Is Tennessee a fault state for auto accidents?

Tennessee car accident laws allow financial recovery for accident-related injuries. You can either go through your insurance company or filing a lawsuit within the established statute of limitations.

If you find yourself in this situation, learn about the laws about car accident liability and recovery in Tennessee.

Filing limits

If you decide to file a lawsuit against a driver who caused the accident, you must do so within the state’s one-year statute of limitations. For vehicle or property damage, the window for a lawsuit extends to three years. If you have lost a family member to auto accident injuries resulting from negligence, you may file a wrongful death suit within one year of the accident.

Modified comparative fault

Tennessee is a “modified comparative negligence” state. You can recover damages even if you share some fault for the accident. The judge or jury reduces the awarded damages based on your fault percentage. For example, if your injury award is $100,000 but you were 20% at fault for the accident you would receive $80,000.

Tennessee allows judges, juries and insurance adjusters discretion in determining fault. The state does not have a specific rule or formula. You must provide evidence to support your legal claim, including medical records, photos and videos of the crash scene, witness and expert testimony, and police reports. 

Even if you decide to file a lawsuit, you must also report an auto accident to your insurance company. If the adjuster decides the other driver caused the collision, they may pursue the other driver’s insurance company for the cost of your claim.