Personal injury lawsuits allow someone injured in an accident caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another to recover damages from liable parties to compensate for their losses. A civil claim could hold someone responsible for harming someone else and require them to make amends for their actions through civil liability, even if they do not face criminal liability.
If you suffered harm due to another person’s careless actions, you might wish to speak with an experienced attorney about filing a civil claim. A knowledgeable Nashville personal injury lawyer could explain the options available to you and evaluate the pros and cons of each.
Establishing Negligence in a Civil Claim
Under Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104, someone has one year from the time they are injured to file a legal claim for restitution from the responsible party. Personal injury claims rely on the concept of legal negligence, and require a plaintiff and their local attorney to prove four elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty
- The breach caused injury to the plaintiff
- The injury resulted in actual compensatory losses
Under some circumstances, someone may face criminal charges as well as a civil lawsuit for harm arising from the same act. For instance, if the defendant was driving while intoxicated and caused an accident that harmed the claimant.
Recoverable Compensation in Nashville
As per Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-39-102, an injured plaintiff may receive a damages award for economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include all out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Nontangible harm such as pain and suffering are considered non-economic damages, and are generally limited to no more than $750,000 for any individual plaintiff. For injuries characterized as catastrophic, such as amputations, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, or severe burns, the cap on non-economic damages increases to $1,000,000.
Tennessee follows a modified comparative fault rule which requires a court to distribute liability for an accident to all parties involved in the incident. As long as the claimant is determined to be less than half at fault for the accident that caused them harm, they can still recover a reduced damage award. A well-practiced attorney in Nashville could help an injured claimant calculate their total personal damages.
Seek Guidance from a Nashville Personal Injury Attorney
Someone who sustains an injury caused by another’s reckless or careless actions should not have to suffer the burden of resulting hospital bills, missed work, pain and suffering, or medical care. Fortunately, the law allows injured parties to seek legal restitution for their losses through civil litigation.
However, handling a case on your own can be overwhelming and complicated. The defense will likely try to put the blame for the accident on the injured party. To strengthen your civil case, you should speak with a knowledgeable Nashville personal injury lawyer. A dedicated attorney could help you decide what sort of claim to file and how to craft a strong defense. Schedule a case consultation today.