Tennessee is a fault state when it comes to auto accidents. Fault ranges from 0% to 100% depending on the circumstances of the crash. When the insurance company determines fault based on the police report and factors contributing to the accident, a party with less than 50% fault can seek compensation from the party who was more at fault.
If you have injuries and other costs associated with a Tennessee auto accident, learn how fault plays a role in whether you can sue for damages.
Exploring fault and liability
Under Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence rule, the driver who is at fault must cover the costs of the accidents. If you are 30% at fault and the other driver is 70% at fault, he or she must cover 70% of the associated financial damages.
Tennessee drivers must carry liability insurance to cover the costs of accidents in which they are at fault. The policy minimums are $15,000 for property damage per accident, $25,000 for injury or death of one person and $50,000 for injury or fatality of multiple involved parties.
Proving auto accident fault
The insurance adjuster typically determines fault in a car accident. This determination considers all existing evidence, including admissions of guilt, witness statements, evidence of texting or eating while driving, police reports, and photos and videos of the crash site.
If either party disagrees with the adjuster’s fault determination, he or she can file a lawsuit. In this case, the fault determination falls to the judge and/or jury.
Pursuing auto accident damages
After an accident, your first step is to file a claim with your insurance company. If you know the other driver was at fault, you can file a claim with his or her insurance company. After the adjuster investigates, the insurance company will offer you a settlement. If this amount does not cover the full cost of your injuries and damages, you can sue for the full extent of damages.
If you decide to file a lawsuit after an auto accident, you must do so within one year for personal injury and three years for property damage claims. You must file the complaint with the municipality where the accident occurred.