Many people who are seriously injured in Tennessee motor vehicle accidents do not immediately pursue a claim for compensation for their injuries because they believe they are at fault for causing the car accident. Sometimes an injured driverâ€™s belief that one is at fault in an auto accident may be based on the conclusions in a police report or the driverâ€™s own subjective impressions regarding fault in an auto accident. Sadly, this assumption that a driver is at fault is often wrong. The issue of who is at fault in an auto accident is often a complex factual based inquiry. Even if a driver is partially at fault in causing a traffic accident, it does not mean that the injured driver is not entitled to compensation for oneâ€™s injuries. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we have been assisting accident victims and their families in seeking recovery for their injuries for over 20 years.
Prior to 1992, Tennessee accident law prohibited recovery by an auto accident victim if the victim contributed to his own injuries. However, the Tennessee Supreme Court abandons this all or nothing scheme of contributory negligence as â€śoutmoded and unjust.â€ť The court adopted the current comparative fault system commonly referred to as the â€ś49 percent rule.â€ť The negligence of a plaintiff does not bar a plaintiffâ€™s recovery as long as the judge or jury does not find the plaintiffâ€™s degree of fault to be equal to or greater than the defendantâ€™s degree of fault. This shift in Tennessee law was designed to make sure that those who were injured by the negligence of others were not completely prevented from seeking compensation for the staggering cost of catastrophic injuries because of a relatively small proportion of fault.
The comparative fault system allows a person injured in a serious auto accident to recover damages but the amount of the recovery is reduced in proportion to the plaintiffâ€™s degree of fault. The judge or jury will assign a percentage of fault to each party, determine the total amount of the damages from the injuries, and then adjust the recovery according to the injured driverâ€™s degree of fault. For example, suppose a person is in an auto accident and the judge or jury finds that the total damages are one million dollars. If the judge or jury also determines that the plaintiff was 30% at fault for the accident, then the damages awarded to the plaintiff will be reduced to $700,000.
Tragically, many people who do not understand this principle delay in seeking legal advise after a serious motor vehicle accident despite suffering serious injuries. Sometimes these injured motorists assume that they are at fault and are therefore not entitled to compensation for their injuries. By the time some people seek legal advice, the statute of limitations or the period to bring a claim against a governmental entity has passed and the right to seek compensation may be barred.
At NST Law, we will carefully examine the circumstances of your auto accident to make our own determination about who is at fault independent of any investigation done at the scene by law enforcement. We will determine if you are entitled to legal compensation for your injuries and advise you regarding your rights. It is imperative if you are involved in a serious auto accident that you seek immediate legal advice before evidence disappears or your rights become barred by waiting too long to pursue your claim. At NST Law, we have been handling serious car accident cases throughout the State of Tennessee for over 20 years. NST Law attorneys have been nationally recognized by Super Lawyers, which rates the top 5% of lawyers in the country. Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz is the largest plaintiffâ€™s law firm in Tennessee that helps injured people recover compensation due to someone elseâ€™s negligence.