Tennessee is a fault state for automobile accidents. You must prove that the other driver caused the crash to recover compensation for your damages. However, if you are partially at fault for causing the collision, your compensation may be negatively impacted. Talking to experienced Tennessee personal injury attorneys is crucial. Doing so will help avoid making a mistake that could result in you receiving less compensation because of the state’s comparative fault laws.
What is Comparative Fault?
Comparative fault is a legal theory by which damages are allotted between parties based on each party’s share of fault. In other words, fault for the car crash is divided among the drivers who contributed to the cause of the crash. One driver might have been speeding, while another driver failed to yield the right of way. Both parties were at fault, but who was more at fault for the crash? The answer to that question determines the amount of compensation a party will receive when filing a personal injury claim.
Under Tennessee’s comparative fault system, your compensation for an accident is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For instance, if your total damages equal $100,000, but the court finds you are 40 percent at fault for the traffic accident, the maximum compensation you can receive is $60,000 ($100,000 less 40 percent or $40,000).
Tennessee’s Modified Comparative Fault Standard
Some states follow a modified comparative fault system. That system limits a party’s ability to recover compensation if the party’s amount of fault exceeds a certain percentage. For example, Tennessee has adopted a 50 percent rule for personal injury claims.
According to the 50% Rule, if you are found to be 50 percent or more at fault for a motor vehicle accident, you cannot receive any compensation. As long as your percentage of fault for the accident is below 50 percent, you can recover compensation. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you by the judge or jury.
How Do Insurance Companies Use Comparative Fault?
If an insurance company can prove you had any fault in causing the car accident, it can reduce the amount of money it must pay you. Therefore, the insurance adjuster may pressure you to provide a written or recorded statement before talking with an attorney. The adjuster hopes to obtain information from your statement to use to argue that you were partially at fault for the crash. Be careful – even after the collision.
It is in your best interests to meet with an attorney before you talk to an insurance claims adjuster or make any statements regarding the accident. The insurance adjuster for the other driver is not trying to help you. The insurance adjuster for the other driver is only trying to pay you as little as possible.
Contact Our Tennessee Personal Injury Attorneys to Discuss Your Case
If you are involved in a traffic accident, never admit fault, or apologize for the crash at the accident scene. Until all of the facts are carefully analyzed, you cannot be sure if you had anything to do with the cause of the crash. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Cummings Law today. Meeting with one of our Tennessee personal injury attorneys as soon as possible after the accident allows us to begin an investigation immediately. This lets us gather evidence to prove the other party was completely liable for causing the accident.
Posted in: Personal Injury