Sometimes it is inevitable to suffer personal injuries due to accidents, no matter how careful you are. It is a harsh reality that everybody must deal with and accept.
Some of the most common personal injuries to date are related to car accidents, especially when the driver is intoxicated. Reports reveal 1,183 car crashes in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the last five years resulted in a death or severe injury.
Even if a personal injury is not fatal or permanently damaging, injured parties often worry about the enormous costs. Hospital bills for treatment and recovery can be costly.
The losses and inconvenience of a personal injury could entitle victims to seek legal action. They should exercise their right to recover damages and other remedies that the law provides.
Injuries sustained through torts, like a car accident, fall under the expertise of personal injury attorneys. They have the knowledge and experience to build a solid personal injury case.
The Personal Injury Center is a reliable online resource for legal knowledge and the services of a Knoxville personal injury lawyer. If you are from Knox County, we can teach you how to protect yourself or a loved one against injustice.
Featured on Steve Clark + Associates
“According to a report by a Medical Malpractice Center report, about 15,000 to 19,000 medical negligence lawsuits are filed in the U.S. every year. While the regulations and standards for medical malpractice differ between states and countries, some underlying concepts are the same.”
Continue reading here
What is personal injury law?
Personal injury or tort law protects victims of negligent or intentional acts. It allows them to file civil lawsuits as a legal remedy for their injuries. It establishes a system that sanctions those responsible for catastrophic injuries to compensate the injured parties.
There are various instances when personal injury laws may apply. According to the 2021 Tennessee Code, a personal injury could stem from the following:
- Intentional acts
- Defective products
Accidents pertain to instances when a person acts negligently, resulting in the injury of another. The most common accidents include car accidents, especially motor accidents and truck accidents, accidental falls, and medical malpractice.
Intentional acts refer to acts of willful misconduct that cause harm to another. Crimes of assault and battery fall under this category.
Consumers can sue manufacturers for selling defective and unreasonably dangerous products. Interested parties may file a product liability case in this instance.
Stating damaging statements about a person or brand can trigger a personal injury lawsuit. It does not matter whether the said statements are factual or baseless.
Finding a dependable Knoxville personal injury lawyer is more accessible at the Personal Injury Center. We can help you find the best counsel whether you are involved in an auto accident or other wrongful injuries.
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
It is a common mistake among non-legal professionals to think that personal injuries are limited to wounds or bruises. Under the law, personal injuries cover damages beyond what meets the eye.
A personal injury is any harm inflicted against a person’s physical body, emotions, and reputation. However, it may not cover property rights violations and the deprivation of other legal interests.
It is best to divide the types of cases of personal injuries into two categories to understand the concept better. The first category is for bodily harm, while the second is for non-bodily harm.
Each category covers distinct injuries which may have specific legal implications.
Bodily harm is often visible in serious personal injury cases. It is also a significant concern for parties because it is the basis for hospitalization and medical insurance claims.
Parties in a personal injury lawsuit often point out that their injuries affected their quality of life. Severe effects like permanent loss of a limb often warrant higher compensation.
Personal injuries can include those that cause bodily harm, such as:
- Vehicle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Product defect accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Toxic torts
Parties may prove the existence of bodily harm through photographs of the injured body parts, medical assessments, and medical bills.
Human beings have other parts that may be a subject of personal injury besides the physical aspect. An act of negligence may also cause harm to a person’s mind, emotions, and reputation.
Non-physical injuries are actionable claims in court. Here are acts that may cause non-bodily injuries to parties:
- Intentional emotional distress
- Malicious prosecution
- False arrest, detention, or imprisonment
Proving injuries to your mental, emotional, and psychological health may require a thorough professional assessment. For example, you may need the testimony of a psychiatrist to prove mental anguish and depression.
Recoverable Damages in a Knoxville Personal Injury Case
After knowing what constitutes a personal injury to build a case, you should also determine the damages you can claim. Damages refer to the monetary compensation parties receive for their injuries.
Not every injury is claimable as damages in court. Most of the time, you may only be entitled to a value that will aid your recovery.
Chapter 39 of the Tennessee Code (Code) describes how parties may file for three types of damages in a personal injury lawsuit. They include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Each type is distinct from the others. Their monetary equivalent may vary depending on the surrounding circumstances.
Economic damages refer to compensation that injured parties receive for monetary losses incurred due to the negligent actions of another. Others also refer to them as “special damages.”
Economic damages may directly or indirectly reflect the party’s monetary losses. Look at some of the most common examples of economic damages:
- Medical expenses (for past and ongoing medical treatment)
- Paycheck or job loss
- Future income loss
- Vehicle repair costs
- Loss of other personal properties
These damages are objective and quantifiable. Parties may prove the existence of these damages through medical bills or quotations from car mechanics.
Non-economic damages are also compensatory damages, but they cover the non-physical consequences of an incident. Accident victims often claim non-economic damages for their pain and suffering, anxiety, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.
Non-economic damages can be more challenging to prove than economic damages. Unlike the former, which has quantifiable costs, the latter is subjective.
Proving the mental and psychological difficulties will require detailed accounts of what the injured parties went through. It will help if family members and peers appear as witnesses to strengthen the claims.
The valuation of non-economic damages will rely on the findings of the jury.
The court does not grant punitive damages to compensate victims for their injuries. The aim is to punish the offending party for egregious acts. The courts also impose punitive damages to deter the offending party and other individuals from doing the same offense.
In Tennessee, not all injured parties may claim punitive damages. Claimants must show clear and convincing evidence that the party at fault acted with malice, fraud, or recklessness.
These offenses could have been highly damaging to the parties. For example, the defendant’s actions may have resulted in a brain injury or wrongful death.
Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
After learning the basics of a personal injury claim, interested parties should coordinate with an accident lawyer to maximize their chances of winning the case. Working alone is dangerous and impractical when you are a non-expert.
An accident attorney, especially one with extensive experience, can guide you through every critical process. They can help you gather testimonials and pieces of evidence necessary for case building.
Their legal advice is also indispensable because they keep clients from committing illegal activities and incurring unnecessary costs. You can protect your rights and interests better with their guidance.
Many personal injury lawyers are available, but not everyone will suit your needs and circumstances. Here are tips to keep in mind when looking for one.
Ask your networks
When you do not personally know a personal injury lawyer, the next best thing is to ask the people you know. Your family members or peers may be well-acquainted with one. Hiring a lawyer with the approval of people you trust is ideal because they will not be complete strangers.
Choosing lawyers through a family or friend’s recommendation may secure a smoother attorney-client relationship. Since the lawyer already has a relationship with someone you know, they will most likely offer you favorable treatment.
Interview multiple lawyers or firms
Finding the right lawyer for your case can be complicated and time-consuming, but taking your time is better than rushing the search. Refrain from immediately settling with the first lawyer or law office you find.
Interviewing multiple lawyers and law offices will widen your options for legal representation. Although some lawyers practice in the same field, their processes can differ a lot from each other.
Feel free to ask them as many questions as you want. Every detail you gather will guide you in picking the most appropriate lawyer or law firm for the case.
Do background research
You must perform thorough background research on the lawyer you wish to work on your case. Consider a lawyer with years of experience in the personal injury field.
One of the areas to focus on in your investigation is the reputation of your legal counsel for ethical behavior. Check whether your lawyer has records involving malpractice, sexual assault, or corruption.
The easiest way to investigate a lawyer is by running a Google search about them. When nothing appears on the search results, the next step would be contacting the bar association where your lawyer belongs.
Consider their fees
Hiring a lawyer for a personal injury suit can be costly. However, it does not mean you can never find competent legal counsel on a limited budget.
Some of the common reasons why a lawyer’s legal fee increases include the following:
- Lawyer’s knowledge, experience, and reputation
- Novelty or difficulty of the case
- Nature of the case and the processes it entails
- Amount of paperwork and other court requirements
For clients having financial difficulty affording legal services, seeking lawyers who agree to a contingency fee basis compensation is advisable. It is an arrangement where the counsel receives payment only upon the case’s successful resolution.
Assess their resources
Pursuing personal injury suits requires significant resources in most cases. Considering their diversity and comprehensiveness, you want a lawyer who can serve the interest of their clients to the fullest. They cannot rely on legal knowledge alone to help injured parties.
Proving a personal injury claim requires familiarity with various subjects, including medical practice, insurance, and traffic. Parties can feel more confident when their lawyers possess the resources to win their cases.
In addition to having the capacity to build a strong case, reliable personal injury lawyers should be up-to-date with the law and other legal practices. They should be able to apply the latest and most appropriate legislation in every case.
Choose someone you trust
The most crucial characteristic of a personal injury lawyer is their trustworthiness. Be careful with your choices because you will entrust them with your rights and interests.
One way to check the trustworthiness of a lawyer is through their bar profile. Search the lawyer you plan to work with through the Knoxville Bar Association.
Another way to assess the trustworthiness of a lawyer is by talking with their previous clients. Paying clients are mostly upfront with their experiences and do not hold back with giving a bad review when dissatisfied.
Find an Experienced Knoxville Personal Injury Lawyer
A party may have a personal injury claim when they suffered bodily and non-bodily harm from the negligent actions of another. As compensation, the law enables them to recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages from the offender.
Filing personal injury cases can be complicated because of technical rules and processes. It is best to work with an experienced Knoxville personal injury lawyer to avoid unnecessary hassle.
If you need help connecting with lawyers to work on your case, the Personal Injury Center can assist you. Seek first-rate legal advice from its list of competent lawyers and law firms. You can access their database by answering a few questions during a free consultation.
FAQs on Knoxville Personal Injury Lawyer
Under Section 28-3-104 of the Tennessee Code, an interested party may have one year to file a personal injury suit from the date of the injury.
Tennessee implements a maximum cap on non-economic damages an injured individual can claim. These damages do not cover medical expenses or lost wages.
- $750,000 for pain and suffering
- $1,000,000 for catastrophic loss, such as loss of a limb
No cap limit applies in some circumstances. These include the following scenario when the defendant:. These include the following scenario when the defendant:
- Acted intentionally
- Concealed or destroyed the evidence
- Inflicted the injury while under the influence
- Acted in a manner that resulted in a felony conviction
There are several factors required to establish a personal injury case. It is best to consult legal professionals to analyze your rights and potential claims thoroughly. The Personal Injury Center can connect you with experienced lawyers.