Speeding can significantly impact car accident cases in Tennessee. Under the comparative negligence rule, the injured party’s recovery can be reduced if they are found partially at fault for causing the accident.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been involved in a car accident in Tennessee, it is critical to understand your legal options. In such cases, you have the right to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company or sue them individually for the damages, even if you were speeding when the accident occurred. However, proving fault can be challenging, and it is vital to have an experienced attorney by your side.
For a free case review with our Tennessee car accident lawyers, contact Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
Will Speeding Affect My Car Accident Case in Tennessee?
Speeding is considered a form of driver negligence in Tennessee. When a driver exceeds the posted speed limit or drives at an unsafe speed for prevailing conditions, they breach their duty of care towards other road users. This breach can significantly impact liability and compensation in a car accident case. If it can be proven that speeding was a contributing factor to the accident, the speeding driver might also be held liable for the damages caused.
However, the injured party’s ability to recover compensation will not be eliminated through their comparative negligence. Instead, their compensation might be reduced proportionally if the injured party is also found to have contributed to the accident, such as through speeding.
What is the Contributory Negligence Rule in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, both drivers involved in an accident might share the blame, and the recovery of damages will depend on the percentage of fault. This is known as a “modified comparative negligence” state. If you were less than 50% responsible for the accident, you can recover damages. However, if you were partially responsible, your damage award will be reduced by the percentage of fault.
For example, if you were found 20% responsible for the accident due to speeding, and your total damages were calculated at $100,000, you would receive $80,000. This is because 20% of the total damages, or $20,000, would be subtracted from the award. While this might seem harsh, it is still better than recovering nothing at all, which can happen in other states.
However, it is important to never admit fault before speaking to our Knoxville car accident attorneys. Without a deep knowledge of the law, it can be difficult to know whether you were at fault and to what extent. Even seemingly innocent statements, such as “I’m so sorry, the sun was in my eyes,” can be used against you in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The best course of action after an auto accident is to say as little as possible until you have had a chance to speak with your lawyer.
How Do I Recover Compensation After a Car Accident in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, when a motor vehicle accident occurs, the driver who caused the accident is held responsible for any resulting damages. Tennessee is a “fault” state, which means that the at-fault driver is legally and financially liable for the accident. In most cases, the victim can obtain compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. However, even if the victim is partially responsible for causing the accident, they can still sue the driver in fault states, such as Tennessee.
File an Insurance Claim
In Tennessee, if you are at fault in a car accident, you are responsible for the injuries and damages that result from the accident. This means that if you are the at-fault driver, you will be responsible for any damages that exceed your insurance policy’s coverage limits, assuming you have insurance.
It is mandatory for all drivers in Tennessee to carry a minimum amount of liability auto insurance. The current minimum insurance coverage requirements in Tennessee are $25,000 for one person injured in an accident, $50,000 for two or more people injured in an accident, and $15,000 for property damage in an accident.
File a Lawsuit
In Tennessee, you have the option to sue an at-fault driver who caused an accident that injured you if they do not have enough auto insurance to cover your damages. However, it is important to keep in mind that individuals without car insurance might not have the financial means to pay for their damages out of pocket.
The state requires drivers to have minimum amounts of insurance coverage, but you can choose to purchase additional coverage, such as collision and uninsured motorist coverage. This additional coverage will help you obtain compensation for your injuries and damages if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. It is a good idea to add uninsured motorist coverage to your policy if you can afford it.
Even if the at-fault driver has good insurance, representing yourself after an auto accident can be a mistake. Insurance companies are known for offering low settlements to accident victims, taking advantage of their vulnerable state. This is especially true if you do not have legal representation.
What Should I Do After a Car Accident in Tennessee?
When it comes to determining fault in Tennessee, it is not always a straightforward process. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and improve your chances of success. In case of an accident, the first thing you should do is call law enforcement. This will ensure the safety of everyone involved and result in an official police report, which can be extremely helpful in filing an injury claim or lawsuit.
In the event of an accident, you should gather witness contact information. If there were any witnesses present, politely ask for their full name, phone number, and email address. This information might be vital later on in the claims process.
It is also important to take pictures of the scene of the accident. Be sure to capture images of any property damage, visible injuries, and any contributing factors to the accident. It is crucial to take photos of injuries while they are still visible, as they might fade with time.
Remember, never admit fault, even if it seems like a simple apology. Innocent statements like “I didn’t see you” can be used against you later on. The best course of action is to limit conversation with the other driver to ensure that everyone is safe and exchanging contact and insurance information.
Lastly, it is recommended that you contact our team for assistance. Our firm can provide you with the necessary guidance to gather evidence, calculate damages, prove fault, protect your rights, and negotiate with the insurance company for the maximum settlement. It is important to have a professional on your side to ensure that you are fairly compensated for any losses incurred.
Our Tennessee Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to receive a free case assessment with our Nashville car accident attorneys.