Vehicle wrecks can cause substantial physical, emotional, and financial harm. Fortunately, if the accident is caused by a negligent driver, the injured party has the legal right to seek financial compensation for all the losses they suffered as a result of the collision.
If you or a loved one were hurt in a crash caused by another’s carelessness, you may wish to speak with a lawyer about recoverable damages in Murfreesboro car accident cases. A well-practiced injury attorney could provide helpful guidance throughout the litigation process.
Compensatory Damages After an Auto Accident
As the name suggests, compensatory damages aim to compensate an injured party for the losses they have suffered as a result of another’s negligent actions. These damages are separated into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Under Tennessee law, economic damages are damages that, in general, a specific dollar amount can be assigned to. For instance, if an injured claimant missed a day at work, they can calculate how many hours they missed, the amount that they get paid for that time, and ask for a jury to award them the money that they would have received for that particular day.
Other losses that are considered economic damages are medical bills. After being involved in a car crash in Murfreesboro, an injured party may require numerous medical treatments, medications, and surgeries to recovery from the damage. A local attorney could gather medical documents and billing statements to prove these financial losses should be compensated by the defendant.
Other economic losses include property damage, ongoing treatments, and future lost earning capacity. It is important to work with an experienced attorney who considers future economic losses that stem from an auto accident.
Non-economic damages are also called human damages. Human damages are losses that do not have a specific dollar amount attached to them. In other words, it is difficult to determine how much these losses are worth exactly.
Human damages are the social and personal losses a person experiences as a result of an accident. For instance, loss of consortium, disability, disfigurement, and pain and suffering all are considered non-economic losses. Society values these losses in such a way that the state allows injured parties to ask for damages associated with the loss of being able to maintain relationships or participate in activities one once enjoyed.
If a plaintiff once enjoyed running, but a severe vehicle collision caused by a drunk driver resulted in them becoming paralyzed, a Murfreesboro attorney could seek non-economic damages on their behalf. The attorney could also seek compensation for medical bills and ongoing care associated with treating the paralysis. Often, compensatory losses overlap.
When Are Punitive Damages Awarded in a Car Wreck Case?
Punitive damages, as defined under state law, are designed to punish the defendant. These damages are reserved for actions that are especially egregious or malicious and aim to both punish the defendant for their behavior as well as deter them from repeating the offense.
Circumstances that may warrant an award of punitive damages in a Murfreesboro vehicle crash case could include intoxicated driving, texting while driving, or fleeing the scene, otherwise known as a hit-and-run. These are behaviors that are both illegal and shock the conscious of a jury due to their outstanding misconduct.
Are There Damage Caps in Murfreesboro?
The caps on damages in Murfreesboro car accident cases are $750,000 for non-economic damages. There are certain situations where especially catastrophic injuries or wrongful deaths warrant a court to raise the damage cap to $1,000,000.
Fortunately, there are several ways that an attorney can circumvent the caps on damages, and generally, the ways that an attorney will do that is in four different sorts of scenarios. For instance, if it can be proven that the other driver intentionally caused the accident, these damage caps could be dismissed.
Another way a lawyer could circumvent the damage caps is if they can prove the defendant tried to intentionally falsify the story, records, or material. For example, if the driver was working for a company that required a written accident report which they either steal or refuse to turn over during discovery.
Lastly, if it is determined that the defendant was using drugs or drunk at the time of the vehicle collision, that conduct is so egregious that the damages cap is now off. A well-practiced attorney could recognize grounds for cap dismissal and make a case for a larger damage award as a result.
Learn More About Recoverable Damages from a Car Accident Attorney in Murfreesboro
Recovering a full and complete damage award on your own can be difficult. A defendant and their insurance company will work hard to pay as little as possible, even if it means attempting to shift the blame onto you.
To better determine how to proceed, you might benefit from contacting a local lawyer. A skilled representative could further explain the recoverable damages in Murfreesboro car accident cases and which ones might apply to your case. Call now to get started.