liable for additional damages beyond what their policy covers, which is often the case when a crash results in serious injuries and death.

Driving a vehicle without insurance or a license is against the law in Tennessee, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine.

Reporting an Accident

Under Tennessee traffic law (Section 55-12-104), you must report a crash in writing to the TN Department of Safety & Homeland Security within 20 days if you are involved in an accident where:

  • Someone was injured or killed, or
  • The crash resulted in property damage of more than $1,500 (or if an accident results in damage to state or local government property in excess of $400).
This report is required regardless of who was at fault and in addition to any report filed by an investigating officer.

You can download the accident report form online. You'll need to mail the completed form to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security at P.O. Box 945, Nashville, TN 37202.

Statute of Limitations

Each state has a strict deadline known as the "statute of limitations," which determines how long you have to file a car accident lawsuit before the door shuts forever. The clock starts ticking from the moment the crash happens, and 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.

Tennessee has one of the shortest statutes of limitations in the entire country. You only have 1 year from the date the accident occurred to file a claim (TN Code § 28-3-104).

Twelve months might seem like plenty of time, but you'd be surprised how quickly the time flies. In addition, important evidence and witnesses can be difficult or impossible to track down if you don't act immediately. In short, the longer you wait to seek help from a Tennessee car accident attorney, the harder it will be to secure the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Damages and Compensation

Typically, if you were hurt by another driver, you will file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company in order to get reimbursed for your accident-related injuries and damages—or you can file a claim with your own insurance company, which will then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver's insurer). However, if the other driver is uninsured or lacks sufficient coverage to pay for all of your damages, then you may have to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

This is where hiring a car accident attorney in Nashville can help.

Our attorneys will fight to ensure that you and your family receive the maximum compensation possible for your:

  • Medical bills (past, ongoing and future)
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning ability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral and burial expenses (in the event of death)

In addition, we can seek punitive damages in certain cases involving gross negligence and malicious conduct—such as drunk driving and hit-and-run collisions.

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 in Nashville, TN

First and foremost, following a crash you should check yourself, your passengers and other vehicle occupants for any injuries. If you or anyone else is hurt, call 911 and tell the dispatcher to send an ambulance. The dispatcher will also notify local law enforcement to come to the accident scene to complete a report.

If nobody appears to be injured, you can either call 911 or the local non-emergency "urgency without emergency" phone number to request police assistance. Nashville's non-emergency number is (865) 637-2442.

If you are seriously hurt, simply wait for first responders to arrive and obey their instructions regarding your medical care and treatment. You may have to be transported to the hospital. However, if you can do so safely and without injuring yourself, use this time to gather important information from the other driver, eyewitnesses and the accident scene.

Start by collecting the following information from all other drivers involved in the crash:

  • Their first and last name
  • Their address
  • Their phone number
  • Their driver's license number
  • Their license plate number and state
  • Their insurance company and policy number

If there are eyewitnesses who saw the accident and stopped to render aid, ask for their name and contact information. You don't have to get their statement now, but their perspective could be valuable down the road in determining liability.

Lastly, before you leave the accident scene, take pictures and/or video with your cellphone or a camera. Be sure to capture multiple angles of the damage to your vehicle, any other vehicle involved, as well as the general area (traffic lights, road conditions, cross streets, weather conditions, etc.).

You'll also need to notify your car insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. You don't have to offer details or speculate who was at fault at this time; that's what the police report is for. In fact, it's in your best interest to wait until you have the police report and have spoken with an attorney before giving a recorded statement. However, putting your insurance company on notice as soon as possible is a necessary step to make sure your claim can't be denied for failing to give prompt notification.

If you haven't seen a doctor yet, be sure to do so at this time to identify any injuries with delayed symptoms and begin treatment.

Finally, if you encounter any problems getting compensation from an insurance company, if your injuries are severe, if liability is disputed or if the other driver is uninsured, don't hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our experienced Nashville car accident attorneys to discuss your options for financial recovery. Don't wait too long though, since the statute of limitations may be expiring soon on your case.

Why Contact a Nashville Auto Accident Attorney?

Navigating the legal maze of paperwork, deadlines and red tape following a car accident is more than many folks can take, especially while simultaneously trying to recover from a devastating injury. In this legal quagmire, it's essential that you fully understand your rights under Tennessee personal injury law. Make no mistake that the other driver and their insurance company have a team of legal experts pouring over your case right now, looking for a loophole they can exploit to deny your claim.

For over four decades, Gilreath & Associates has made it our mission to fight for justice and compensation on behalf of good people stuck in difficult situations.

We aren't afraid to do what needs to be done to deliver the best possible result for our clients, whether that means negotiating a full and fair settlement or going to court to hold a greedy insurance company or negligent driver responsible for your damages.

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 historic downtown Nashville across from Public Square Park and 2 blocks from the Cumberland River, we serve individuals and families in Davidson County and across Tennessee 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.
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