La Vergne Car Accident: What Happens If I am Partially at Fault?

la vergne car accidentIn order to recover damages in a La Vergne car accident you must first prove negligence on the part of another party. “Negligence” essentially means fault in legal terms. Because Tennessee uses a comparative fault doctrine it is possible to recover damages even if you were partially at fault in the accident as well. Only an experienced La Vergne personal injury attorney can review the facts and circumstances of your collision and offer an opinion as to what your degree of fault was in the collision.

There are two doctrines that can be used to determine if an injured victim is entitled to compensation in a car accident case – comparative and contributory negligence. The vast majority of states use some form of comparative fault. When contributory negligence is used—that is to say that the victim contributed to the cause of the accident- the victim cannot have been even one percent at fault in an accident to be entitled to compensation regardless of the extent or severity of the injuries.

Fortunately, Tennessee uses comparative negligence. This means if you have been injured in a car wreck the degree to which each party is at fault must be determined. For example, if you were rear ended and your brake lights were not working, you could be held 15 percent responsible and the other driver 85 percent responsible for the accident. That would mean that if, for example, your total damagesaward is $20,000, your adjusted damages award would be $17,000 ($20,000 x 0.85).

As long you are found to be less than 50 percent responsible you will be allowed to collect some amount for your losses, if you win a jury verdict. However, if you were more than 50 percent responsible for the collision you will not be permitted to collect any damages from the other party. Not surprisingly, the degree to which each party is at fault is frequently a point of contention in a Tennessee motor vehicle collision.

After a La Vergne car accident you have one year from the date of the collision to file suit for cases involving personal injury pursuant to Tennessee’s statute of limitations. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires the courts will refuse to hear your case. For this reason, it is important that you consult with an experienced La Vergne personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the collision to ensure that your rights are protected.

Stan Bennett