Personal Injury -- Plaintiff Law
Tennessee Personal Injury Law
After you suffer an injury, that may not be the end of the story. An injury can cause you to suffer even more consequences whether from loss of time from work, mounting medical bills or other unexpected expenses after the incident. Tennessee law allows you to hold the person who hurt you liable and recover compensation for your damages. For personal injury claims in Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, or anywhere else in the state, it is important to contact a local personal injury attorney for your case.
Handling Your Tennessee Injury Claim
The process that your case will follow, depends on the extent of your injuries and the facts surrounding your situation.
Serious injuries and substantial financial losses may call for hiring an attorney to help you seek the proper compensation for your damages. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate the complexities of injury law, find expert witnesses, and handle the numerous court filing requirements and court appearances. Injury attorneys can help negotiate a settlement agreement or advocate on your behalf during the trial.
For less serious claims with damages under $10,000, you might wish to bring your claim on your own in small claims court. However, medical expenses as well as extensive property damage may put your damages well above this threshold and you may need to move forward with litigation.
If you are injured in an car accident, you may try dealing directly with the insurance company of the person who hit you along with filing a claim with your own policy. In the event the insurance companies disagree on who is at fault for the accident or you are dissatisfied with the settlement offer, you may end up needing to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit to be compensated.
Tennessee Statute of Limitations
The amount of time you have to file your lawsuit is controlled by the Tennessee statutes of limitation, determined by the type of injuries you have suffered such as:
- One year for physical injuries
- Three years for property damage
- One year for libel
- Six months for slander
- One year for medical malpractice
Since time is of the essence, it is important to learn your rights and how to find a Tennessee injury attorney so you can get started on your claim.
Establishing Liability for Tennessee Injury Claims
Under Tennessee injury law, there are different theories to establish liability or prove fault of the person who hurt you to receive compensation for your injuries.
Negligence Claims in Tennessee
Tennessee law imposes a duty for people and businesses to act reasonably when interacting with each other. When someone acts unreasonably and causes you injuries and damages as a result, you may have a negligence claim.
Negligence claims can occur from a number of injuries such as car accidents, dangerous hazards on the property of another person or business, or medical malpractice.
Tennessee uses the modified comparative negligence approach, which examines any negligence on your part and reduces the damages you can receive based on your percentage of fault for your injuries. However if you are deemed more at fault than the person you are suing, this rule prohibits you from receiving any damages at all.
Strict Liability for Tennessee Injury Claims
Strict liability claims allow you to hold a party liable by proving they are responsible for your injuries, without needing to prove any negligence or intentional fault.
For injuries from defective products or warning labels, you may hold anyone in the chain of manufacturing for that product liable for your injuries. Tennessee’s “one bite” rule allows you to hold pet owner’s strictly liable for dog bites as well.
Claims for Intentional Injuries in Tennessee
Tennessee law allows you to recover financial compensation for injuries inflicted by another person intentionally. This includes battery, assault, libel, slander, and defamation.
Damages for Tennessee Injury Claims
The damages you may be eligible to recover depend on a number of factors like the type of claim, who the claim is against, the extent of injuries, and any damage caps imposed by Tennessee law. Although attorneys are barred from promising you a specific amount of money, they can go through your losses and advocate for your fair compensation.
Economic damages allow you to receive financial compensation for medical bills, damage to your property, rental cars, time out of work, along with other monetary expenses.
Non-economic damages award you compensation for non-monetary losses like pain and suffering, physical impairment or disfigurement, or loss of companionship for wrongful death claims.
Punitive damages are imposed to punish the person you are suing; however, these damages are reserved for cases involving malicious intent.
If you are bringing a claim against the state government, there are damage caps of $300,000 per person and $1,000,000 per incident and you may not receive any punitive damages.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Attorney?
A number of injury attorneys offer an initial consultation free of charge to look over your case and discuss their fees. Instead of charging you a large retainer fee upfront, most injury attorneys use contingency fee agreements. These agreements allow the attorney to get work while and collect their fees from a predetermined percentage of your potential damages at the end of your claim.