Why Should I Hire a Local Tennessee Car Accident Attorney? 

Retaining a Tennessee-based personal injury attorney can significantly improve the outcomes for individuals who have been physically or psychologically affected by a car accident. A local lawyer possesses not only legal expertise but also specific insights into the community and area, which can be invaluable in your case. Dealing with insurance companies is another critical aspect where a locally based attorney can make a difference, ensuring that you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries and losses. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Automobile Accidents in Tennessee? 

In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for personal injury arising from an automobile accident is one year. For property damage, however, you have up to three years to file a claim. 

What Legal Standard of Negligence Is Applied in Tennessee? 

Tennessee employs a system of modified comparative negligence. This means a plaintiff can recover damages if their level of negligence is less than the defendant’s. The awarded damages are adjusted based on the plaintiff’s contribution to the accident. 

Is Tennessee a Fault State or a No-Fault State? 

Tennessee operates under a fault-based system for automobile accidents. This means that the party at fault for the accident is financially responsible for the damages incurred. 

What Are the Minimum Automobile Insurance Requirements in Tennessee? 

In Tennessee, drivers are required to maintain liability insurance with minimum coverage of $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident, and $15,000 for property damage per accident. Unlike some states, Tennessee does not require uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. 

What Are the Insurance Requirements for Rental Cars in Tennessee? 

According to Tennessee Statute § 56-7-1101(c), if a car rental agreement stipulates that the renter is responsible for insurance coverage, then those terms dictate the requirements. 

What Are the Reporting Guidelines for Automobile Accidents in Tennessee? 

Accidents in Tennessee involving personal injury, death, or property damage exceeding $50 must be reported to local law enforcement. Additionally, certain accidents are classified as “reportable” by the Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) and must be reported within 20 days using the Owner/Driver Report (Form SF-0395). Failure to report such an accident could result in the suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration. 

What Are the Post-Accident Insurance Requirements? 

After an accident has been reported, showing proof of sufficient automobile insurance is mandatory unless notarized releases from all involved parties are obtained. Alternative ways to establish financial responsibility include posting a surety bond or cash in the amount covering all damages to the DOS. If you fail to meet these requirements, both your driver’s license and vehicle registration may be revoked until an SR-22 Form is filed by your insurance company. 

What Are the General Guidelines for Handling an Automobile Accident in Tennessee? 

If involved in an accident, it’s crucial to stop your vehicle at or near the scene, turn off all the vehicles involved, and call the nearest law enforcement agency. Exchange necessary information with the other parties and wait for assistance. If there are serious injuries, only basic first aid should be administered and moving the injured should be avoided unless absolutely necessary for safety reasons. 

What Factors Influence Liability Decisions? 

Determinations of liability are influenced by the evidence presented, the laws of Tennessee, and other case-specific factors. A plaintiff requires substantial evidence to prove another party’s negligence. Depending on the strength of your case, you may be offered a settlement or opt to proceed through legal channels. Ultimately, if the case reaches court, the judge or jury will decide liability and compensation amounts. 

Are There Any Specific Forms or Resources I Should Know About? 

After an accident, you must fill out and submit the Owner/Driver Report (Form SF-0395) to the Tennessee DOS if the incident involved substantial property damage, bodily injury, or death. This form is available online, at law enforcement agencies, or at your local Highway Patrol office. 

How Can a Car Accident Impact Your Life? 

Even minor car accidents can result in significant medical expenses and emotional stress, complicating your daily life. Encountering a car accident can be a life-altering experience, and it’s essential to know that professional legal help is available to guide you through this challenging period.