Just because an accident was low-speed doesn't mean it won't result in injuries or other forms of damage. In fact, low-speed car accidents can still have catastrophic consequences for the parties involved. Furthermore, determining fault for these types of accidents isn't always straightforward. There are a number of factors that need to be considered in conjunction with Tennessee law.
Generally speaking, when it comes to low-speed car accidents, the reckless or negligent driver is held responsible. However, there's more to it than that. Let's take a closer look.
Is Tennessee an At-fault State?
According to Tennessee car accident law, the driver who caused the collision is legally and financially liable for any injuries and other damages that result from the car crash. This implies that, presuming the at-fault driver has insurance in the first place, they will be responsible for any losses exceeding the coverage limitations of their policy.
It is legally required for all drivers in Tennessee to maintain a minimum level of liability auto insurance. The current minimum coverage amounts, as reported by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of Tennessee, are as follows:
$15,000 for an accident resulting in property damage
$25,000 for collisions where only one person is injured
$50,000 for accidents where more than one person is injured
Tennessee Car Accident Laws
As previously said, Tennessee is regarded as a "fault state," meaning that the driver who caused the collision is liable for any damages. Most of the time, the insurance coverage of the driver who was at fault will compensate injury victims. However, in an at-fault state, it's also possible to sue the driver. Conversely, anyone in a no-fault state is only able to pursue claims with their own insurance company, even if they weren't to blame for the accident at all.
In Tennessee, injured victims have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover damages if they can demonstrate that the other driver was at least partially to blame for their injuries. Alternatively, victims can submit a claim against the other driver's insurance company. Tennessee car accident laws don't allow individuals to have Personal Injury Protection insurance or add uninsured motorist coverage from various insured cars because it's a no-fault state.
The amount of compensation received will depend on a number of variables, such as the severity of the injuries and other damages, as well as whether or not the claimant was also partially responsible for the car crash. Potential losses encompass lost income, medical bills, psychological distress, and auto maintenance expenditures.
Proving Fault in Tennessee Motor Vehicle Accidents
Even though Tennessee is an at-fault state, it isn't always simple to prove fault. In order for car accident victims to receive compensation, they need to prove that they were less than 50% to blame for the auto accident. This is because Tennessee adopts a modified comparative negligence system. The following steps will prove to be useful when trying to determine fault:
1. Contact Local Law Enforcement Officials
Apart from ensuring everyone involved in the accident is safe, this will also give the driver an opportunity to file a police report. This is a crucial document that's vital when filing a low-speed car accident case.
2. Take Pictures of the Accident Scene
Take pictures of physical injuries, property damage, and any other factors that played a role in the accident. It's vital to do this as soon as possible to ensure any visible injuries don't disappear.
3. Gather Evidence from the Accident Scene
Ask anyone who witnessed the accident for their name, contact details, and witness statements. This could all be vital further down the claims process and used as evidence when building a strong case.
4. Contact an Experienced Lawyer
Anyone involved in a low-speed car accident should seek legal representation. A Nashville accident attorney understands how the law works and can help prove fault, gather evidence, calculate damages, and negotiate a maximum settlement offer with the insurance company.
Even if the car accident was low-speed, this can be a traumatic ordeal to go through. Therefore, victims should focus on recovering physically and mentally rather than negotiating with difficult insurance companies who want to offer as low a settlement as possible.
5. Don't Admit Fault
The saying, "Anything you say can and will be used against you," is completely true. Try to avoid saying to anyone else at the time of the incident, especially the other driver. Other than obtaining their contact details and insurance information and making sure everyone is safe, there's no need to communicate further with them.
The injured party has the burden of proof when it comes to low-speed auto accidents. Useful evidence includes medical records, witness statements, police reports, and images of the accident scene. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also consult on who is at fault in a side swipe car accident TN.
It's also a good idea to keep a notebook to remember specific details regarding the auto accident. Document the incident's specifics, but don't forget to document the recovery process as well. It might be required in some circumstances to bring in experts who can recreate the collision.
What If the Injured Victim Was Partially to Blame for the Low-speed Car Accident?
As long as the injured driver was less than 50% responsible for the low-speed collision, they will still be able to claim damages. This is because Tennessee has a modified comparative negligence system. Therefore, the amount recovered will depend on the driver's percentage of fault. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with who is at fault in a car accident while merging TN.
Need Legal Representation for a Car Accident Claim? Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today!
Anyone injured in a car accident, even if it's low-speed, can suffer serious injuries. It's only fair that victims should be compensated for these damages, especially when they weren't to blame for the collision. However, an injured victim needs to determine fault before they can even think about receiving compensation. This is where the legal experts at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Nashville, Tennessee come into play. We'll go to war for our clients to ensure that their legal rights are upheld and justice is served. Therefore, contact us today for a free consultation.