Tennessee is an “at-fault” state. This means that after an auto accident, the driver who is ruled to be responsible for the crash is considered liable for the victims’ injuries. Those expenses are typically paid via the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy. However, it is not always clear that one party is 100% at-fault and other party is 100% innocent.
To account for those types of crashes, Tennessee uses a modified comparative negligence system. It means that injured victims who are up to 50% responsible for an accident can still pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other crash-related expenses. However, if they’re found to be 51% responsible or more, they’re unable to pursue any compensation whatsoever.
In addition, the percentage that a driver is ruled to be responsible for a crash affects how much they can get. If an injured driver is awarded $30,000 for their injuries and expenses, but they were found to be 10% responsible for the crash, their payment would be reduced by 10% ($3,000) and they would receive $27,000.
Tennessee’s at-fault system and modified comparative negligence process mean that many auto accident victims are still eligible to file compensation claims, even if they were partially at-fault for their crashes or share blame equally with other drivers. That’s why it’s so important to contact an experienced Nashville auto accident lawyer after a crash.