A lot of the focus in car accident cases is on establishing liability and proving the extent of damages suffered. Make no mistake. These are vital aspects of your personal injury claim. Without proving liability and damages, you’ll be prevented from recovering compensation for your injuries. Yet, you can’t solely focus on playing offense in your car accident case. This is because Tennessee recognizes comparative negligence.
What is comparative negligence?
In states where comparative negligence is recognized, the judge or jury allocates fault to the parties involved in the case and reduces any financial award given to a plaintiff by the percentage of fault allocated to him or her. Therefore, even if you were awarded $100,000 in your case, it would be reduced to $60,000 if you were found to be 40% at fault for the wreck. In Tennessee, if you’re found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident in question, then you’ll be unable to recover compensation.
What does this mean for you?
Tennessee’s comparative negligence law means that you need to be prepared to play defense as you proceed with your personal injury claim. If you fail to do so, then you could see a reduced recovery or no recovery at all. Therefore, in preparing your claim you need to make sure that you view every piece of evidence from the defense’s perspective and analyze how it can be used against you. Then, you need to craft counter arguments that seek to minimize your allocation of fault.
Can an attorney help?
As daunting as that may sound, experienced personal injury attorneys know what to expect in regard to comparative negligence arguments. That means that your attorney should be able to work with you to gather the evidence that is in support of your position and minimize or bar evidence that is harmful to your case. If you want an analysis of the realities of your case and guidance in how to best build your claim, then now may be the time to reach out to an attorney of your choosing.