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Is Tennessee a No-Fault State for Auto Accidents?

October 30, 2020 By Kent Ryan Brown

is tn a no fault stateAn auto accident can be a traumatizing experience, often leading to property damage, injuries, and even death.

Recovering from an auto accident can be an uphill battle. It can take time to heal from your injuries and recover financially in the aftermath.

Whether and to what extent you can recover compensation will be determined by whether you live in a no-fault state. Thus, it is important to have an understanding of your state’s fault laws and how they will impact your recovery.

If you have sustained injuries in an auto accident in Tennessee, you may be entitled to compensation. Flora Templeton Stuart and her team can help you evaluate your case and determine how you can recover. Contact our team of auto accident attorneys today to discuss your case and see what we can do for you.

Is Tennessee a No-Fault State?

Many drivers on Tennessee roads want to know, Is TN a “no-fault” state? The short answer is no. Rather, Tennessee is considered a “fault” state.

What’s the Difference Between a “No-Fault” and a “Fault” State?

nashville car accident attorneyIn the United States, there are currently twelve “No-Fault” states.

In states with “No-Fault” laws, automobile insurance policy holders are required to purchase a minimum amount of “Personal Injury Protection” or “PIP.”

No-Fault” states require drivers involved in an automobile accident to file a PIP claim for injury related medical expenses with their own insurance carrier, regardless of who was at fault.

This is separate and in addition to any claim filed against the other parties liability insurance carrier. Minimum PIP coverage or “no-fault benefits” can range from $10,000 to $50,000 according to what is required in that particular state. Depending on the laws within the “no-fault” state, the other party’s insurance may also have to pay back any PIP coverage or “no-fault benefits” that are paid from your insurance company on your behalf.

For example, if the state follows a “pure comparative” model, the insurance company of the party who is 100% at fault will typically have to pay back the other parties PIP insurance carrier for benefits that are paid to them.

In a “fault” or “at-fault” state, on the other hand, in the aftermath of an auto accident, the injured party can seek recovery from the at-fault party responsible for the accident and their insurance company.

So When Can I Recover Compensation in an Auto Accident in Tennessee?

Because Tennessee is an at-fault state, determining who is at fault in causing the accident is crucial to your recovery.

Additionally, it is important to note that Tennessee operates under a “modified comparative negligence” standard. This means that each driver is assigned a portion of the blame, depending on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the accident.

If the plaintiff is 50% or more to blame for the accident, he or she cannot recover any damages at all. If the plaintiff is less than 50% responsible for the accident, their total recovery will be reduced by their percentage of the fault. If each party is assigned 50% of the fault in causing the accident, then neither party may recover.

How Fault and Modified Comparative Negligence Work in Tennessee: A Practical Example

Imagine a scenario in which Driver 1 is driving at night and speeding, knowing that his headlights and brake lights are out. Driver 2, on the other hand, is following all applicable laws but is struck by Driver 1 who did not see Driver 2 because his lights were out. In this scenario, Driver 1 may be determined to be 100% at fault in causing the accident, meaning that Driver 2 can recover the full amount of damages she has suffered.

Now imagine the same scenario, but Driver 2 was texting while driving when she collided with Driver 1’s vehicle. Here, Driver 2 might be 20% at fault. Thus, any monetary damages she might otherwise be entitled to would be reduced by 20%—her portion of fault in causing the accident.

Knowing how Tennessee fault rules work is crucial to determining whether and to what extent you may recover.

The Flora Templeton Stuart Injury Accident Lawyer can help you determine whether the other party was at fault and what you can do to seek the compensation you need and deserve.

Proving Fault After an Accident

flora stuartProving fault in a car accident is no easy task.

In fact, it can often be one of the most difficult parts of a Tennessee accident case.

As such, it is crucial that you have an experienced car accident attorney in your corner with the knowledge and resources necessary to help you prove fault.

Flora Templeton Stuart has connections with accident investigators who can revisit the scene of your accident to thoroughly investigate the circumstances leading to your collision. Further, we can help you gather and analyze evidence to strengthen your case. All of this can be a tremendous advantage to you in proving fault in the aftermath of your accident.

At Flora Templeton Stuart, we have been handling car accident cases for over 40 years. We know what it takes to determine liability and get the compensation you need to recover.

What If the Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance?

Under Tennessee law, all drivers must carry minimum amounts of insurance coverage. The required minimum limits for your car insurance liability are:

  • $25,000 for each injury or death per accident;
  • $50,000 for total injuries or death per accident; and
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident.

While Tennessee requires basic minimum coverage, the fact remains that not all Tennessee drivers comply with these rules. And even when they do, damages from an accident can exceed the minimum insurance coverage.

One way to prevent issues from arising is to obtain uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UMI) coverage. This type of coverage, while not required in Tennessee, can help protect you and your passengers in the event the at-fault driver has no insurance or their insurance limits are insufficient to compensate you for your injuries.

If you are involved in an auto accident with a party who doesn’t have car insurance and you do not have UM coverage, this can make it more difficult to get compensation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t recover. Even though you won’t be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer, you could pursue a lawsuit against them personally. Flora Templeton Stuart can discuss your options with you and help you determine whether this option is worthwhile in your circumstances.

Do I Need Legal Representation After an Accident?

Legal representation isn’t required after an accident in Tennessee. However, the benefit of having an attorney in your corner as your advocate cannot be overstated.

An experienced car accident attorney can help you:

  • Investigate the cause of the accident;
  • Gather relevant evidence and medical records;
  • Track down at-fault parties who may have fled the scene;
  • Analyze and assess your case;
  • Determine the value of your damages;
  • Negotiate with opposing parties and their insurers; and
  • Take your case to trial, if necessary.

In short, a car accident attorney with an in-depth knowledge of Tennessee at-fault laws can help your case tremendously.

Car accident legal disputes are complicated. To bring a successful case, it will take more than just knowing the answer to, Is Tennessee a no-fault state?

While knowing this is important, it’s just the start of the road to recovery. Let Flora Templeton Stuart help you get the compensation you need to recover from your Tennessee auto accident.

Sample Personal Injury Case Results

Flora Templeton Stuart has a strong record of success helping Tennessee car accident victims in need. In over four decades as a firm, we have helped thousands of clients recover millions of dollars in compensation. Below are some of our results:

  • $2.825 million brain injury recovery;
  • $2 million 18-wheeler litigation recovery; and
  • $1.7 million commercial truck settlement.

No matter what your case requires, Flora Templeton Stuart will aggressively fight for your rights. We will do everything within our power to get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact Flora Templeton Stuart to Get the Answers to Your Questions

flora handing over settlement checkIf you have questions about how to move forward after your Tennessee at-fault car accident, contact Flora Templeton Stuart and her team today.

The injury attorneys at our firm have represented clients in a wide variety of vehicle and personal injury cases.

But no matter the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident, you can rest assured knowing your case will be in knowledgeable, capable, and compassionate hands.

If you can’t come to us, we will come to you. We will strive throughout our representation to do whatever we can to make this process as simple for you as possible while providing you with the high-quality legal representation you deserve.

If you are ready to move forward, contact our office today at 866-714-9237 for your free case review. We will be standing by and ready to help.

Author Photo

Kent Brown

Kent has years of experience negotiating, litigating, and fighting for his clients, both inside the courtroom and out. Kent brings this same determination and fights for injured clients every day with the Flora Templeton Stuart Accident Injury Lawyers. He is a member of both the Kentucky Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association.