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Modified Comparative Negligence in Tennessee Accident Claims

If you have been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have the right to pursue a claim. However, before you do so, it is important that you have an understanding of the personal injury fault laws in Tennessee.

The person who is determined to be at fault in an accident is the person who caused the accident, through carelessness or negligence. Negligence occurs when one party does not perform a duty with the care that a reasonable person would. For example, if a car strikes a pedestrian, the driver of that car is considered to be behaving negligently. The injured pedestrian can then file a personal injury claim against the driver, seeking damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

However, fault is not always that black and white. In this example, if the pedestrian was illegally jaywalking when they were struck by the car, the pedestrian is at least partially at fault. In Tennessee, that shared fault has an impact on the results of a claim.

Tennessee is considered a “modified comparative negligence” state. This means that, if the court determines that the plaintiff contributed to the cause of the accident, the damages awarded will be modified to represent that fault percentage. For example, if the court determines that you are at 30 percent fault for the accident, the amount of compensation you may receive will be reduced by 30 percent.

Tennessee follows the “50% Bar Rule,” meaning that, as long as it is determined that you are less than 50 percent at fault, you may still receive damages. If the court determines that you are 50 percent or more at fault, they will not award you damages.

Comparative negligence is complicated. To learn more about whether you can receive compensation after your accident, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in Kingsport, Tennessee. At Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C., we are prepared to defend your right to just compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. 

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