The Standard Personal Injury Laws Every Tennessean Should Know

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A personal injury, whether from a dog bite, defective products, workplace injury, auto accidents, or medical malpractice, among other causes, can be overwhelming. You could incur financial losses like medical expenses and lost income. You also could experience non-financial damages like anxiety, loss of life enjoyment, pain, and suffering. Cumberland Region’s personal injury law provides a legal framework to protect your rights and recover financial (economic) and non-financial (non-economic) compensation.

The personal injury claim process is not easy, especially considering you are on your way to recovery. 

Among the best decisions you can make when planning to make a personal injury claim is enlisting an experienced lawyer.  This is considering the legal complexities you must navigate for a favorable outcome. Nonetheless, it is essential to equip yourself with the basics, making keeping up with the proceedings easier. Below are basic personal injury aspects you should know.

Statute of limitations

Every state has set time limits for personal injury lawsuits, referred to as statutes of limitation. In Tennessee, you have one year from the day of the incident to file your claim. If this period expires, your claim will be invalid. It might seem like a lot of time, but the window can quickly elapse as you recover and try to run the ropes of the process. The paperwork alone, which must be accurately completed and filed, can take a toll on your efforts. Your personal injury lawyer in Cumberland Region can ensure you don’t miss out on significant compensation due to the statute of limitation expiry. They’ll help ensure that you file the correct paperwork in time and avoid common pitfalls that could void your claim.

Damage caps

Recoverable personal injury damages are limited or capped by state law. This is more so in non-economic damages like pain and suffering that are hard to quantify. In Cumberland Region, non-economic damages are capped at $750,000. However, this cap can increase in certain cases. For instance, if the injury results in severe burns, limb amputation, serious spinal cord injury resulting in concerns like paralysis, or death of a minor’s parent, the limit can rise to $1,000,000. The personal injury cap applies to all personal injury claims regardless of the cause.

Shared fault

It is not uncommon to hear the other party claim that you were at fault, at least partially. This means that as much as the incident was their fault, you are also responsible for the incident to a certain degree. 

For example, in a car accident case, the defendant may argue that they ran  into you due to the brake light not being operational when 

you were sitting at a red light.  Considering this fact, it can be determined that the accident was partially your fault.

In Cumberland Region, partial fault doesn’t mean you can’t recover damages. You can still recover damages if the fault is less than 50% (the 49% fault rule). However, the percentage of your fault affects how much you can recover. For instance, when your total damages amount to $50,000 and it is determined that you are 30% at fault, you can only recover $35,000. This is the percentage the other party is at fault.

Besides the court judgment, the shared fault aspect can be presented during settlement negotiation. The defendant’s adjuster can argue that your compensation needs to account for your contribution towards the incidence. This concern can make it difficult to find an amicable agreement. An experienced personal injury lawyer will help establish if the shared fault should be applied and the reasonable percentage. This can help fast-track the negotiation and ensure you receive fair compensation without a court trial.

Dog bite liability

Dog owners are, to a certain degree, protected in many states for the first time their dog injures someone. If the owner had no reason to believe that the dog was a danger to others, their liability for the first time is lower, referred to as the one-bite rule. In Cumberland Region, there is a strictly liable statute for dog owners. The statute requires the dog owner always to ensure reasonable control, whether it is friendly or has previously shown violent behavior. It means that regardless of the dog’s previous behavior, the owner is held responsible for personal injury caused if they breach such care.

Claims involving the government

Personal injuries can result from a negligent act of a government employee or agency. In such cases, the claim follows a special set of rules specifically applying to the government employee or agency involved. The rules mostly touch on where you should file the claim, the statute of limitation, and appeal filing in case of a denial. This can be overwhelming, especially since many people are easily intimidated when dealing with government agencies.

Enlisting Cumberland Region personal injury lawyers in such instances is critical. Besides ensuring you aren’t intimidated and forced to drop the claim or accept unfair compensation, the lawyer will ensure you don’t give in to the lengthy process. The lengthy back-and-forth considering the bureaucratic red tape common with government agencies can overwhelm even the most patient and persistent individuals. A lawyer can help you stay on course despite the long wait, negotiate with the agencies, and secure maximum compensation.

Personal injury cases in Cumberland Region have many moving parts and can prove more daunting than expected. In some instances, you must prove negligence, which entails gathering substantial evidence. This is more challenging since you may need professional collaboration to ensure the evidence is concrete. Even when the personal injury case seems straightforward, like when hit by an intoxicated driver, you should enlist professional help. Experienced lawyers have the time, resources, and in-depth understanding of the legal complexities and process nuances. This means you will avoid common pitfalls that could void the personal injury claim or result in significantly lower compensation.

Filing a personal injury claim shouldn’t be an afterthought if you have sustained an injury. This is since an injury can turn your life inside out, considering concerns like medical expenses, lost income, and emotional anguish. You may only need a free consultation for a vivid picture of your situation and eligible compensation you can pursue. Contact Burnett Law today for a free consultation or legal representation to ensure you secure maximum compensation.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog or on this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any specific subject matter. No person should act or refrain from acting due to any content included in the site without seeking legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the person’s state. The Firm expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this blog or website.

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