Understanding Tennesee At-Fault Laws in Car Accidents
Tennesse follows a fault-based system for car accidents. This means that the at-fault driver is financially responsible (through their insurance carrier or personally through a civil suit) for the claimant’s injuries, lost income, vehicle damage, and more. Read on to learn how Tennesee at-fault car accident laws impact your claim.
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How Do I Prove The Other Driver Was At Fault?
Proving who was at fault for your car crash can be challenging. Under Tennessee law, proving who was at fault is determined by using the “comparative negligence” or “50%” rule. This means that you can recover compensation for your injuries and damages if you are less than 49% at fault for the accident. The courts will decide your percentage of fault based on the details of your case. If it’s determined that you are 50% or more at fault for your accident, you will not be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries.
The fault may be more evident in some cases, such as being hit by a drunk or distracted driver. In other cases, the fault may not be so apparent, which is why it’s critical to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your case.
What If I Was Involved in a Hit and Run?
If a driver hits you and leaves the accident scene, it can be a devastating situation — especially when you don’t know who they are and how you will file a claim if they are at fault. While being involved in a hit-and-run crash is bad news, the good news is that uninsured motorist (UM) coverage can help. Although uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is not required in Tennessee, adding this provision to your policy is highly recommended. UM coverage can protect you if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident.
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What if the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance Coverage
Similar to UM coverage mentioned above, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage can help relieve financial burdens if the at-fault driver has insufficient insurance coverage. Add this provision to your policy for added peace of mind.
Learn more about filing a UM/UIM claim here.
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Minimum Insurance Coverage Requirements in Tennesee
Tennesse has the following mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage requirements:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person caused by the owner/driver of the vehicle.
- $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.
- $15,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the uninsured vehicle.
The at-fault driver’s liability coverage will pay for medical bills, property damage, and cover costs of other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who may also be injured in the accident. It’s important to note that if you’ve been injured in an accident, your medical bills and other costs related to your accident will only be paid out up to policy limits. Suppose your bills are significantly higher, then you can sue the at-fault driver for the outstanding amount. Read on to learn how to get started with a car accident claim.
How to Begin Your Car Accident Claim
If you are not at fault for the car accident, take these three steps:
- Contact your insurance company and let them know you’ve been involved in an accident.
- Contact the at-fault party’s insurance company.
- File a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver.
While the above are essential steps, it’s critical to contact an experienced car accident attorney to ensure you don’t make any critical mistakes with your claim. Making certain statements or divulging too much information about your car accident can derail your claim. Read our related article here:
Injured in a Car Crash? Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC Can Help
In Tennessee, determining fault in a car accident can be tricky, especially when dealing with insurance companies that want to pay less than the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash to the negligence of another driver, you have the right to pursue a claim and hold them accountable for your injuries.
It’s Easy With Montesi! Contact us today at (901) 526-2126 to schedule a consultation and learn your rights.