The Basics of Tennessee Personal Injury Litigation
Sadly, accidents happen every day, in the context of driving, work, motorcycle and bicycle accidents, and accidents caused by defective products. While most accidents do not cause serious injury, there are some cases where a victim is left permanently impaired or disabled. The most severe accidents can result in trauma and significant loss such as traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries, and even fatalities. Because the term “personal injury” is broad and with many different causes, this blog seeks to explain the basics of personal injury litigation, what it is, and how it works.
What is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury claim in the legal context is one in which a plaintiff was injured due to the defendant’s breach of care, resulting in economic and noneconomic injuries. Typically, a ‘breach of care’ (often referred to as negligence) occurs whenever someone fails to act as a reasonable person would have in similar circumstances. As a result, injury claims may be brought in various circumstances, including medical malpractice, product liability, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, and wrongful death.
Filing a Claim
Where a lawsuit is filed depends on the amount of your claim. The Tennessee General Sessions Court is limited to claims less than $25,000. Claims over that amount must be filed in circuit court. Damages one can ask for can range from compensatory, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
The Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations restricts the time you have to file a lawsuit. In Tennessee, plaintiffs have up to a year to file a case in the personal injury context. For minors however, the limitation does not begin to run until the minor’s 18th birthday.
The Capping on Personal Injury Damages is Unconstitutional
Earlier this year, a Chattanooga judge ruled that Tennessee’s state law, which capped the amount of money someone can win in a personal injury lawsuit for noneconomic damages, was unconstitutional. Tennessee’s damage caps were originally passed in 2011 by the state legislature as part of the state’s Civil Justice Act. It had limited personal injury payouts for noneconomic damages to $750,000. Now, there is no cap. The judge’s legal reasoning was that juries should be able to award the damages they see fit, in accordance with the circumstances.
Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers
At Calhoun Law, PLC, we understand the challenges faced by families that have lost a loved one or suffered crippling injuries. Our priority is to help you and your family get the security you need to begin the healing process. We will go through your case in detail and work with an independent investigator. Contact us today so that we can ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries. Consultations are free and confidential.