A woman explaining the events of her car accident to a police officer.

Tennessee Is An At-Fault State: Here’s What That Means

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Car insurance is essential to protect yourself after you’re involved in a car accident. You never know when an accident may strike, so it’s important to know the type of policy you have and what expenses it will cover.

Insurance laws vary depending on which state you reside in, so it’s important that you are fully aware of the laws and requirements for your state. In Tennessee, we are an at-fault state. Keep reading to learn how Tennessee is an at-fault state, and what that means in the aftermath of your car accident.

What Is an At-Fault State?

a woman calling a lawyer after a car accident in ChattanoogaTennessee is an at-fault state, which means if a driver is found at fault for an accident, they are held legally responsible for the damages and injuries they caused. The insurance company will pay up to the at-fault driver’s policy limits.

In no-fault states, on the other hand, drivers involved in an accident are required to file a claim with their own insurance company, regardless of who caused the collision.

In Tennessee, an injured driver can either file a claim directly with their insurance company, file a claim against a third party’s insurance company, or file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in civil court. However, it’s in your best interest to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney before making any legal choices regarding your claim.

Car Insurance Requirements

In the state of Tennessee, drivers are required to have liability insurance, which can help cover damages and any injuries you caused to another individual on the roadways. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Tennessee drivers must have the following minimum limits for their liability insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 for each injury or death per accident.
  • $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident.
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident.

Residents have the option to add additional protection to their policy, including uninsured motorist, comprehensive, and collision coverage.

How Is Fault Proven in an Accident?

Determining fault is based on various componentsTwo drivers taking photos of the damage to prove fault after a car accident.. For example, photos, witness statements, and the severity of your injuries can help prove who was at fault for the collision.

The state of Tennessee abides by what is known as the “modified comparative negligence system,” whereas other states follow the comparative negligence or contributory negligence system. Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence system is based on percentages and uses what is known as the “50 percent rule.”

For you to receive any compensation, you and your lawyer must prove that you are 49 percent or less responsible for the accident. However, if you are found to be 50 percent or more responsible for the collision, you will not be eligible for compensation.

Plus, the more at fault you are found, the less compensation you receive. For example, if you are found 10% at fault for the accident, your final settlement will be reduced by 10%.

If I File a Claim, Will I Receive Compensation?

First responders at the scene of a car accident in Tennessee.Compensation is the amount awarded to a person who suffered injuries due to the careless actions of another individual. Compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, property loss, and pain and suffering.

However, in many cases, insurance companies give injured drivers a difficult time when they file a claim. Insurance companies’ main goal is to make a profit, which means they will try to pay out as little compensation as possible. This can cause you to be left with an amount that’s less than what you deserve.

When you contact our car accident attorneys, you can trust that we will fight for what you rightfully deserve. To determine whether or not you are eligible for compensation, we must review the different aspects of your case. We will handle negotiations with the insurance company and make sure you’re not taken advantage of.

Our Experienced Attorneys at McMahan Law Firm Can Help!

At McMahan Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing our Tennessee community with quality legal services. Car accident claims can be strenuous to handle without legal advice. We know the frustration and worry you may feel after an accident, but our team can help take some of the weight off your shoulders.

If you have any questions about whether or not you have a case, don’t hesitate. Contact us today! Call our law office today at (423) 265-1100, or fill out our free consultation form. We will handle your legal matters on your behalf while you focus on recovery.