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Contributory Negligence vs. Comparative Negligence in Tennessee

by mdp | June 5th, 2013

Car AccidentIn Tennessee, personal injury law involves civil claims in which a person is injured through the negligence, intentional misconduct or recklessness of another person, company, or property owner. A personal injury lawsuit may arise from physical or emotional injuries and the process of personal injury law is designed to compensate these injured individuals for the physical harm they have suffered, as well as medical bills, emotional pain and suffering and any other damages, within reason. If you have been injured in a serious car accident in Tennessee, your first course of action should be to contact our personal injury lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates for legal help. Our law firm is located in Nashville, and our legal team has years of experience protecting the rights of car accident victims throughout the state. With our attorneys on your side, you can seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries and protect yourself and your family from further harm.

Understanding Tennessee Negligence Laws

When a claim for damages is caused by an accident and the claim is brought before the court, the judge or jury must determine who caused the accident, and thus, who is responsible for paying the resulting damages. If more than one person is deemed responsible for the accident, negligence is distributed between the parties based on state laws, and this is where contributory negligence and comparative negligence comes into play. There are four basic systems used when establishing damage awards in the United States: pure comparative negligence, pure contributory negligence, modified comparative negligence – 50% bar rule and modified comparative negligence – 51% bar rule. Tennessee follows the modified comparative negligence – 50% bar rule, which means that an injured party in the state can only recover compensation for damages if it is determined that his or her fault in causing the accident is 49% or less.

Our Qualified Attorneys Can Help You File a Claim

If two people are involved in a Tennessee car accident and person 1 sues person 2 for damages, but is found to be 50% at fault for the accident, person 1 cannot recover any damages from person 2. If, however, person 1 is found to be 40% at fault for the accident, person 1 can recover damages from person 2, but the award would be reduced by person 1’s portion of fault in causing the accident. Under these circumstances, if person 1 suffered $10,000 in damages in a Tennessee car accident involving person 2, and is found to be 40% at fault, person 1’s award would be reduced by 40%, equaling $6,000. It is extremely important that victims of car accident injuries in Tennessee understand the laws in place in the state, so that they can ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. For this reason, enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney following a TN car accident is critical.

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