Tennessee Auto Accident Laws & Resources
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If you’re injured in a Tennessee car accident, you may not know what to do and where to turn. That’s why knowing the rules and regulations regarding Tennessee auto accident laws is so important.
After a car accident in the Volunteer State, you will know what to do. You will know how to interact with the insurance companies and law enforcement. Also, you will learn about accident liability in this state.
If you have questions about your Tennessee auto accident claim, we can help you find an experienced personal injury attorney. Your Tennessee car accident attorney can usually help you obtain more compensation for your injuries and damages than you could on your own.
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Tennessee Auto Insurance Laws And Regulations
Tennessee says you have to have a minimum amount of auto insurance. If you do not have insurance, you can face fines and even serve jail time. The minimum requirements for this Tennessee are:
- Per person per accident for bodily injury: $25,000
- For bodily injury per accident: $50,000
- Property damage liability: $20,000
- Uninsured motorist property damage: $15,000
You are not required to have uninsured and underinsured insurance. But, you may want to have this protection if you are ever hit by an uninsured driver. Uninsured drivers find themselves in about 25% of accidents in Tennessee. Therefore, you’re wise to have this type of insurance. Otherwise, you may have to pay for your damages out of your pocket.
Also, note that many serious car accidents have injuries more than $15,000. If you have to have surgery or stay in the hospital, you could need much more money to pay for your injuries. So, it’s wise to have more insurance coverage than the Tennessee state minimum.
Is Tennessee A No-Fault State For Car Accidents?
No, Tennessee isn’t a no-fault state. This is a fault-based state, which means that you are responsible for the accidents that you cause. Usually, this means that your insurance company must pay for injuries and property damage that you caused in an accident.
In a no-fault state, who’s liable for the car accident doesn’t matter in most cases. So, in these states, each driver in the incident pays for their own vehicles and injuries through their insurance policies.
But if your injuries in a no-fault state are higher than the coverage amount, you can still sue the other driver for the rest of the money.
Also, note that Tennessee has a comparative negligence standard. This means your potential settlement in a car accident will reduce by your percentage of fault. For example, if you have $10,000 in damages and you were 30% at fault, your settlement would reduce to $7,000.
A comparative negligence standard is why you need an excellent car accident attorney in your corner. The other driver’s insurance company will try to blame you for the accident if they can. Your settlement’s size depends on finding the other driver to be responsible for the accident. This is yet another reason to find a good attorney today at Lawsuit Info Center. If you are looking for further details, please visit Tennessee’s Department of Transportation website here.
Proving Accident Liability In Tennessee
Car accident claims in Tennessee boil down to who was at fault. For the other driver to be liable in court, you must show that their negligence during the accident caused your injuries and damages. There are four aspects to a Tennessee negligence claim:
- The liable party owed you a duty of care to drive safely.
- They failed to follow this duty of care in the accident.
- The breach of duty caused the accident.
- You have damages from the accident and the breach of duty.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations In Tennessee For A Car Accident?
In Tennessee, there isn’t a time limit for how long you have to file an insurance claim. However, you have only one year from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
This is not much time to take legal action, so it’s vital that you talk to an attorney as soon as you can after the accident. Importantly, this is especially true if the insurance company doesn’t offer you a good settlement.
You also have only one year to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Tennessee, and the clock starts from the date of death. Remember to start these cases early, too, so your attorney has enough time.
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You usually are eligible for these types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit Tennessee:
- Medical bills
- Lost earnings
- Out of pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
If a Tennessee or federal government employee caused the auto accident, you have one year from the time of the accident to file your claim. Typically, if the accident occurred while the driver was working, the government could be liable for your injuries.
If the driver was driving on their own time, you only can hold them personally responsible for your damages and injuries.
Do You Have To Call The Police After A Minor Car Accident In Tennessee?
Tennessee state law states that you do not have to call the police for a minor accident with little damage. But you must report a car accident that caused death, property damage, or personal injury above $400.
If the police show up at the crash scene, they’ll take a police report. This fulfills your reporting requirement for a more serious accident. If the police don’t show up, it’s still smart to go to the nearest police station. You should file a report so you have it on record if you need the documentation for a claim or lawsuit later.
Tennessee Dram Shop Law
Tennessee has a Dram Shop Law. This means you can file a lawsuit against a person or entity that serves alcoholic beverages to obviously intoxicated people who then got in a car accident.
However, for the Dram Shop Law to apply, the jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt that the alcohol sale was a major cause of the person’s injuries. This is a higher standard than in many states, where proof of liability is only by a preponderance of the evidence.
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Tennessee Car Accident Settlements
There is no exact science to determine what your Tennessee car accident settlement will be. No two cases are exactly the same and factors can vary wildly. Your best approach is to speak with a Tennessee car accident lawyer. A practiced attorney should be able to give you a good estimate.
Looking at the numbers, the average settlement in the United States settles for around $15,000. You should expect less if you only have a damaged vehicle.
You can use our car accident settlement calculator at Lawsuit Info Center to determine what your settlement could be.
Get Legal Help With Tennessee Auto Accident Laws
If you are in a car crash, it is highly upsetting and stressful. But you will be more prepared with all the information on this page about the car accident laws in Tennessee.
Please remember that if you’re in a Tennessee auto accident, it’s important to remain at the crash scene until the police arrive. If the police don’t show up, remember to exchange your contact details with the other driver. Then, report the accident at the nearest law enforcement office.
If you do get in an auto accident in Tennessee, Lawsuit Info Center can help you find a skilled car accident attorney in your area. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost earnings. Please use this website to locate a personal injury attorney to help you with your claim or lawsuit.
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