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How does fault work in a Tennessee auto accident?

| Jan 28, 2020 | Car Accidents

Tennessee maintains fault laws for auto accident liability. If the investigation determines that a driver caused the accident, he or she has responsibility for the financial costs such as medical bills and property damage. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in an auto accident, explore the process for seeking legal damages. 

Modified comparative negligence 

According to this standard, a person can recover damages after an accident if he or she has only partial fault. For example, if the investigation finds that you had 30% of the fault and the other driver had 70%, the insurance company and/or court will reduce the damage amount by 30%. 

Factors in fault determination 

Most fault decisions start with the insurance adjuster. When an auto accident occurs, you must file a claim with the insurance company to cover the costs of the crash. The adjuster will review evidence of careless driving, evidence of traffic law violations, witness and motorist testimony including admissions of guilt, and the police report from the accident. If either party disagrees with the fault determination of the insurance company, he or she can file a lawsuit, during which the judge and/or jury will determine fault. 

Auto insurance limits 

Tennessee requires drivers to carry at least $25,000 per individual in personal injury and wrongful death auto insurance, $50,000 total injury and wrongful death coverage per accident and $10,000 in property damage coverage per accident. If another driver was at fault and your costs exceed these amounts, you can seek the remainder of your damages in court. However, you only have one year to file a lawsuit for personal injury and three years for property damage, starting from the date of the accident. 

Before filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, make sure that you understand the full extent of your possible damages. Tennessee allows accident victims to recover both monetary and non-monetary costs, including medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. 

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