When an accident occurs between two vehicles, one or both parties may have operated their vehicles negligently. Even if you are partially responsible for your motor vehicle accident, you may still be able to recover damages for any accident-related injuries and damages. Some of these damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and impairment
In most cases, to recover damages following a car accident, you must prove that the other driver’s negligence contributed to the accident and your resulting injuries. To prove negligence you will need to show:
- Duty – Motorists owe a duty to other drivers and pedestrians to operate their vehicles in a safe manner.
- Breach – You will need to establish that the other motorist involved in your accident breached the duty owed to you by failing to operate their vehicle safely. Violating a traffic law (e.g. speeding, following too closely, driving while distracted) is generally enough to show negligence.
- Causation – Next, you will need to show the other motorist’s negligent act directly and proximately caused your accident and injuries.
- Damages – Lastly, you will need to show that you suffered injuries as a result of the accident.
If you can prove that the other driver was negligent, you may recover damages for your injuries. In Tennessee, if the jury finds that you were also partially at fault for the accident, your damages will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found 30 percent liable for the accident and were awarded $100,000, you will only recover $70,000. However, if you are 50 percent or more at fault, you will not be able to recover damages.
A personal injury attorney in your area can review your case and give you a realistic picture of what to expect if you file a claim against the other driver involved in your accident.