Explaining fault vs. no-fault insurance laws

When one gets in a car accident in Shelby, the expectation is that auto insurance will pay for any injuries he or she (as well as other involved) sustained, along with the whatever repairs to any and all vehicles caught up in the collision. The question is whose insurance is going to pay for it. Most might automatically assume that the "at-fault" driver is responsible. At the same time, some might say that regardless of fault, those involved in car accidents are required to submit claims to their own insurance companies. So who is correct?

The issue of fault vs no-fault insurance can be a complex one, yet in terms if differentiating the two, a "fault" (or more appropriately, "at-fault") auto insurance case is one where the insurer of the driver who caused the accident is liable to pay for damages to all parties involved. A "no-fault" case is one where all parties file claims with their insurers. Which philosophy applies depends on the state in which the accident. Per the Insurance Information Institute, there are currently 12 states that have adopted no-fault insurance laws; Tennessee, however, is not one of them. 

If Tennessee law then requires the insurer of an at-fault party to pay for damages, one might then question how fault is assigned in accident cases. Two general forms of negligence exist in tort law: comparative and contributory. Contributory negligence assigns fault to all who contributed to an accident, while comparative considers the percentage of responsibility each party holds. The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the states follows a modified comparative fault model, which means that one is at-fault when he or she is determined to be more than 50 percent responsible for having caused an accident. 

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