Car accidents often have devastating consequences. Sadly, a huge number of crashes and auto accidents are reported in Tennessee every year. Right after an accident, most victims feel overwhelmed and shocked. As a result, they don’t take the right steps in time. One of the key aspects is to consult a Tennessee accident lawyer, so as to understand the actual circumstances better. Here’s what you must know about basic car accident laws in Tennessee.
Reporting a Car Accident
If you were involved in a car accident in Tennessee, you must file a report citing the accident or crash to Commissioner of Safety, within 20 days. This is a must if the accident resulted in injuries or death of a person, or the overall property or other damages are valued at $1,500 or more. Note that you should report a car crash anyway – Don’t let a driver or pedestrian talk you out of that.
Statute of limitations
Every state has a statute of limitations, including Tennessee. The difference is victims in Tennessee do not have as much time. All car accident lawsuits against parties at fault must be filed within a year from the date of the accident. In case of wrongful death lawsuits, the deadline of one year remains the same, except that the counting starts from the date of victim’s death. Lawsuits related to property and vehicle damage must be filed within three years, counting from the date of the accident.
Comparative Negligence in Tennessee
What if both parties have a share in the accident blame? In such cases, Tennessee follows the “modified comparative negligence” rule. This means that a person can still recover their damages, but their share of compensation will reduce according to share of negligence. For instance, if you were awarded $20,000 in compensation and your share of negligence is marked at 10%, you will get $18,000 and not the full amount. However, a person can only ask for compensation if their share of liability is less than 50%.
Hire an accident lawyer
If you are unsure of your rights or need support and help to protect your interests and rights, consider hiring an experienced accident lawyer in Tennessee. A skilled lawyer knows what it takes to negotiate with the insurance companies, and since the time is limited for filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party, they can work on the lawsuit at the same time.