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Can I still file a lawsuit even if I was partially at fault?

Yes, depending on the circumstances. Very few car accidents are solely the fault of one individual. Therefore, when a car wreck victim files a lawsuit, he or she may also be accused of causing the accident. Therefore, to make the legal system as just as possible, Tennessee has adopted a modified comparative fault system.

Under comparative negligence, a plaintiff's recovery will be reduced by the amount he or she is deemed at fault. For example, if an accident occurs and a plaintiff recovers $100,000 through a personal injury lawsuit, but is deemed to be 40 percent at fault, then the plaintiff's compensation will be reduced to $60,000. It is also important to note that the modified comparative negligence system will deny a plaintiff recovery if he or she has fault that equals or exceeds the defendant's.

A lawsuit against a negligent driver may be complex for several reasons, but one that many fail to recognize is that a defendant will likely try to show that the victim was at fault. Therefore, a car accident victim often has to play both sides of the fence. He or she must seek to prove the driver who harmed him or her caused the accident while defending against his or her own actions in order to reduce his or her comparative fault and thus maximize his or her recovery.

A car wreck can wreak havoc on an individual's life, leaving him or her with extensive medical expenses, lost wages, and extreme pain and suffering. The fight to recover these losses can be brutal, but a qualified Knoxville attorney can help a car accident victim understand the civil lawsuit process and his or her legal rights. Then, if a victim decides to move forward on a claim, a lawyer will aggressively fight to recover the compensation the victim needs and deserves to get life back on track.

Source: FindLaw, "Comparative Negligence," accessed on Aug. 8, 2014

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