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Common Questions

Personal Injury FAQ

  • I Have Been Injured in an Accident; What Should I Do?
    Regardless of what type of vehicle accident you were in, you should contact law enforcement, your insurance provider, and emergency medical personnel as soon as possible. Additionally, it is important to learn as much information about the others involved in the accident as possible, including their driver's license, contact, and insurance information. If possible, taking photographs of the accident scene as soon as possible will assist in determining exactly what happened and provide important documentation of what occurred.

    Even if you feel your injuries are not serious, you should allow the medical personnel who arrive at the scene to treat and examine you. You may have a head injury or internal injuries that are not readily apparent immediately after the impact. Additionally, you should only speak to your attorney and refrain from making any statements to the person who caused the injury or his or her insurance company. Often, after an accident, other parties, particularly the other party's insurance company representative, will attempt to speak to you. You are not required to speak to anyone about the accident or your case, and doing so could potentially harm your recovery.
  • Who Pays My Medical Expenses If I Was Seriously Injured in an Accident?
    Tennessee is a traditional common law insurance state. This means that there are no limits or restrictions on filing a lawsuit if you believe another's negligence caused your injuries. It also means that you need not worry if your expenses exceed your own insurance coverage, because under the traditional system, you can recover from the person who caused the accident. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will carefully examine the facts of your case and fight to obtain the maximum recovery to which you are entitled. Whether we reach a settlement or obtain a jury trial award, we are dedicated to maximizing your recovery so that you can move on with your life without having to worry about mounting medical bills from an injury that someone else caused.
  • Do I Have a Good Case?

    Every personal injury matter is different. Whether you have a good case depends widely on the facts of your specific case and exactly what happened. Additionally, your time to file a case is limited. Tennessee law generally allows you to file a lawsuit in a personal injury negligence action within one year. While this may seem like a long time, it is advisable to consult and retain an attorney as soon as possible to begin representing your rights and interests. Witnesses become unavailable, and memories fade over time. Additionally, proper documentation of your case is an ongoing process that becomes extremely difficult if a considerable length of time passes between an injury and when you obtain your representation.

    If you or a loved one has been injured or has died in an accident or personal injury incident, you need experienced legal representation to ensure that your rights are being protected and you receive the maximum recovery to which you are entitled. We are experienced personal injury attorneys dedicated to providing superior legal representation to each of our clients. Contact Menefee & Brown, P.C. for a free initial consultation regarding your personal injury case.

Family Law FAQ

  • How Do I Get a Divorce? How Long Does the Process Take?
    Either you or your spouse must file a Petition for Divorce with the court to initiate divorce proceedings. Under Tennessee Code, Sections 36-4-101 and 36-4-103, this petition must explain the grounds for divorce, which can either be No-Fault (such as irreconcilable differences) or Fault (such as adultery, abuse, or drug addiction). Even if you and your spouse both agree on the terms of the divorce, a judge must enter a decree to make the divorce final. It is hard to predict how long any particular divorce will take; it depends on how quickly and easily you and your spouse can come to an agreement, the court's schedule, and how complicated your particular case is.
  • Will I Have to Pay My Ex-Spouse Support After Our Divorce?
    In Tennessee, the court can order alimony payments under Code Section 36-5-121 according to the "nature of the case and the circumstances of the parties." The court can order a specific amount to be paid in monthly, semimonthly, or weekly installments. The court can also order various kinds of temporary support, to be paid either in a lump sum or in installments. Traditional alimony ends upon the death or remarriage of the recipient. We strongly advise you seek the counsel of experienced divorce attorneys regarding your financial obligations both during divorce proceedings and after the finalization of your divorce.
  • How Will Our Property Be Divided After Divorce?
    Tennessee follows traditional common laws for property division. Under Section 36-4-121 of the Tennessee Code, judges will divide "marital property" - that is, property acquired by either or both spouses during marriage - in a manner it deems equitable. Once the judge enters the decree dividing the property, any property acquired after that is considered separate. Of course, the division of property is often highly complicated and often subject to dispute. An experienced divorce attorney will examine your situation and protect your interest in your property.
  • What Are Pre-Nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements?

    Parties draft pre-nuptial agreements before getting married, and post-nuptial agreements any time after marriage. Both types of agreements provide for the distribution of property, assets, and debt in the event of a divorce. We strongly recommend that you consult an experienced divorce lawyer to assist in drafting either pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements. These agreements provide protection of your legal rights, property interests, and assets in the event of a divorce.

  • How Is Paternity Established?

    Paternity is established through a DNA genetic test. Either both parties agree to the test, or in some cases, Tennessee Code Section 36-2-305 allows a judge to order a test. Section 36-2-304 defines situations where a man is presumed to be a child's father. If the baby is born during a marriage or is born within 300 days of a divorce, the man is presumed to be the child's father. If a man wants to establish paternity or establish that he is not a child's father, he can file a complaint to establish parentage. Both the child and his or her mother can also file a complaint to establish parentage. The laws regarding paternity in Tennessee are quite complex. We advise you to consult attorneys who are experienced in paternity issues to ensure your rights are protected.

Criminal Law FAQ

  • What Does It Mean That I Have the Right to Remain Silent?

    According to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we all have certain rights related to criminal proceedings. Among these is the right to not incriminate yourself, meaning you don’t have to answer right away any of the questions the arresting officer asks you. You are well within your rights to politely decline answering questions or to remain silent. The Supreme Court has also determined that you have the right to an attorney, so we encourage you not to speak with police until you have spoken with an attorney like one of the capable team at Menefee & Brown, P.C.

  • Should I Take a Breathalyzer® or Blood Test at a DUI Stop?

    This is a tricky question, but one that can make a major difference in the DUI charge process. If you truly believe your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit of 0.08, then it is likely in your best interest to take the Breathalyzer® test. If you pass it, this will likely put an end to the entire situation. However, a DUI may carry more stringent penalties than refusing a test, so if you are likely to test well above the legal limit, you might be best served by simply declining a test and taking a one-year license suspension. If you have been charged with a DUI, always retain an attorney who understands the criminal process.

  • Should I Let an Officer Search My Vehicle?

    The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects us against unwarranted searches and seizures, so unless there is a search warrant, you have the right to refuse a search. We recommend that you exercise this basic right as a U.S. citizen, even if you believe you have nothing to hide.

  • If an Unidentified Officer Stops Me, Should I Comply with His or Her Instructions?

    Unless you have committed an egregious violation, it is unlikely that an off-duty police officer will interact with you. Most police forces discourage off-duty personnel from engaging in police work, as it raises insurance liability issues for the police squad. Therefore, if an unidentified officer attempts to detain you, you may wish to ask him or her for identification in the form of a badge number and request that a uniformed, on-duty officer report to the scene before proceeding.

  • If I Believe I Have Been Erroneously Pulled Over or Detained, What Is My Recourse?

    If an identified policeman pulls you over or detains you, it is important that you comply with his or her instructions and be cooperative. Even if you feel you have done nothing wrong, uncooperative actions might exacerbate your situation and lead to potential charges, such as resisting arrest. If you are being treated unfairly, simply comply for the moment, and then retain a lawyer to help prosecute those who have acted inappropriately.

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