In Tennessee, it is illegal for a person to drive under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The state can bring criminal charges against the individual and, if convicted, they could face jail time and fines. If you or a loved one was harmed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, you could also pursue a civil claim to recover compensation for damages.
Filing a Claim by the Deadline
In every state, there is a set deadline by which a person has to file a claim after an accident, which is called the statute of limitations. In Tennessee, when you are required to pursue legal action depends on the results of your accident. If you or a loved one was injured, you must initiate a claim within one year of the crash. The one-year time limit also applies in wrongful death cases; however, the statute of limitations begins after the date your loved one passed away rather than after the date of the accident.
If the accident resulted in damage to your vehicle or other property, you have three years from the date of the collision to pursue a claim.
Failing to adhere to the deadlines could result in the court dismissing your case.
If you initiate a claim against the drunk driver, the burden rests on you to prove that the individual was inebriated at the time of the accident. This involves collecting evidence, such as witness statements, accident photos, and police reports.
Having an attorney on your side could help as you proceed through the evidence-gathering stage of the process. Personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling these types of matters, and they have access to resources that can help them develop an account of what caused the accident and who was responsible.
Pursuing a Dram Shop Claim
In some cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the establishment that served the drunk driver alcohol.
According to Tennessee Code 57-10-102, if you were in an accident that caused injury or death, you can seek compensation from the vendor if:
- The establishment sold alcoholic beverages to someone under 21 years of age or to a visibly intoxicated person, and
- The inebriated individual caused the accident because of the alcohol they consumed
Andrew Farmer Law Is Dedicated to Protecting the Rights of Victims – Your Initial Consultation Is Free
If you or a loved one was harmed in an accident caused by a drunk driver, our attorney is here to provide the compassionate support you need to initiate a claim. We have years of experience handling such matters, and we know how to develop effective legal strategies. Whether your case can be settled through negotiations or needs to be taken to trial, we will provide aggressive representation to fight for just compensation.
To schedule your free consultation, call us at (865) 205-2637 or contact us online.