Say you are driving on one of Knoxville’s busy roadways and a motorist runs a stoplight and crashes into the side of your car. You probably assume that the other driver is 100 percent at fault. In an effort to acquire compensation for personal injury or property damage or both, you initiate a legal action. Now, imagine your surprise when the court assigns a portion of the blame to you.

Like other motorists in similar situations, you might wonder how and why this could happen. Tennessee is a comparative negligence state, which means that courts will look at each factor related to the car accident. If the court finds that you share the responsibility for the crash, it may reduce the amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

For example, if the court determines that you were using an electronic device at the time of the crash, the comparative negligence law will likely come into play. In another example, if the court finds that you were violating a traffic law when the accident occurred, you will probably share the blame with the other driver.

Knowing these negligence laws can help you determine a proper course of action in the aftermath of a car accident. You might choose to disregard a personal injury lawsuit if you believe you may share the blame. However, a better choice is to talk over your case with a legal professional. This can help you identify whether you do share any of the blame or if the car accident occurred entirely because of the other driver’s negligence.

Source: FindLaw, “Tennessee Negligence Laws,” accessed Jan. 31, 2018