A personal injury lawsuit is a civil lawsuit filed in order to seek compensation for an injury that was caused by wrongful conduct. The defendant’s wrongful conduct can include negligence (carelessness), criminal behavior, intentional misconduct or product liability. In Tennessee, personal injury lawsuits are based on state law and are generally litigated in state courts.
In a negligence lawsuit you assert that the defendant failed to meet the duty of care that he was required to exercise on your behalf, and that this failure caused you to suffer losses. The applicable duty of care can range from the ordinary duty of a motorist to drive safely to the duty of a cardiologist to exercise a highly professional degree of competence when performing surgery on you.
In an intentional misconduct lawsuit, you allege that the defendant’s wrongful act was intentional rather than merely careless. In many cases the defendant’s act may constitute criminal behavior – a beating incident to a mugging, for example. You can win a lawsuit over a defendant’s criminal misconduct even if the defendant was acquitted in a criminal trial, because the burden of proof is lower in a civil trial than in a criminal trial.
Product Liability Lawsuits
Tennessee product liability law allows a person injured by a defective and unreasonably dangerous product to file a lawsuit against any party in the chain of distribution of the product including the designer, the manufacturer, the wholesaler and the retailer. Even an injured third party can file a product liability lawsuit – a passenger in a vehicle, for example, that crashed when its defective brake drums failed. The defendant does not have to prove that the defendant was at fault – he can sue the wholesaler on a manufacturing defect, for example, even though the wholesaler did not manufacture the product.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In Tennessee, wrongful death lawsuits are filed by relatives of someone who died as a result of someone else’s wrongful act or omission, or by the personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate. A relative will sue for the victim’s lost income and for their own emotional suffering, while a personal representative will sue for damages to the victim’s estate (such as outstanding medical bills) and for the victim’s own pain and suffering prior to death. Wrongful death lawsuits can be based on negligence, intentional misconduct or product liability.
The aftermath of a personal injury can be a trying time for you and your family, especially if stubborn defendants and avaricious insurance companies unfairly deny your claim or try to pressure you into a quick but inadequate settlement. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to negligence, don’t hesitate to contact a skilled Nashville personal injury attorney today for assistance.