How Does A Personal Injury Claim Work in Tennessee?
October 17th, 2019 by Attorney John Colvin
We are all required to use a certain degree of care when dealing with other people in our day-to-day lives. While many of us take great care to ensure that we don’t endanger others, many are not so conscientious. The worst-case scenario in these situations is that an innocent bystander is injured as a result of the at-fault party’s careless or negligent conduct. Fortunately, Tennessee residents who are injured in accidents through no fault of their own can hold the responsible parties accountable for their injuries by filing a claim against the at-fault individual or entity in court.
There are, however, a series of important laws and regulations of which plaintiffs should be aware before filing suit, so if you or a loved one were recently injured in an accident, it is important to contact an experienced Tennessee personal injury lawyer who can advise you before moving forward with your claim.
Demonstrating Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
The success or failure of most personal injury cases revolves around a plaintiff’s ability to demonstrate that a defendant was not only negligent, but was also responsible for an accident. This requires proof establishing that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care;
- The defendant breached that duty; and
- The defendant’s breach resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
Certain types of evidence will need to be collected to demonstrate that these elements were fulfilled in a particular case, including: photographs or video recordings from the scene of the accident, eyewitness testimony, any police reports created after the accident, medical records related to the plaintiff’s injuries, and the testimony of any eyewitnesses who saw the accident.
Comparative Negligence in Tennessee
Tennessee is a modified comparative fault state when it comes to assigning fault for an accident. This means that a person can recover damages for an accident even if he or she was also partially responsible for an accident. Instead, that person’s damages award will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault in causing the accident in question. The only exception to this rule applies in cases where a plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, in which case, that individual will be barred from recovery.
Injured parties whose accidents were the result of someone else’s negligence, only have a certain amount of time in which they can file a case in the state’s court system. In Tennessee, this deadline, which is known as a statute of limitations, is one year from the date of the accident. Plaintiffs who fail to abide by this rule will almost always have their cases dismissed by the court, which means that they could be left without the option of collecting compensation for their injury-related losses.
Schedule a Case Review Today with a Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer
If you were recently injured in an accident and you have questions about the process of filing a personal injury claim in Tennessee, please call (877) 771-8644 to speak with dedicated Winchester, TN personal injury lawyer John R. Colvin Attorney at Law today.