An itemized medical bill for expenses incurred after a Chattanooga personal injury.

What Compensation Can I Receive in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

The personal injury team at the McMahan Law Firm breaks down the different forms of compensation an injured person could recover with a claim. We explore Tennessee damage caps, factors that could reduce the value of your settlement, and how to maximize your chances of just compensation.

Get a FREE Case Review

"*" indicates required fields

Understanding Compensation in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury compensation, often referred to as “damages,” is the monetary payment awarded to an individual who has suffered harm due to the negligent or intentional actions of another party. These damages are intended to restore the injured party, as much as possible, to the position they were in before the injury occurred.

If you want to know how much you could be compensated for your personal injury, contact our Chattanooga personal injury attorneys for a free case review. We’ll be able to review the details of your case and provide an estimate for your potential compensation.

Get Your FREE Case Review

Here’s a breakdown of the various types of compensation available in personal injury cases.

1. Economic Damages

Economic damages are the most straightforward type of compensation. They cover the financial losses directly related to the injury. This category includes:

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for medical bills is a primary component. This covers everything from emergency room visits, hospital stays, and surgeries to ongoing treatments, rehabilitation, and any future medical care related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: If your injury has caused you to miss work, you can be compensated for lost income. This also includes loss of earning capacity if your ability to work and earn a salary is impacted in the long term.
  • Property Damage: If personal property was damaged as a result of the incident (like in a car accident), you can be compensated for repair or replacement costs.

2. Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, or general damages, are more subjective and compensate for non-financial losses related to the injury. These include:

  • Pain and Suffering: This covers the physical pain and emotional distress suffered due to the injury. Calculating pain and suffering can be complex, as it involves assessing the severity and duration of the pain.
  • Emotional Distress: Separate from pain and suffering, this compensates for the psychological impact of an injury, such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the injury prevents you from enjoying day-to-day activities or hobbies you once engaged in, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.
  • Loss of Consortium: In cases where an injury affects the relationship between spouses, compensation can be awarded for loss of companionship, affection, and other elements of the marital relationship.

3. Punitive Damages

In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded. These are not tied to any specific loss suffered by the plaintiff but are instead intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior and to deter similar actions in the future. Punitive damages are less common and typically only arise in cases of gross negligence or intentional harm.

4. Special Considerations for Tennessee Personal Injury Compensation

When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in Tennessee, it’s important to be aware of the specific state laws that can impact your compensation. Here are key considerations under Tennessee personal injury law:

Comparative Fault

Tennessee follows a modified comparative fault rule. This means if you are found to be less than 50% responsible for the accident, you can receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

If you are 50% or more at fault, you cannot recover any damages.

Caps on Damages

Tennessee law places caps on certain types of damages in personal injury cases:

  • Non-Economic Damages: For most personal injury cases, the cap on non-economic damages is $750,000. However, if the injury is catastrophic (such as spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burns, or wrongful death of a parent leaving minor children), the cap is raised to $1,000,000.
  • Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are capped at two times the total amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater. These are only awarded in cases of intentional misconduct, fraud, or gross negligence.
  • No Damage Caps for Economic Damages

Steps to Protect Your Compensation

  1. Keep Records of All Expenses: Keep detailed records of all expenses and impacts related to your injury, including medical bills, pay stubs, and personal notes on pain and suffering.
  2. Get Treatment for Your Injuries: Prompt medical treatment not only aids in your recovery but also provides important documentation of your injuries.
  3. Call a Local Personal Injury Lawyer: Our experienced lawyers at The McMahan Law Firm can help navigate the complexities of your case and ensure you seek all applicable types of compensation. Remember, the insurance company will initially try to get you to settle for less compensation than you deserve.

Get Your FREE Case Review

Maximize Your Chances of Fair Compensation With Jay & Brent

In a personal injury lawsuit, the types of compensation you can receive include economic damages for financial losses, non-economic damages for intangible losses, and sometimes punitive damages. Understanding these categories and working with a skilled Chattanooga injury attorney can help ensure you receive fair compensation for the full extent of your losses and suffering. Each personal injury case is unique, and the specific damages applicable will depend on the details of your situation.