Comparative Fault in Tennessee
Comparative fault law is a very very complicated concept. In fact, I've written a 300 page book on the subject that is supplemented every single year. So it changes constantly.
But on its simplest terms, comparative fault law is society's way of allocating responsibility for any given event that results in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Let's take a very simple example. Let's assume two cars come together at an intersection, what the comparative fault does is look at the actions of each driver to see who caused the wreck.
The total cause of any one wreck is 100% -- that is 100% of the fault can be attributed to one driver. Or 100% can be attributed to the other driver. Or the fault can be split between them in some way. Someone may be at 80% fault. Someone may be 70% at fault.
What the law says is that a person who is injured as a result of the fault of another gets to recover damages under the law. That person can recover damages even if he or she is 10% at fault or 20% at fault. But his or her damages are reduced by 10% or 20% fault attributable to them.
In other words, they can't recover damages for any portion of their injuries that are partially their fault. In fact, the person can be partially at fault for injuries and recover damages up to the point where they are 50% at a fault. If a person is 50% at fault, under Tennessee law, he or she can recover no damages whatsoever.
That example is a very simple explanation of how comparative fault law works in Tennessee. Once again comparative fault is simply society's way of allocating responsibility for an accident that causes injury or death.
We've had this law in Tennessee now since 1992 and fortunately at our offices, we help people every single day who come to us with comparative fault issues.
We'd be honored to help you.