Few vehicle accidents are straightforward. There is a myriad of factors that can affect the outcome, both from a health point of view and a financial one. Things can get more complicated still if you were in a vehicle usually used for work purposes when the accident took place. These are some of the variables that can affect your chance of being compensated for any injuries you had.
- Were you driving or just a passenger?
- Was anyone injured?
- Were you using the vehicle while on work time?
- Who did the vehicle belong to?
- Whose fault was it?
These questions are explored in more detail below.
Were you driving or just a passenger?
If you were just a passenger, it would be highly unlikely that the accident was your fault. This is important as a decision about who was at fault is important in any personal injury claim for compensation. If you were just a passenger and you were injured, it will be important to determine who was at fault so that you can file a claim for medical expenses and lost wages. You may also be able to claim other damages such as a pain and suffering payment.
If you were driving, the same questions apply as they would have done if you were just a passenger, but the question of who was at fault is more important. Tennessee is a “fault” state and has a modified comparative negligence law which means that you can only claim compensation if you were less than 50% to blame for the accident.
Was anyone injured?
If there was anyone injured, regardless of who it was, you should call 911 and ask for both police and report the injury. If emergency treatment is necessary, then say so and wait for paramedics to arrive.
If you were injured, even if the injury was minor, you should see a doctor. You won’t be able to claim any compensation if you have no evidence of your injury or the treatment you receive. Make sure you keep all documentation related to your injuries such as doctor’s assessment, invoices and payment receipts for anything you need to pay for. This is as important for any possible personal injury claim as it is for a workers’ compensation claim.
Were you using the vehicle while on work time?
If you were in a work vehicle at the time of the crash it does matter whether you were officially on work time or not. If you were driving to or from work but weren’t on work time, then you won’t qualify for workers’ compensation. If you were officially at work, even if you were using your own car, you should be able to claim workers’ compensation, even if you were to blame for the accident. Things can get complicated if you were involved in an accident while working and the other driver claims you were at fault, even if it was partial fault. This is when you need an experienced car accident attorney to help you with the legal consequences.
Who did the vehicle belong to?
If the vehicle belonged to your employer, there may be questions raised whether the vehicle had been well maintained or had been fitted with defective parts. Even if you were using the vehicle out of work time and therefore unlikely to qualify for workers’ compensation, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer if the accident had been due to vehicle malfunction or poor maintenance.
Whose fault was it?
Determining fault is crucial if you intend filing a personal injury claim. Even if you were at work at the time and entitled to workers’ compensation, it may still be wise to obtain evidence of who was at fault. Simple steps to take after a crash include:
- Call 911 and notify the police. A police accident report is valuable evidence that can provide useful support for a compensation claim.
- Get witness statements, or contact details, from anyone who saw the accident happen and who is prepared to volunteer information.
- Take photos the damage done to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved. Photos taken with an ordinary cell phone are still valid.
- Take a note of any security or traffic monitoring cameras nearby. These are often installed at busy intersections.
Keith Williams and his team at Nashville Injury Attorney have built a solid reputation for successful car accident claims. They have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their many clients.