Plaintiff Denied Recovery in Tennessee Car Accident Case Due to Comparative Negligence

It is not uncommon for a car accident to be caused by multiple factors. For example, in many instances, a crash will be brought about by a combination of inclement weather and reckless driving. When a collision is caused by the injured party’s negligence, however, it can preclude the recovery of damages. This was demonstrated in a recent Tennessee car accident case in which the court upheld a verdict in favor of the defendant due to the jury’s finding that the plaintiff was sixty percent at the fault for the crash.  If you were injured in a collision, it advisable to consult a skillful Tennessee car accident attorney to determine whether you may be owed compensation.

Factual History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff and the defendant were involved in a collision in the parking lot of a shopping center. The plaintiff sustained injures in the accident, after which he filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging a claim of negligence. The case was tried in front of a jury, who found that the plaintiff was sixty percent at fault for the accident. Thus, pursuant to Tennessee’s comparative negligence law, the jury issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial, which the court denied. The plaintiff then appealed, arguing that the jury’s finding was against the weight of the evidence. On appeal, the jury’s verdict was affirmed.

Comparative Fault in Tennessee

Under Tennessee law, allocation of fault is an issue of fact to be determined by a jury. Thus, when a jury’s finding of fault is called into question, a court reviewing the matter will only set aside the jury’s verdict if it finds a complete lack of material evidence in support of the verdict. In determining whether such evidence exists, a court will take the strongest view of the evidence that supports the verdict and assume it to be truthful. The court will also allow all reasonable inferences to sustain the verdict and discard any evidence that disfavors the verdict.

An appellate court will not, however, re-evaluate the evidence or re-weigh the jury’s assessment of the preponderance of the evidence, as that is not within the purview of the courts. Evidence is material if it relates to the issue in controversy, and either independently or in conjunction with other evidence is determinative of the case. In the subject case, the appellate court found that upon review of the evidence presented, there was ample support for the jury’s verdict. Thus, the trial court ruling was affirmed.

Speak to a Trusted Tennessee Attorney About Your Accident

People injured in car accidents are often owed damages even if they are partially responsible for causing the crash. If you suffered harm in a collision, it is prudent to talk to an attorney as soon as possible regarding your rights. Eric Beasley is a trusted Tennessee car accident attorney with the skills and experience needed to help you seek a favorable outcome, and he will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Beasley at 615-859-2223 or via the form online to set up a conference.