Why Can’t I Sue the Insurance Company of the Person Who Caused My Car Accident?

If you are injured in a Tennessee car accident, truck accident or any other type of event, you do not have the right to file suit against the insurance company of the person or company that caused the injury.  Instead, if you want to recover damages for what happened you must file suit against the person or company that caused the injury.

Why?  Because, like most states, Tennessee does not permit what is called a "direct action" against the insurance company for the person or company that caused the accident.  In fact, under Tennessee law, the judge and jury are never even told that the person or company that you filed a lawsuit against has insurance.

What the Legislature is afraid of is that if a jury knows that the person who is being sued has insurance to pay for some or all of the loss the jury might award damages regardless of fault.  This is clearly a myth – most jurors rightly assume that the person being sued has insurance and there are plenty of court cases that result in no money or a very low amount being awarded to the injured party.  Nevertheless, we continue to hide the fact of insurance coverage from jurors.

So, if you have a Tennessee personal injury claim that is not settled and you still want to seek the damages you are entitled to receive under Tennessee law you will have to file suit against the individual or company that caused the accident that caused your injury.  


John Day represents personal injury victims and families of wrongful death victims. He is board-certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and, in fact, served as President of the organization. He is an elected member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. His book, "Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law," is used by judges and lawyers across Tennessee to further their understanding of personal injury and wrongful death law in Tennessee. In 2009, Best Lawyers named John "Best Personal Injury Lawyer" for Nashville; he was the first recipient of that award. Best Lawyers also named John as "Best Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Nashville" for 2010. John does not charge for an initial consultation and accepts personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingent fee basis. You can reach him by telephone at 615.742.4880 or by email by clicking here.

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