A personal injury lawsuit is a situation in which a claimant is injured due to the negligence of another party, and because of unsuccessful negotiations with the insurance company, the claimant takes their case to court. From there, your options for financial recovery may result in a trial before a judge and jury.
How an injury happens differs by the situation; however, they all have one common element: negligence, according to the American Bar Association (ABA).
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
While undergoing the legal process for a personal injury lawsuit, many claimants choose to work with an attorney to navigate these proceedings.
Some of the practice areas in the personal injury domain include:
- Vehicular accidents
- Slip and falls
- Premises liability
- Defective products
- Dangerous drugs
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
Each of these situations rests on negligence. A claimant’s legal team must prove that another party’s actions or behaviors caused their client’s injuries.
For example, if you were injured by a dog bite, your legal team would need to prove that the dog’s owner did not take measures to protect others from harm. Your lawyer could argue that because the animal was not on a leash, the owner acted negligently and is responsible for your damages.
Determining Liability in the Wake of an Injury
When you sustain an injury, the first thing that you should do is seek medical treatment. You should keep any documents relating to your doctor’s visit, including billing statements, imaging scans, prescriptions, administered treatments, and any other forms of evidence. Later, your legal team will use these items to tie your injuries to the accident in question.
Once you are safe and cared for, you may turn your attention to assigning negligence. For this reason alone, many people choose to work with a personal injury lawyer. These professionals can assign liability on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
This process includes:
Determining That the Responsible Party Had a Duty of Care
A duty of care generally means that somebody is legally required to avoid putting you at an unreasonable risk of harm. This duty may look differently depending on the circumstances that led to your injury.
Identifying the Violation of This Duty
Your legal team must identify how the responsible party violated their duty of care. This could be in the form of an action or behavior that had the potential to cause harm to others.
Your lawyer must establish that because the negligent party breached their duty of care, they caused an accident in which you were injured.
Showing Your Damages
Your legal team will need to prove that because of the accident, you have suffered financial losses. These damages can result from medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will need to prove the above factors in your case to promote its success.
Possible Awards from a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you bring a personal injury lawsuit, what you will be able to seek compensation for will depend on the circumstances of your situation.
If your case is successful, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical bills, including the cost of anticipated complications, emergency transportation services, hospital stays, and follow-up care
- Lost wages due to a prolonged recovery period
- Diminished earning capacity, if you are unable to return to your preferred place of employment
- Property damage, if applicable
- Childcare costs, if you are unable to care for your family due to your injuries
- Funeral and burial costs, if a loved one passed away because of the accident
These are all economic damages, meaning that they have a verifiable value. Noneconomic damages deal more with the psychological impact of an accident, and cannot be so easily calculated.
Some examples of noneconomic damages you can pursue through a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Pain and suffering and inconvenience
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional trauma
- Impaired quality of life
Tennessee has a statutory cap on noneconomic damages, meaning that there is a limit to what you can seek for noneconomic damages. In most cases, this cap is set at $750,000, although there are some exceptions. In addition to this cap, there’s also a statute of limitations, per Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-3-104, to contend with.
Call Our Team at The Cochran Firm - Nashville Today
Our team knows how difficult the time after an injury can be. However, we want you to know that you are not alone. Our team wants to handle every aspect on your behalf. We can gather evidence, build a case, and communicate and negotiate with the other party’s insurer. We also take cases on a contingency fee basis which means you pay nothing upfront for our services.
Call our team at The Cochran Firm - Nashville today at 615-678-6278 for a free consultation.