Many states have a no-fault approach to car accidents. In these places, a driver’s personal insurance provides compensation for injuries and property damage, regardless of whether the driver caused the accident. Tennessee is not one of these states. 

In the Volunteer State, fault matters. Still, because more than one driver may be responsible for any accident, Tennessee law uses a modified comparative fault system. If you have sustained a serious injury in a car crash, understanding this system may be a precursor to obtaining the financial compensation you need to recover completely. 

Assigning blame

With many car accidents, the responsible party is easy to identify. For example, a distracted driver may not have applied brakes in time to avoid a rear-end collision. Assigning blame, though, is not always so easy. Two speeding vehicles, for instance, may have spun out on a wet road and collided. 

Reducing compensation

When it is unclear who caused an accident, a judge or jury often must consider evidence. Tennessee’s modified comparative fault system reduces compensation based upon percentage of fault. If a driver is 30% responsible for a crash, for example, his or her financial award usually drops by the same amount. 

Eliminating compensation

In Tennessee, it is possible to eliminate eligibility for crash-related financial compensation. Specifically, if you are more than 50% responsible for the crash, you likely cannot recover any financial damages. 

Because of the modified comparative negligence system, it is critical to determine who is to blame for any car crash. If you think you may have been partly at fault, showing someone else was mostly responsible may be essential for receiving the compensation you deserve.