When it comes to auto accidents, Tennessee is a “fault state,” which is exactly what it sounds like—the party or parties at fault (responsible) for the crash, will be liable for any resulting damages. Monetary damages following a crash can be substantial, and may include medical bills, lost income, emotional pain and suffering, and vehicle repair costs.
Tennessee is An At-Fault State The law in Tennessee states that the at-fault party in a car accident is legally and financially responsible for resulting injuries and other damages. This means that the at-fault driver will be on the hook for any damages over and above their insurance policy’s coverage limits, assuming they have insurance in the first place.
In Tennessee, all drivers are legally required to carry a minimum amount of liability auto insurance. According to the TN Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), current minimum coverage amounts are as follows:
- $25,000 in an accident where one person is injured; » $50,000 in an accident where two or more people are injured; and » $15,000 in an accident that only involves property damage.
- $50,000 in an accident where two or more people are injured; and
- 15,000 in an accident that only involves property damage.
Proving fault After a Car Accident
Although Tennessee is an at-fault state, proving fault isn’t always a straightforward and easy process. In order to obtain compensation for damages, you must be able to prove that you were less than 50 percent at fault for the motor vehicle accident. The steps below will help you prove fault.
- Call law enforcement—This will ensure that everyone is safe and result in the creation of an official police report, which can be invaluable to your injury claim or lawsuit.
- Get witness contact information— If anyone witnessed the accident, ask for their name, phone number, and email address. You may need to call on them later.
- Take pictures—Photograph property damage, visible injuries, and any factors that may have contributed to the accident. Injuries fade with time, so take pictures while they are visible.
- Never admit fault—Even innocent statements, such as, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you,” can be used against you. Limit any conversation with the other driver to making sure that everyone is safe, and exchanging insurance and contact information.
- Call your attorney—An experienced lawyer can help you gather evidence, calculate damages, prove fault, protect your rights, and negotiate with the insurance company for the maximum settlement.
When it comes to motor vehicle accidents, the burden of proof is placed on you, the injury victim. Proving your case will be much easier with photographic evidence, witness testimony, a police report, medical records, and details of the accident.
To prevent memories of the accident from fading, it’s also a good idea to keep a journal. Record the details from the incident, but also keep a record of your recovery. In some cases, it may be necessary to call in professionals who can re-create the crash. A skilled TN auto accident lawyer can help.
Contact a TN Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident due to another’s negligence, the legal team at Dennis and King can help. Our highly knowledgeable, compassionate injury lawyers have helped countless car accident victims. Don’t go through this stressful situation without the help of skilled legal counsel. Contact Dennis and King today for a free and confidential consultation.