Many people in the United States believe they will never need services from a personal injury attorney. However, millions of Americans receive severe injuries every year that can change their lives through no fault of their own.
Accident victims may have sustained injuries in a truck accident, car accident, or motorcycle accident. Another common cause is medical malpractice. Most victims feel isolated when seeking a personal injury or accident lawyer for vehicle accidents to help them get justice.
The common questions that come to the plaintiff’s mind are:
- What kind of compensation should I expect?
- How will my case be valued?
- Where can I find a top-rated and experienced attorney to handle my personal injury case?
Personal injury law has many complexities in every case and may differ from state to state. That is why The Personal Injury Center provides resources that can make things easier for every client by connecting them to world-class attorneys.
Are you a victim of a severe injury caused by a negligent party in Hendersonville and want compensation? The Personal Injury Center is a comprehensive resource for personal injury lawyers and law firms across the US, including Tennessee.
These personal injury lawyers have years of experience under their belt in handling all types of personal injury cases. They may specialize in semi-truck accidents, car accidents, dog bites, slip and fall, and wrongful death. They also provide legal advice and assistance for other personal injury-related cases, such as workers’ compensation and premises liability.
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According to the article, in between fifteen and nineteen thousand negligence lawsuits happen annually in the United States. While standards and regulations of medical malpractice have differences between countries and states, there are underlying concepts that remain the same.
Find out more here.
Grounds for Personal Injury
Generally speaking, personal injury can cover every variety of severe harm to an individual’s physical body, mental health, and reputation. Typically, three grounds merit a personal injury claim, including strict liability, intentional wrongs, and negligence.
Strict liability is when the defendant is liable, regardless of their mental state or intent, when they committed the act. A typical example is a person’s injury due to a defective product. The manufacturer is accountable for the damage even if they did not intend to cause harm or act negligently with their product.
An intentional wrong is when the defendant willfully committed an action that caused injury to the plaintiff. The most common examples of intentional wrongs include:
- Infliction of emotional distress
- Trespass to chattels
- Trespass to land
- False imprisonment
Negligence or carelessness is arguably the most commonly used grounds for personal injury claims. Negligence is when an individual fails to act with the same level of care as someone of ordinary prudence would in the same situation.
An example of negligence is when a hunter carelessly fires his hunting rifle in the direction of other people. Driving under the influence, or DUI is one of the most common forms of negligence in personal injury cases.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Many assume that personal injury claims only apply when the injury victim or plaintiff suffers physical injuries caused by another person. However, personal injury also covers cases where the plaintiff receives non-bodily harm from the defendant.
Here are some examples of personal injury claims that arise from bodily and non-bodily harm.
Bodily Harm Personal Injury Examples
- Medical malpractice – The omission or negligent actions of a medical professional
- Physical assault – Intentional infliction of harm through violence or force
- Sexual assault – Similar to physical assault, but of a sexual nature
- Toxic torts – when a plaintiff receives an injury due to exposure to a dangerous chemical or substance
- Defective product accidents – Bodily harm due to a flaw or error in the manufacturing of a product
- Workplace accidents – Covers all injuries caused by the negligent actions of an employer within the workplace
- Automobile accidents – Covers all accidents that involve vehicles
- Dog bites and other animal bites – Injuries caused by an animal
- Slips and falls – Damage resulting from a loss of balance or footing and may be due to a lack of warning signs for small objects or slippery floors in the victim’s path
Non-bodily Harm Personal Injury Examples
- Defamation – Damaging a person’s reputation with false claims
- False arrest, detention, or imprisonment – Restraint or detention of a person without lawful justification
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress – Recklessly causing a person to suffer severe emotional pain
- Invasion of privacy – Intrusion into a person’s private or personal life without consent or justification
- Malicious prosecution – Intentional pursuit of legal action against a person without probable cause
- Sexual harassment – Covers any form of unwanted physical, non-verbal, or verbal conduct of sexual nature
Types of Compensation from Personal Injury Cases
The personal injury law offices under the Personal Injury Center advocate aggressively on behalf of their clients. As a future client, you must understand the types of personal injury damages. This fact applies whether you are on the plaintiff or defendant side of a specific personal injury lawsuit.
There are two types of damages for personal injury cases. These compensation damage types are compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages refer to compensation to the injured party for the expenses associated with their injuries or losses. These damages are available in nearly all personal injury cases.
Personal injury lawyers from Hendersonville aim to assist their clients in recovering compensatory damages. However, not all have the negotiation skills and experience to help their clients reach a satisfactory settlement. That is why you must have the best resources when looking for a personal injury lawyer to represent you.
There are three types of compensatory damages. These are general compensatory damages, special compensatory damages, and wrongful death damages.
General compensatory damages address costs caused by a personal injury that is not commonly quantifiable. Examples of general compensatory damages include the following:
- Lower quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Special compensatory damages or economic damages cover quantifiable and out-of-pocket expenses. It is the reimbursement for lost income or additional costs caused by your accident.
Examples of special compensatory damages include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage expenses
- Loss of irreplaceable items
- Loss of income
- Canceled or altered traveling expenses
As the name implies, wrongful death damages only apply when the victim dies. It is a combination of general compensatory damages and compensatory damages. The typical recipients of the damages are surviving family members.
Examples of wrongful death damages include the following:
- Medical expenses incurred by the victim prior to death, e.g., emergency medical care
- Loss of financial support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Mental anguish or emotional distress of the victim’s surviving family members
Punitive damages function as punishment for the party responsible for any injuries inflicted upon the other party. Courts do not always award punitive damages for personal injury lawsuits. In most cases, compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff are enough to settle personal injury claims.
However, suppose the court finds that the compensatory damages are not enough to deter the defendant from repeating their mistake. In that case, it might consider awarding punitive damages.
The chances of receiving punitive damage increase when the defendant acts with gross negligence or malicious intent. Other reasons for the court to award punitive damage include criminal activities like assault, fraud, or causing extensive financial problems.
In some extreme cases involving a high-profile defendant of considerable wealth, the court may award punitive damages to make an example of them.
How do personal injury lawsuits work in Tennessee?
Anyone can file for a personal injury claim if they sustain injuries due to another person’s intentional actions or negligence. Personal injury cases arise in Tennessee when the plaintiff or defendant is a resident of Tennessee when filing a lawsuit.
“Tort” is the common term used for personal injury claims. An “intentional tort” describes a case when an individual causes injury to another individual on purpose. Conversely, an “unintentional tort” represents a case in which one person injures another person by accident.
Insurance companies typically have written policies that protect individuals from liability if they accidentally injure someone. However, most insurance policies will not cover liability if the cause of injury to another person was intentional.
Different states have different systems for how they handle liability. The state of Tennessee applies modified comparative negligence for personal injury cases. That means the court reduces the compensation if the plaintiff is partially at fault for causing their injury.
The amount of reduction depends on what the jury determines as the plaintiff’s percentage of fault in a specific case. For example, the court awards $100,000 in damages to a victim. If the victim is 20% at fault, the court will reduce that by $20,000. That means they will only receive $80,000.
However, it is an entirely different story if the victim is half or more at fault for causing the injury. If the jury finds that the victim is 50% at fault, they lose the right to sue for damages.
The Personal Injury Center is a good place to find a Tennessee attorney to represent you. They can minimize your degree of liability to get maximum compensation.
Who can sue for personal injury cases?
In personal injury law, it is not always as clear-cut when it comes to who can file for a personal injury claim. In some cases, the injured party cannot stand as a plaintiff because of death or age.
Who can sue in a wrongful death claim?
Under the wrongful death statute, certain individuals have the right to bring a personal injury lawsuit for wrongful death. Specifically, the following individuals may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Tennessee:
- The surviving spouse
- The next of kin (i.e., children or parents) of the deceased
- The personal representative
The personal representative typically functions as the administrator or executor of the decedent’s estate. Sometimes, the decedent has no estate or has not left a will that nominates an executor. In that case, the decedent’s family may file for a petition that the court appoints a personal representative for the wrongful death claim.
Who can sue if the injured party is a minor?
A minor cannot sue or be sued in Tennessee due to the lack of maturity and capacity to handle legal situations. This rule applies to both family law and personal injury law. A minor eligible for a personal injury claim must appear through a testamentary guardian in a civil action.
The child’s parent or legal guardian has the right to file a personal injury claim on behalf of a minor.
If both parents have legal custody of the child, they must both join in the lawsuit as co-plaintiffs. The parent with legal custody may bring the suit for divorced or separated parents. However, the filing parent must give the other parent notice of the lawsuit and an opportunity to participate.
If the child has a court-appointed guardian, that guardian may bring a lawsuit. Additionally, in cases where the settlement or award amount exceeds $10,000, the court must approve the settlement or award before it can be finalized. The court will typically require the settlement or award to be placed into a trust or other account for the child’s benefit.
Because these cases involve a minor, there are unique legal issues. One example is if a parent or guardian is responsible for paying for the child’s medical expenses. In this case, the parent or guardian can make a claim independent of the child’s claim.
Suppose you are considering filing a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a minor in Tennessee. In that case, it’s essential to consult an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through the process and help protect the child’s rights.
The Personal Injury Center can guide you in finding the right lawyer to protect your legal rights and ensure you recover compensation for your injured child.
When should you look for a personal injury attorney?
The US has a self-help legal system, meaning individuals can represent themselves for any claim, including personal injury claims.
In most personal injury cases, an insurance company contacts the injured party directly to offer a settlement to release all claims. Agreeing to release claims means absolving the insurance company of liability to those liens and bills.
Typically, the insurance company will step in when the at-fault party’s liability is clear. Getting compensation from an insurance company is undoubtedly quicker and more accessible than filing a lawsuit. However, the money you receive may not be enough to cover all your losses, including medical bills.
Personal injury lawyers serving Hendersonville can identify all factors to consider in a personal injury action. Additionally, they can spot all the possible pitfalls and help protect the injured person’s interests.
Find Personal Injury Attorneys in Hendersonville
Have you suffered injuries requiring medical treatment due to the actions of another person or a third party? The Personal Injury Center can find the right attorney to represent you in Hendersonville and elsewhere in the United States.
The attorneys on our platform have years of personal injury law experience to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Get a free consultation today!
FAQs on Personal Injury Law
Most personal injury cases in Tennessee resolve between 9 months to 1 year and six months on average.
The right to sue for wrongful death typically falls on a legal spouse. However, a common-law partner may initiate a claim under certain circumstances.
Suppose the deceased person has no surviving children, parents, or relatives. In that case, the partner may be considered the next of kin and have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the unmarried partner will need legal representation if they are not in the first class of beneficiaries.
Submitting a fraudulent personal injury claim can have serious consequences. For one, the insurance company will deny your claim. You could also be held responsible for repaying any funds the insurer has already paid out to you.