Protect Your Rights

Clinton, Tennessee Legal Blog

Determining fault in multi-vehicle accidents can be tricky. Tennessee uses a system called comparative fault to assign responsibility. This system helps decide how much each driver must pay for damages and injuries.

What is comparative fault?

Comparative fault finds each driver involved in an accident partially responsible. The fault divides among the drivers based on their actions leading up to the crash. For example, if Driver A speeds and Driver B runs a red light, both share the blame.

How does Tennessee determine fault?

In Tennessee, police reports, witness statements, driver statements, and physical evidence determine fault.

Officers at the scene assess the situation, gather evidence, and note their observations. These police reports are crucial as they serve as official accounts of incidents. They analyze skid marks, vehicle damage, and road conditions to piece together events. For example, skid marks can show braking patterns and speeds, which can help assign blame.

They will also note the positioning of vehicles and potential traffic violations. Traffic controls, vehicle speed, and roadway conditions are the main causes of multi-vehicle crashes. Police reports note these details to help determine comparative fault.

Driver statements are another critical element. When giving statements, some drivers will admit to faults and violations. They will also be able to share their perspective and actions leading up to the crash.

While each driver will provide a statement, witness statements are also vital. People who saw the accident can share unbiased accounts of what happened. This paints a clearer picture of the accident than physical evidence alone. Witness testimonies often clarify the sequence of events and each driver’s actions.

Collectively, these elements create a comprehensive picture of the accident. This thorough investigation is necessary so Tennessee assigns comparative fault accurately and fairly.

Why does comparative fault matter?

Comparative fault affects compensation for each driver. If you bear 20% fault, your compensation lowers by 20%. For example, if your damages total $10,000, you receive $8,000.

Tennessee follows a modified comparative fault rule with a 50% bar. If you bear 50% or more fault, you cannot recover any damages. If you bear less than 50% fault, you still receive compensation, but it reduces by your percentage of fault.

Managing comparative fault in Tennessee

Multi-vehicle accidents can be scary and overwhelming, and they can have lasting impacts. Understanding how comparative fault works in Tennessee better helps you navigate the aftermath. This way, you can receive fair compensation for your damages and injuries.