Is Tennessee a No-fault State for Car Accidents? | Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys
Car accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. Motor crashes can cause significant stress, emotional trauma, financial strain, and physical pain to the victims. Not many people know that Tennessee is actually a 'fault state.'
Unlike a no-fault state, which requires drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) to cover their medical expenses regardless of who caused the accident, Tennessee drivers involved in auto accidents must prove fault to recover compensation.
The fault-based system means that the claimant must prove liability in order to recover compensation from the at-fault party and their insurance company. Failing to do so will prevent the plaintiff from securing any reimbursement.
Claiming Compensation for Medical Bills
Some states have "no-fault" auto insurance laws that limit a driver's ability to sue for damages following a car accident. However, Tennessee doesn't offer that.
Instead, drivers in Tennessee need to have liability insurance coverage, which covers damages caused by the at-fault driver in an accident. The state mandates that all drivers have minimum coverage limits of:
$25,000 per victim for physical injury.
$50,000 per event for physical injury.
$15,000 per accident for property destruction.
The at-fault driver's insurer or auto insurance coverage will pay for the medical bills, lost wages, property damage costs, etc.
Navigating Auto Accident Cases in Tennessee
Being involved in a car accident is never a pleasant experience. Whether it's a minor fender bender or a major collision, it can be a traumatic and life-changing event.
Beyond the physical and emotional toll it takes, there are also financial implications. Medical expenses, property damages, and lost incomes can all add up quickly, leaving victims wondering how they will manage to recover from such a setback.
However, one of the biggest concerns is often proving fault in a personal injury lawsuit. Tennessee is a fault state, which means that the at-fault driver and their insurance company are responsible for paying for the damages and injuries resulting from the car accident.
This is in contrast to no-fault states, where each victim's insurance agency pays for their respective hospital bills and property damage, regardless of who was liable for the auto accident.
Proving fault in a car accident is complex, especially in cases where both drivers share some responsibility for the incident. That's why victims must hire an experienced car accident attorney to help them navigate the process.
Skilled attorneys can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and negotiate with insurance companies on the victims' behalf to help them recover the compensation they deserve from the personal injury claim. They can also help answer questions like, "What's the average settlement for a car accident case in Tennessee?"
Proving Fault in a Car Accident in Tennessee
It is important to note that Tennessee follows the legal doctrine of "comparative negligence." In other words, for victims who are partially at fault for the accident, their damages may be reduced or eliminated.
As a result, if the plaintiff was speeding at the time of the auto accident, they may be found partially responsible for the damages. This means that any compensation the victim is set to receive is reduced or eliminated depending on how much they contributed to the car accident.
However, an at-fault driver found to be more than 50% liable for the accident cannot recover damages in any way. The no-fault party has to be less than 49% partially responsible for securing financial compensation from the at-fault driver.
To prove fault in a car accident in Tennessee, victims or their lawyers need to show that the other driver was liable for the unfortunate event.
Liability is typically established through evidence showing how one driver acted negligently or carelessly, resulting in an auto accident. Such evidence may include the following:
Medical records and bills
Damage estimates and repair bills
In the end, a personal injury claim in an at-fault state like Tennessee can help plaintiffs recover compensation for a wide range of damages, including:
Pain and suffering
Proving fault in a car accident in Tennessee, which is not a no-fault state, can be challenging. However, with the right legal representation, it is possible for claimants to recover compensation for the damages and injuries they have suffered.
Seeking Compensation from the Insurance Company
In states like Tennessee, comparative negligence laws determine how damages are awarded in cases where both parties are partially at fault for the car accident.
Under comparative negligence, each party's degree of fault is evaluated, and damages are awarded proportionally. As a result, if a jury determines that the plaintiff was 30% at fault for the auto accident, they will only be able to recover 70% of the damages from the personal injury case.
Drivers also have to carry liability car insurance to cover damages they cause to others in car accidents.
Additionally, motorists can purchase collision coverage to protect their own vehicles in the event of an auto accident. On the other hand, uninsured motorist coverage can provide protection for hit-and-run accidents - although it is not a legally binding necessity in Tennessee.
Insurance companies are only interested in minimizing their payouts, so it's crucial for the no-fault driver to have a lawyer on their side to help them navigate the process.
Experienced attorneys will investigate the accident and negotiate with the insurance provider to secure maximum compensation for their clients.
How Can Police Reports Help Prove Liability in Auto Accidents?
Auto accidents can be a life-altering event for anyone involved. Those who are injured or affected by a car accident may have a long road to recovery, and they may find themselves dealing with the aftermath of the incident for months or even years to come.
Determining who is liable for the crash is essential, particularly in "at-fault" states like Tennessee. Police reports are often used to provide critical details to help prove fault in motor vehicle accidents.
First off, it's critical to understand what a police report is. It is basically an official document created by the law enforcement officer in charge after an accident that details the events leading up to the crash. The document also includes the scene of the accident, any witness statements, and more.
These reports can provide information to insurance companies when filing a claim. Personal injury attorneys can also use the reports as evidence if the victim decides to pursue a lawsuit.
On top of that, the report may contain information about the behaviors of the drivers involved in the accident, helping lawyers accurately determine fault. Excessive speeding, for example, or failing to yield the right-of-way can both factor in determining who was liable for the crash.
The report can also mention if any of the motorists were texting or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which can also contribute to fault.
What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident
Motor vehicle accidents can be traumatizing and can leave those involved in shock. It can be challenging to think clearly and act accordingly in such a state.
However, taking the right steps immediately after an accident can make all the difference in determining fault and receiving proper compensation later.
When it comes to pinpointing liability, it's essential for the claimant to remain objective and allow an investigation to take place. Providing factual information and evidence can help speed up the process and protect the victim in a lawsuit.
Collecting as much evidence as possible through visual documentation, gathering the other driver's information and witness testimonies, and reporting the accident to the insurance company are critical to building a strong case.
On the other hand, involved drivers should also seek medical attention right away, even if they suffered minimal injuries. Victims can use the hospital reports as evidence when filing a claim against the at-fault party's insurance company.
Tennessee is an at-fault state, which means that the negligent driver who caused the accident is financially responsible for the damages and injuries suffered by the other motorist. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys also has information on what the average settlement for shoulder injury car accident is.
The first step in seeking compensation is to file an insurance claim with the other driver's insurance company.
Unfortunately, insurance agencies often prioritize their own financial interests over the needs of injured drivers. They may try to deny or reduce the victims' claims, leaving them struggling to cover their expenses.
However, that's where a car accident attorney can help plaintiffs. Skilled and experienced Nashville vehicle accident lawyers can fight for the victims' rights and work to get them the compensation they deserve.
They can help clients navigate the complex legal process, gather evidence to support the case, negotiate with insurance companies, and even take their claims to court if necessary.
In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims arising from a car accident is one year from the date of the incident. As a result, it's important for the victim to let a qualified lawyer handle the lawsuit.
With "We Go to War for You" as its motto, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys helps clients seek compensation from those held legally responsible for the victim's pain and suffering.