Tennessee is not one of those states. Tennessee is considered a “at-fault state,” meaning that if you are injured in a car accident here and another driver is at fault, you may be able to recover damages from him and his insurance company through a personal injury lawsuit. No, Tennessee is not a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance. Tennessee is a “at-fault” or “tort” state, meaning that the person who is at fault for a car accident is responsible for paying for other people's injuries and property damage as a result of the accident.
In addition, unlike no-fault states, drivers in Tennessee can file lawsuits seeking compensation for even basic medical expenses after an accident. Tennessee follows a fault-based system for car accidents. This means that the at-fault driver is financially responsible (through their insurance company or personally through a civil lawsuit) for the claimant's injuries, loss of income, damage to the vehicle, and more. Read on to learn how Tennessee's at-fault car accident laws affect your claim.
Understanding Tennessee's laws about fault in car accidents Tennessee follows a fault-based system for car accidents. No-fault insurance refers to this “proprietary” coverage that allows insurance companies to cover the costs of the policyholder's injuries in the event of a car accident, regardless of who was at fault. Of the 12 “no-fault” states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Kentucky are the only ones that offer drivers the option of choosing between buying a no-fault insurance policy or a traditional liability insurance policy for cars. In these no-fault states, each driver's car insurance provider pays for their medical claims after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
It should come as no surprise that the three most expensive states in the WalletHub cheap car insurance study (Michigan, New York and New Jersey) are all no-fault states. For more information, see WalletHub's guides on no-fault insurance and the cheapest car insurance in Tennessee. In addition to the 12 no-fault states, some “supplemental” states have auto liability insurance laws that combine no-fault and no-fault insurance systems. In Tennessee, an injured driver can file a claim directly with their insurance company, file a claim against a third-party insurance company, or file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver in civil court.
If you're at fault for a car accident, your liability insurance pays for repairs to the other driver's car and will likely cover the doctor's bills if you're injured. Drivers who live in one of the 12 states with no-fault insurance can expect to pay more for car insurance than those in at-fault states. In typical no-fault states, drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to pay for their own medical expenses after a car accident, regardless of fault. Some states require drivers to have PIP or MedPay, while collision insurance is often mandatory if you rent or finance your car.
In Tennessee, determining fault in a car accident can be complicated, especially when it comes to insurance companies that want to pay less than the compensation you deserve.