Understanding Tennessee’s At-Fault Automobile Liability Insurance Laws

Unlike Florida and some other states, which currently operate a “no fault” system with respect to automobile liability insurance, Tennessee does not do so. Under a no-fault system, the driver’s own insurance covers any injuries which he or she may have suffered up to a specified amount, which in Florida is the $10,000 minimum amount of personal injury protection (commonly known as PIP) required by law. In contrast to Florida, Tennessee operates an “at fault” insurance scheme in which the party (or their insurer, up to their policy limits), who is determined to be legally at fault for the accident, is responsible for payment of the damages and injuries suffered by the accident victim. His or her insurer would therefore be required to cover any damages suffered by a victim of a motor vehicle accident caused by the insurer’s policyholder up to the amount of the policyholder’s insurance limits. Tennessee also requires drivers to carry higher amounts of automobile liability insurance than does the state of Florida.

Tennessee Insurance Requirements

In Tennessee, you are required to carry liability insurance to cover injuries or property damage you may cause to someone in a car accident. However, because Tennessee operates an at fault insurance scheme, your insurance will pay for damages and injuries caused in any motor vehicle accident in which you are determined to be at fault up to the limits of your particular insurance policy. Tennessee law requires two types of insurance, bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury covers any expenses associated with injuries that a driver causes to another motorist, such as medical bills, lost income and the like. Tennessee law requires that each Tennessee motorist carry $25,000 in coverage for each injury or death per accident and $50,000 for total injuries in any single accident.   Every motorist is also required to carry $15,000 in property damage coverage for each accident in which the driver is involved.

This means if a driver who purchases a policy with these minimum amounts of coverage is in an accident in which one person is injured, then that person can recover up to $25,000 from the at fault motorist’s insurer to cover treatment related to injuries like broken bones, whiplash, etc. up to $25,000. If two people are injured, then the insurer will pay up to $25,000 to each, not to exceed a total of $50,000 for both, for their medical bills associated with their injuries suffered in the accident, any lost income due to missed work as a result of the accident, etc. In addition, if the second motorist’s car suffered $10,000 of damage, this would be covered by the at fault motorist’s property damage coverage. If an accident victim were to suffer more than $25,000 in damages related to injuries suffered in the crash, then the victim could file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver him or herself to make up the difference that was not covered by insurance. The same would be true if, for example, the victim’s car was totaled and its replacement value exceeded $15,000.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley if You Have Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident in Tennessee

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Tennessee, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys of the law firm of Schwed, Adams, Sobel & McGinley, P.A. From our offices conveniently located in Memphis and Chattanooga, we serve clients who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Tennessee. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Tennessee, contact the attorneys of Schwed Adams, Sobel & McGinley, P.A. at contact@schwedlawfirm.com, (901) 313-3411 for our Memphis office or (423) 285-1999 for our Chattanooga office to determine how we can assist you in obtaining maximum recovery for your damages and injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident in Tennessee.

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