Car Accident Laws in Tennessee
Tennesse is an at-fault state meaning that the driver who is at fault for the accident is legally responsible for the costs of damage and injuries. This is why the most important aspect of the settlement process when in an accident in Tennessee is determining who was at fault.
Car Accident Statute of Limitations in the state of Tennessee
Within the state of Tennessee, the current statute of limitations is one year from the date of the accident to file a legal claim, and if this period is missed, the court has the right to refuse to hear the case. Here’s how to prove fault in Tennessee.
The insurance company is the one who determines who’s at fault and the first thing they do is look at the police report. If the insurance company can’t reach a settlement or agree on fault, the next step will be to file a personal injury lawsuit, and the decision now belongs to the court. This is why collecting as much evidence as possible immediately after the accident is important.
Here are some common examples of things you should take note of if you have been involved in an accident:
⦿ Contact information from a witness
⦿ Scene photos
⦿ Medical evaluation
The whole purpose of a lawsuit is to make the plaintiff whole with the intention to restore the plaintiff to the financial position they’d have been in if the accident hadn’t happened. So, if someone else is at fault, you shouldn’t have to cover any expenses for medical treatment, lost wages, and property damage.
Through a car accident claim in Tennesse, you can seek to recover costs that include:
⦿ Medical treatment
⦿ Assistive devices like wheelchairs, prosthetics, walkers, etc
⦿ Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity during your recovery
⦿ Wrongful death
⦿ Property loss
⦿ Ongoing therapies or continued treatment
⦿ Pain and suffering or other emotional distress
⦿ Loss of consortium
⦿ Punitive damages
If you were in a minor car accident and liability is clear, you may be able to handle it through the insurance company and not involve a lawyer.
Tennessee Comparative Negligence
In a comparative negligence state, each driver is assigned a percentage of liability in an accident, and if someone is more than 50% at fault, they cannot recover any damages in a lawsuit.
However, if anything seems confusing or you were involved in a major accident, contacting a car accident attorney is a must, and we at Legal Chiefs can help you find the most suitable for your case professional!
If you need further information regarding car accident laws in Tennessee, turn to Legal Chiefs. We would gladly help you with your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Your first and foremost action following an accident is to stay calm, check if you or anyone else involved has been injured, and call the police. Get the name and contact information of all parties involved in the accident as well as any witnesses of the event. To document the damage, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles, and your injuries. It’s important not to admit liability until you hire an attorney because they will conduct a thorough investigation to establish the driver at fault.
Right after a car accident, you may feel fine, but injuries can surface days, weeks, and even months later. That’s why it’s good to see a doctor even if you don’t believe you were injured in the accident. Your doctor can recognize issues or injuries that won’t immediately become apparent to you and alert you to warning signs of injuries that may arise due to the accident. If you fail to treat your injuries within a certain period of time, you may forfeit your right to get reimbursement for future medical costs. The general rule is not to settle auto accident claims without having been examined by a medical professional.
In most cases, you won’t have to go to court. The majority of auto accident claims are resolved outside of court after negotiating the terms with the insurer. Most insurance companies generally try to settle claims as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible, so it’s wise to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf.
In addition to taking pictures of the accident scene and taking the contact information of the involved parties and witnesses, your detailed explanation of how the accident happened is also necessary to file a claim. Law enforcement reports of the accident will also serve as crucial evidence in your claim.
Many factors determine the driver at fault in an auto accident case. Do not accept any part of the blame until the investigation has concluded. Even if the investigation finds that you are partially at fault, you may still be entitled to receive compensation.
There are cases when the victim also shares part of the blame for an accident. If, for example, you were driving five to ten mph over the speed limit when the accident happened, this would have limited your reaction time, and you could likely be considered a negligent driver even if you weren’t the one to cause the crash. Different states have different ways of settling auto accident claims where more than one driver is at fault. So it’s best to check the specific laws in your state (or the state where the accident took place) or discuss the matter with your auto accident injury lawyer.
It happens surprisingly often that people get into an auto accident where the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance. In these situations, it’s wise to have an auto insurance policy that comes with Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. That way, if you get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you will still be able to file your claim under the UM coverage you have with your own insurance company. Your insurer will then process the claim following the same process as it would for an opposing insurer. The only difference is that the claim will be against your UM coverage and not against another driver.
Likewise, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident where the responsible driver fled the scene before you could take their information, you can again seek compensation from your UM coverage.
Suppose you suffered injuries after an auto accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence. In that case, there are two main types of damages that you may seek compensation for: compensatory (a.k.a. monetary) and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages in a personal injury claim, and they often include:
● Current and future medical bills
● Property damage
● Emotional duress
● Lost wages
● Loss of enjoyment of life
● Loss of future earnings potential
On the other hand, punitive damages are much rarer, but they can occur in situations where the vehicle manufacturer is to blame.