What Are the Different Types of Claims that Can Be Brought After a Personal Injury Auto Collision?

If you have been involved in a car accident in Nashville, Davidson County, or anywhere else in the great state of Tennessee, you undoubtedly have many unanswered questions. While every case is different, in general, there are some main categories of claims that arise from car crashes and numerous persons or entities who may be held legally responsible under the law in the state of Tennessee.

Negligence: This is the most common allegation, namely, that some person or entity failed to act in a reasonable manner, which caused injury or damage.

Negligent Entrustment: This is an allegation that arises when the owner of the vehicle loans or allows another to use his or her car, truck or SUV and that person causes a traffic mishap. If it can be shown that the owner knowingly or negligently entrusted the vehicle to another in a defective condition (e.g. with known mechanical problems) or allowed the driver to take control knowing that the driver was incompetent or unable to safely operate the vehicle.

Negligent Hiring, Training, and or Supervision by Employer of Employee Driver: This arises normally in the case of employer-owned vehicles (such as semi-tractor trailers, delivery trucks, and other commercial vehicles).

Wrongful Death and Survival Actions: Unfortunately, some traffic collisions result in the death of either the driver or passengers. It is important to assess who may be able to assert claims on behalf of spouses, children, parents, and other persons that may have been dependent upon the deceased person financially.

Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress: Established Tennessee law states that if a close relative or loved one of the injured person observes the incident and sustained emotional anguish and anxiety as a result, this may be actionable.

Loss of Consortium: This is a claim by one spouse for the loss of the support and service, love and affection, society and companionship, sexual relations, and solace from the other, injured or deceased spouse.

Products Liability: In auto crash cases, this can range from alleged manufacturing defects, failure to warn, breach of express or implied warranties and other related claims for any defective car, truck, SUV or component thereof such as tires, brakes, engine components, safety harnesses, and airbags and any other auto parts.

Who can be potentially liable for injuries sustained in a motor-vehicle accident in Tennessee?

These can include many persons or entities including the following:

  • At fault driver of the vehicle
  • Owner of the vehicle driven by the at fault operator
  • Parents or legal guardians of a minor driver
  • Employer of the motorist
  • Automobile manufacturer, distributors, dealers
  • Rental Agencies
  • Service garages
  • Mechanics
  • Private property owners
  • Government agencies
  • Insurance Companies

Why Is It Important to Retain a Personal Injury Attorney Immediately?

There is typically a one year statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit for personal injuries resulting from a motor-vehicle accident in Tennessee. It is important to determine which of the above claims may be viable and against whom out of all the potential defendants listed above should be named in any civil action. It is also critically important to promptly investigate all allegations regarding liability and damages and to preserve evidence so that the matter may be asserted in a way that maximizes the recovery to the injured party.

For all these reasons and for the peace of mind of allowing a professional to handle the claim which, in turn, allows the injured party to focus on getting the treatment they need so they can fully recover from their injuries.