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Personal Injury FAQs

What is a personal injury claim?

A personal injury claim is a lawsuit filed in the courts in order to obtain compensation for another party’s negligent, reckless or intentional conduct. Examples of personal injury lawsuits include car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice claims, animal attacks, and defective products.

What does negligence mean?

Most personal injury claims are premised on the legal theory of negligence. Under Tennessee law, the elements of negligence include (1) a duty of care owed by the defendant to plaintiff; (2) conduct by the defendant falling below the standard of care amounting to a breach of that duty; (3) an injury or loss; (4) causation in fact; and (5) proximate or legal cause. All of the elements must be proven at trial in order to obtain compensation for injuries

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit?

A claim for personal injuries must be filed within one year from when the cause of action accrued, which is the date of the personal injury and not the date of the negligence or the sale of a product. If the injured party is a minor, the one-year time period does not commence until the party reaches the age of 18. What is more, the one-year time period may be tolled while the injured party is of unsound mind.

How much is my personal injury claim worth?

The value of a personal injury claim depends on a variety of factors, such as the nature of the accident, the type of injuries, the medical expenses, and how the injury has affected the victim’s daily life. Compensation in a personal injury lawsuit normally includes damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, property damages, loss of earning capacity and wages, and loss of consortium.

Can I recover damages if my loved one dies as a result of another person’s negligent conduct?

Under Tennessee law, when a person dies as a result of tortious or wrongful conduct of another person, the cause of action against the wrongdoer survives the death. This type of legal claim is known as a wrongful death action. Depending on who survives the decedent, the decedent’s representative will be able to seek compensation from the wrongdoer for the injuries and damages caused to the decedent.

What does intentional tort mean? What are some examples?

An intentional tort is a type of personal injury claim where the wrongdoer intended to commit the wrongful conduct. Whether or not the tortfeasor intended for the injury to occur is irrelevant. An example of an intentional tort is when one person punches or kicks another person.

Can I still recover damages if I was partially at fault for my injuries?

Maybe. Normally, if one party suffers injuries solely as a result of another person’s negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct then the injured party will be able to go after the tortfeasor for the entire amount of damages. This changes, however, if the injured party was partially at fault for one’s injuries. The injured party’s damages may be reduced or the injured party may be entirely precluded from recovering any damages.

Tennessee is known as a modified comparative fault state. Under this rule, if an injured party is 50 percent or more at fault for their injuries then the injured party may not recover any damages. If the injured party is less than 50 percent at fault then the damages are reduced in proportion to the fault. For example, if a person suffers $100,000 damages as result of another persons’ negligent conduct, but the injured party was 10 percent at fault, then the damages will be reduced by 10 percent. Therefore, the injured party will only be entitled to recover $90,000 in damages.

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