Tennessee Car Accident Laws

After being injured in a car accident in Tennessee, you may be wondering how you can recover financial compensation. The following blog post is an overview of the state car accident laws. 

Tennessee Follows a Fault-Based System 

Tennessee is considered a “fault” car accident state, which means the at-fault driver or his/her insurance carrier is responsible for any resulting harm. In a no-fault state, on the other hand, an injured party must turn to his/her own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage under his/her own auto insurance policy in order to cover medical expenses and other out-of-pocket losses – no matter who was liable for causing the collision. 

There are three ways an injured driver can recover compensation in Tennessee: 

  • Filing a claim with your own insurer, if the loss is covered under your policy. In turn, your insurance company will pursue a subrogation claim against the at-fault driver’s insurer. 

  • Filing a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. 

  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in civil court. 

Comparative Negligence Law 

If the at-fault driver claims you were either partially or completely liable for causing the crash, Tennessee follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. This means your total award will be reduced by your share of negligence – as long as you are less than 50 percent liable. 

For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in total damages in court, but the jury also believes you were 20 percent to blame for the collision, your total award would be $80,000 (or 80 percent). 

Statute of Limitations 

Injured drivers must file a car accident lawsuit against the at-fault party within one (1) year within the date of the crash. When it comes to car accidents involving only property damage, you must file a lawsuit within three years. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Chattanooga, contact Conner & Roberts, PLLC today at (423) 299-4489 for a free initial consultation. We have nearly four decades of combined legal experience! 

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