The Law of Negligence

Despite drivers’ efforts to pay attention to the road, both serious and minor accidents occur. Although there are many reasons for accidents, the law of negligence applies to most accidents.

What Is Negligence?

Negligence is circumstances where one person acts carelessly or negligently and consequently injures another person or damages another person’s property, or when one person doesn’t act or fails to act reasonably or as required by law. Courts require the person or persons responsible for the accident to pay for the injuries and damages that they caused.

Tennessee follows the modified comparative negligence doctrine. This means that as long as you, the injured person, are no more than 50% at-fault for your own injuries, you can still make a claim for compensation. It also means that if you do share some liability, your award will be reduced by that percentage.

To explain, say you are in a car accident with another driver, and you seek $1,000,000 in compensation. You are found to be 25% at fault, and the other driver is found to be 75% at fault. In Tennessee, this means that the total amount of your award would be reduced by 25%, or $250,000, so your total compensation would be $750,000.

In some states, the doctrine of contributory negligence applies and bars any recovery if the injured person is only slightly at fault. Other states may have a “no fault” system of liability.

Determining Negligence in a Car Accident

According to the law, you simply can’t say an accident resulted from negligence; you must prove negligence.

To determine negligence occurred, there must be these certain factors or elements:

  1. Duty of care, which one person owed to another person and concerns the plaintiff’s and defendant’s relationship, existed;
  2. That duty was violated;
  3. An actual link exists between one person’s actions and the injuries that resulted; and
  4. The negligence and consequences were foreseeable and thus could have been prevented.

In short, usually one person’s damages and injuries indeed resulted from another person’s negligence.

The facts matter in a case where negligence is asserted, and the law can be extremely complicated.  Therefore, after a wreck, talk to a lawyer.

If you have questions and/or concerns about accidents involving cars, trucks, big rigs, or other vehicles, or the law of negligence, or related topics, talk to a lawyer. To learn more, to have your questions answered, and to have your concerns addressed, contact Attorney Perry A. Craft or call 615-953-3808. The Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC serves clients in and around Nashville.