Can I Sue If I Was A Passenger Injured In A Nashville Car Accident?

February 28 2024 | Nashville Car Accident Lawyer Blog
  • Can I sue if i was injured as a passenger in a Nashville car wreck?

    If you’ve been injured as a passenger in a Nashville car accident, Tennessee law allows you to seek legal recourse. However, certain requirements must be fulfilled to proceed with a claim.

    Our Nashville car accident attorneys are here to assist you in maximizing your compensation from the negligent driver or drivers involved. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our team is accessible 24/7 and dedicated to navigating you through the personal injury claims process.

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    What to consider when injured as a passenger in a car accident

    If you’re a passenger injured in a collision in Nashville, it’s crucial to consider various factors to ensure a clear understanding of your options.

    • The number of drivers involved in the crash
    • Liability for your injuries and insurance options available to you as a passenger
    • Determination of fault for the collision and respective percentages
    • Damages eligible for compensation
    • Steps to safeguard your legal rights following the accident

    Our team will address the types of passenger injuries you may have experienced during the car accident and guide you through the process of taking legal action.


    Types of passenger injury car accidents

    If you were a passenger in a car accident in Nashville, you may find yourself in one of two situations:

    1. You were injured in a single-car accident (no other vehicles involved).
    2. You were injured in a multi-car accident (involving more than one vehicle).

    In either case, it’s essential to understand Tennessee’s insurance requirements. Depending on the circumstances, compensation for your injuries may come from the driver of the vehicle you were in, the insurance company of the other driver(s), or your auto insurance provider.


    Who can an injured passenger hold liable after a car accident?

    In a passenger injury claim or car accident lawsuit in Nashville, an injured passenger can seek accountability from various parties for their injuries, including:

    The driver of the car you were a passenger in: Regarding potential legal actions following an accident, the responsibility typically falls on the driver of the vehicle in which you were a passenger. While taking legal action against a member of your family or friend may feel uncomfortable, it’s essential to understand that in most cases, the driver’s insurance provider is responsible for your compensation, not the driver personally.

    Remember that an insurance company might take advantage of your hesitation to file a lawsuit or claim against someone you know or use tactics to reduce or eliminate your claim. To ensure you receive fair compensation for medical expenses, lost income, or other damages, you may need to pursue an injury claim against the vehicle driver. Even if the driver is your spouse, pursuing a claim could provide indirect financial benefits, especially if they would otherwise be responsible for covering your medical bills or other expenses.

    The other driver(s): If someone is determined to be at fault or shares responsibility for the accident that caused your injuries, they can also be pursued in a personal injury claim.

    The vehicle owner(s): In Nashville, the responsibility for injuries sustained as a passenger in a collision can extend to the owner(s) of the vehicle, even if they were not present at the time of the accident.

    Your own insurance: As a rule, Tennessee auto insurance policies have built-in coverage for uninsured (UI) and underinsured motorists (UIM). This means that if the responsible party fails to carry adequate insurance to address their negligent actions, you may have the opportunity to file a claim with your own insurance company to handle medical expenses and lost wages stemming from your injuries.


    With more drivers involved in a crash, it can become increasingly complex to determine who to seek compensation from. An experienced Nashville personal injury lawyer can assist in ensuring that all parties responsible for your injuries are held accountable.


    Filing a third-party insurance claim as an injured passenger

    A third-party insurance claim is filed by an individual who has suffered injury or damage due to the actions of another party. In this scenario, the individual making the claim, referred to as the “third party,” is not the policyholder but is affected by the policyholder’s actions.


    I was a passenger in a car accident, and the driver was at fault

    If the driver of the vehicle you were traveling in is found to be responsible for the accident in Nashville, you can start an insurance claim using their coverage. It’s worth noting that drivers have insurance to protect themselves and their passengers. This coverage can help with medical expenses, lost wages (up to the applicable limit), and other expenses stemming from your injuries.

    For example, you were a passenger involved in a collision where the driver of the vehicle you were in caused the accident. This could be an accident with another vehicle, or a crash simply caused by the driver’s negligence alone. As a result, you sustained injuries such as whiplash and a fractured leg. In this situation, you could file a third-party insurance claim against the driver’s insurance policy to pursue compensation for your medical fees, lost wages, and any pain and suffering resulting from the accident.

    The insurance company of the driver at fault, acting on behalf of the responsible party, would manage your claim as a third party. They would review the circumstances of the accident, evaluate the damages you sustained, and determine compensation based on their assessment and the coverage outlined in the driver’s insurance policy. Nashville personal injury lawyers can help injured victims navigate this process.

    I was a passenger in a car accident, and the other driver was at fault

    If you were injured as a passenger in Nashville due to an accident, and it was determined that another driver was at fault, your third-party insurance claims would be filed with the responsible driver’s insurance company. In situations where the vehicle you were in was rear-ended, typically placing the blame on the other driver, you could pursue a third-party claim with their insurance carrier. A Nashville personal injury lawyer can handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you recover the most money possible.

    I was a passenger in a car accident, and multiple drivers were found to be at fault

    In Tennessee, the legal structure follows the “50 percent bar rule,” formally referred to as the modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if a driver is 50 percent or more at fault, they cannot recover any compensation for their damages. Percentage of fault will help determine which driver is responsible for compensating you as a passenger; however, determining fault, such as in a sideswipe accident, depends on the unique details of the incident. Collaborating with a seasoned Nashville car accident lawyer that can conduct an independent investigation into the crash on your behalf is crucial.

    Filing a personal injury lawsuit as an injured passenger

    Tennessee is considered a “fault state,” meaning that if you are injured in a car accident and another driver is at fault, you may recover damages from them and their insurance company in a personal injury suit. In accidents like a T-bone collision, where passengers may experience more severe injuries, there are several instances where you may receive compensation and where a personal injury lawyer can help.

    Damages that a passenger can seek after being injured in a crash:

    • Medical expenses
    • Pain and suffering
    • Lost wages
    • Property damage
    • Loss of consortium
    • Punitive damages
    • Wrongful death damages if a family member died because of the crash


    Suppose you were injured in a head-on collision. You may be entitled to damages in two categories: economic, such as medical expenses and diminished earning capacity, and non-economic damages, such as emotional distress and reduced quality of life.

    In the case of a wrongful death, Tennessee law states you only have one year from the time of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While it can be challenging to discuss a loved one’s death soon after an accident, it’s crucial to seek help from an attorney quickly so you don’t lose your right to recover compensation.

    In Nashville, the personal injury lawyers at Hughes & Coleman can guide you through every step of the process from start to settlement. We’ll hold those responsible for your accident accountable, collect witness statements, confer with insurance adjusters, ensure you receive necessary medical treatment, and file your initial claim. Trust us to fight for the maximum compensation so you can prioritize your recovery.


    What an injured passenger should do after a car accident in Nashville

    After a collision in Nashville, passengers should take these important steps to safeguard their legal rights and pursue financial compensation.

    • Contact police: In Nashville, law enforcement will respond to severe accidents, investigate the scene, and file an official report.
    • Collect evidence: Take photos and videos, and gather witness statements and contact information, if feasible, to support your case.
    • Note ever detail possible: Memories often fade following a crash, so it’s important to write down any details that may help your claim. This is especially true if you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident.
    • Seek medical attention: Getting treated promptly for any injuries sustained in the accident is crucial to ensure proper documentation.
    • Obtain the police report: If your accident report was filed with the Metro Nashville Police Department, you can easily access a copy online through the Central Records Division. Alternatively, if the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) investigated your crash, you can also obtain a report from them. Please note that there is a $10 fee for accessing a report from THP online.
    • Consult an attorney: Contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can clarify your rights, navigate the legal process, and advocate on your behalf. Never agree to a settlement without consulting a qualified injury lawyer.


    Contact us today for a free consultation

    At Hughes & Coleman, we commit to ensuring you receive the total compensation you’re entitled to from the insurance company. With more than 35 years of experience, our team has supported injured passengers impacted by negligent drivers in Nashville and across Tennessee. We’re here 24/7 to help you through this difficult time.

    Call us today


    Get it done.


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