Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Tennessee Car Accident Compensation Laws

Tennessee is a must-see state during any trip through the American South. The Grand Ole Opry is home to Country Music Legends and the capitol had its very own namesake show on ABC. If you made the mistake of taking Carrie Underwood's hit song a bit too literally, you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries under Tennessee Car Accident Compensation Laws.

“At Fault” and “49 Percent” Rules in Tennessee

To recover damages for your injuries suffered in an accident in Tennessee, you will need to prove that another driver is responsible. That is because Tennessee is known as an "at fault" jurisdiction for insurance claims.

While many states have adopted modified comparative negligence, not many adopted it the way that Tennessee did. Tennessee adopted the rule by way of the Supreme Court deciding that the interests of justice were no longer served by the contributory negligence rule. The old rule prohibited recovery when an injured party was even 1% at fault. Instead, Tennessee adopted the "49 percent rule" which requires that an injured driver be less at fault than the defendant in order to recover, and that any damages must be reduced in proportion to the injured driver's percentage of fault.

For more details on Tennessee Car Accident Compensation Laws, take a look at the chart below.

Statute of Limitations

Limits on Damages

Other Limits

Damage Types

Car accidents leave more than just wrecked cars in their wake. If you were injured by another driver, you should know that you can recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include your standard out-of-pocket expenses, such as vehicle repair costs, rental car costs, and any wages you lost due to time away from work. Non-economic damages are the lesser-known damages you might be able to recover, such as loss of enjoyment of life and emotional distress.

Common car accident damages include:

  • Vehicle repairs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical impairment
  • Medical bills
  • Lost income

Limits on Damages

Unfortunately for severely injured parties, in 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court vacated a decision that would have found the $750,000 cap on non-economic damages to be unconstitutional. But if you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury, hand or foot amputation, third-degree burns, or the loss of a parent or child due to a car accident, you may be entitled to the increased cap of $1,000,000 in non-economic damages. With regard to property damage, Tennessee prohibits non-economic damages arising out of such claims.

Tennessee has a relatively short time limit (also known as a statute of limitations) on how long injured parties can wait before filing suit against an at fault driver. For personal injuries, you have only one year, but for damage to personal property, such as your car, you get up to three years to file a claim.

Get Help With Your Car Accident Claim From a Tennessee Attorney

Tennessee's short deadline is unforgiving to overwhelmed injured parties. If you were hurt in an accident and need some help sorting out what types of compensation you might be entitled to, a skilled Tennessee car accident injury attorney could be just what the doctor ordered.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • A lawyer can help seek fair compensation on your behalf
  • Car accident claims are complex and insurance carriers have lawyers on their side

Get on-demand legal help during traffic stops and car accidents. TurnSignl is an app that connects you to an attorney in real-time.


Need legal advice after an accident? Most attorneys offer a free first call.

 Find an attorney right now.

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options