Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
A Family Law Firm - Clarkville, TN
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A More Progressive Approach to Legal Representation

5 Common mistakes made after an auto accident in Tennessee:

An auto accident can be a traumatic and difficult time. However, avoiding these common mistakes will help you in the days following the wreck and put you in a better position to allow an attorney to evaluate your case.

1. Not speaking with witnesses at the scene: It is important to get statements from people on the scene. Anyone who witnessed the collision, either seeing what happened or hearing what happened) could add more information and help fully reconstruct the scene for the responding office or an attorney at trial. It is important to get the information on scene or very soon after the wreck. The longer the delay in interviewing witnesses the more likely it is that details get lost or memories fade.

2. Not photographing the scene before vehicles are moved: Photographs of the crash site can be paramount to establishing fault. Damage to each vehicle should be photographed along with different sides of the intersection or roadway where the collision occurred. This will help establish the time of day, weather condition at the time of the wreck, traffic congestion, any obstructions that may have impaired drivers' vision or any other factors contributing to the wreck. Please remember: Photographs should only be taken if it is reasonably safe to do so at the time.

3. Not seeking medical attention within 24 hours of the wreck: Often in fender -bender or low impact wrecks injuries aren't clear until several hours after the collision. This does not mean that soft tissue injuries should be ignored. Any discomfort or injuries that you believe are the result of your automobile accident should be evaluated by a medical professional immediately. A delay in medical treatment or a gap of several weeks or months in continuing treatment could cause an insurance company to claim that the treatment received is unrelated to the auto accident.

4. Not immediately consulting with an attorney: To insure your legal rights are protected it is important to speak with an attorney immediately after an auto accident. There are statutes of limitation associated with personal injury claims. An attorney needs to be consulted as soon as possible after the auto accident to evaluate your claim and provide you with an understanding of how a personal injury claim is processed. Mathis, Bates and Klinghard, PLLC offer free consultations and we would be happy to evaluate your case. Important documents to bring to your initial consultation are:

· Accident Report

· Medical Insurance Card

· Auto Insurance Declaration Page

· List of places or doctors you have received treatment from related to you accident

5. Providing oral or written statements to an insurance adjuster without an attorney: Insurance adjusters often contact you multiple times after an auto accident and state you have to provide a written or oral statement to them before your claim can be processed. It is important to consult with an attorney before providing any statements to the insurance adjuster. You may say or do something that could be used against you later in litigation to discredit or invalidate your personal injury claim. If you are concerned that you will forget details over time either record your oral statement or write down a narrative of the wreck to provide to your attorney.

We at Mathis, Bates and Klinghard understand that being involved in auto accidents can be trying but we are here to offer our help and services to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.

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Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
412 Franklin Street
Clarksville, TN 37040

Phone: 931-444-3153
Fax: 931-278-6642
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