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What Tennessee’s Modified Comparative Fault Rule Means for Car Accident Victims

by Staff Blogger | June 29th, 2022

It’s not always easy to determine exactly who is at fault after a car accident. In some cases, it’s clear that one driver is 100% at fault, such as after a crash where a driver ran a red light or rear-ended a stopped vehicle at an intersection. But other types of crashes, such as those involving two distracted drivers or two drivers who were both breaking traffic laws, often require more investigation, and fault may be split.

Many drivers who are hurt in crashes for which they were partially responsible may not even attempt to get compensation or sue the other drivers. After all, they likely believe they are not eligible for damages for a crash that they partially caused. However, Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence rule means that drivers CAN get compensation for crashes as long as they are less than 51% at fault for them.

That means that as long as victims are less at fault for a crash than the other driver(s) involved, they can sue them or file damages claims against their auto insurance policies. The catch is that the amount of money the partially at-fault drivers can receive is reduced by their level of fault. If an injured driver’s damages are $10,000 but they were 30% at fault for their crash, they can only receive up to $7,000 due to their percentage of liability.

Getting compensation when you’re partially at-fault is often more difficult than getting compensation when you have zero liability after a crash. That’s because insurers use any degree of fault as an excuse to deny victims the settlements they need, even when those drivers still have a legal right to compensation.

At Ponce Law, we work hard to help injured Nashvillians get the money they’re owed through Tennessee’s modified comparative negligence. Contact our Nashville car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.

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