This is a very common question. In Tennessee, we have what is called modified comparative fault. That means a plaintiff can recover, as long as they are less than 50 percent at fault.
For example, a plaintiff could be 49 percent at fault; the at‑fault party could be 51 percent at fault. Then the plaintiff would recover 51 percent of their damages. If both parties are 50 percent at fault, or if the plaintiff is more than 50 percent at fault, then the plaintiff recovers nothing. If the case is tried, a jury decides the percentage of fault of each party.
Since few cases go to trial, generally, the lawyers for both sides take discovery, take depositions, and try to decide how a jury would decide on fault.
You can have a claim if you are partially responsible, but not if you are 50 percent or more responsible for the accident.
If you have more questions about car accident injury, or any type of accident occurring in Tennessee, contact an experienced Knoxville auto accident injury lawyer today for guidance. You can also find more helpful answers like this on our resources page.