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Imagine a place where hundreds of thousands of petty crimes happen each year, where – on average – there is at least one violent crime committed each day, where police resources are strained to respond to the overwhelming occurrence of crime. Perhaps you’ve envisioned a major American city plagued with urban decay, or a third-world country riddled with social unrest. But the description above is not of a dangerous city or a remote, war-torn country – it’s of Walmart. Continue Reading
Damages in Winchester Personal Injury Lawsuits
Under Tennessee law, a plaintiff in a personal injury case can collect no more than $750,000 in non-economic damages, with a few exceptions. In the case of catastrophic injury, which includes some spinal cord injuries, severe burns, and wrongful death of a parent with a surviving minor, a jury may award up to $1 million in damages.
If the act that caused the injury was malicious, intentional, fraudulent or reckless, a plaintiff may also pursue punitive damages – a monetary penalty intended to punish a wrongdoer. Those awards cannot exceed $500,000, or two times the amount of compensatory damages, unless the plaintiff can show one of the following:
- The defendant intended to – and did – seriously injure the plaintiff.
- The defendant falsified, hid, or destroyed evidence in an effort to hide his liability.
- The defendant, at the time of the accident, was under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Before 2011, there was no cap on non-economic damages in civil litigation. The $750,000 limit was established in the Tennessee Civil Justice Act of 2011. In March 2015, a Tennessee circuit court judge ruled the damage cap is unconstitutional, which means the state supreme court may end up deliberating the constitutionality of the law. As of June 2014, eight state supreme courts had declared their laws capping non-economic damages to be unconstitutional.
Expenses Covered in a Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim can help you recover compensation for…
- Hospital bills
- Ambulatory care
- Rehabilitation for injuries
- Ongoing care
- Other medical expenses
- Loss of income (past and future)
- Property damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
As you can see, the expenses you can pursue in a personal injury claim include both economic and non-economic damages. Determining how much you should seek in a claim depends on the costs you face and how significantly the injury has impacted your life. We can help you figure out how much to demand from insurance companies or at-fault parties.
Contact our personal injury lawyer in Winchester, John R. Colvin today so we can hear the details of your case and give you an assessment of the damages you can recover.
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Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Serious Injury
One of the key responsibilities of an attorney is dealing firmly and aggressively with insurance companies. Insurers offer policies that cover expenses when things go wrong. Unfortunately, it’s too often the case that once a catastrophe happens, these insurance companies deny payment or offer far less than an injured person deserves.
If you’ve been involved in an incident that warrants an insurance claim, you might be contacted by a representative of an insurance company. In general, you should cooperate with your own insurance company when they contact you. However, you DO NOT have to accept an offer if it doesn’t meet your needs.
If you are contacted by someone else’s insurance company after an accident or injury, you are under absolutely no obligation to speak to them. They want you to make a statement, and they’ll look for opportunities to minimize or refuse payment. If you’re contacted by an insurance company that is not your own, tell them to contact your attorney.
John R. Colvin knows how to deal with insurance companies. We handle correspondence and payment negotiations, so our clients can rest assured that they don’t have to worry about this critical aspect of filing a personal injury claim.
Contact John R. Colvin today to learn more about how we can help you. He is a personal injury lawyer in Winchester who will stand up for your interests and make sure you are treated fairly. Schedule a free case evaluation by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form.
Answering Your Personal Injury Questions
[expand title=”Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim in Winchester?”]If you’ve been injured by someone else’s careless behavior, whether it be bad driving, faulty manufacturing or any other form of negligence, you should consider your legal options. The more costly and painful your injury is, the more important it is to think about filing a personal injury claim.
The costs of an injury can add up quickly. You likely have medical expenses and missed time at work. A personal injury claim offers you the opportunity to recover those costs, but no one will be knocking on your door to hand you the payment you need. People too often leave money on the table when they should have considered legal action.
We know the process of filing a claim can be intimidating, which is why we make the process as easy as possible for our clients. If you’re unsure about filing a claim but want to find out more, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with John R. Colvin to learn more about your case’s potential.
[expand title=”Why hire a Winchester attorney?”]An attorney makes sure insurance companies and other attorneys don’t take advantage of you. They maximize the amount of compensation you can get. They handle the day-to-day aspects of filing a legal claim.
Experienced personal injury attorneys know what to expect and when to seize opportunities in your claim. Handling these claims without an attorney is overwhelming. You need to learn the complexities of the law and the legal system. You also have no frame of reference for what constitutes a “good” or “bad” offer.
Your attorney leads the charge and gives you the chance to focus on recovery and getting your life back to normal.
[expand title=”What to look for in a Winchester personal injury attorney?”]Your attorney should be licensed to practice in your state and handle personal injury cases. The more experienced a Winchester attorney has with your specific case type, the better. You can also ask an attorney about their past results and, if possible, find out what their clients have to say about their service.
Finding a personal injury attorney isn’t difficult. You see plenty of commercials and billboards prompting you to call a firm, but you should know that not all attorneys are the same. Look for an advocate that will handle your case directly and treat you like a person, not a case number.
[expand title=”What is the statute of limitations in personal injury claims?”]There is a time limit on filing personal injury claims. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Tennessee is one year from the time of your injury. This limit is shorter than in many other states, and it’s in your best interest to act quickly if you’ve suffered a serious personal injury in our state.
[expand title=”How much can I get in a Winchester personal injury claim?”]
Compensation for a personal injury claim in Winchester ranges from thousands to millions of dollars. The reason the payment varies so much is because each case is unique, and the amount a person seeks hinges on the costs their injuries have caused. To find out how much you should be paid for your injury, speak to a personal injury attorney so they can find out the details of your case and give you an informed assessment.
[expand title=”How long will my case take?”]
Just like the amount you can expect in a claim, the length of a personal injury claim also varies, depending on the circumstances of the injured person. It might take several weeks or months or longer. Because these cases take time, it’s best to act sooner rather than later to get the process started.
[expand title=”How do I pay a personal injury lawyer in Winchester?”]
Attorneys choose how they are paid. John R. Colvin works on a contingency fee, which means that if your case yields no compensation, you owe him nothing. If we win your case, we take our fee out of the award. We believe in our ability to get results for clients, and we don’t want our clients to shoulder any costs if their claim isn’t successful.
[expand title=”Who can be sued for my injuries?”]
The person who was responsible for your injuries is typically the party named in a lawsuit. However, cases are sometimes more complex than you might realize, and it’s often the case that multiple parties might be liable for one injury. Winchester attorney John R. Colvin always investigates a case to determine who was at fault for his client’s injuries to make sure the proper parties are named.
While the negligent person is often the one being sued, the insurance company might ultimately be the entity responsible for payment. These considerations are best made by an experienced attorney who knows how to determine who to name in a lawsuit and how much to seek.
[expand title=”What’s the difference between a settlement and a trial?”]
When the person filing a personal injury claim and the person or persons named in the lawsuit agree on an amount to be given to the injured party, a settlement is reached. If no agreement can be made, the matter goes to trial.
We believe that it’s best to prepare a case for trial, so the other side knows we are ready to go all the way. Even if the goal is a settlement, thorough preparation typically yields the greatest settlement.
The Cost of Medical Care in Tennessee
Some injuries are so severe that they result in long stays in the hospital and multiple procedures.
In 2002, a 6-year-old boy was seriously injured in a car crash that killed his father and grandfather. He spent 54 days in the hospital, as doctors worked to repair his spine, intestines, lungs and abdomen, along with several other injuries. He then spent 25 days at a children’s hospital, and after his release, he was hospitalized several times for the treatment of infections and complications that arose from his injuries. The boy’s mother filed a suit against Ford Motor Co., claiming a seat belt defect had caused her son’s injury. A jury awarded $43.8 million in damages to the mother, and found Ford was 15 percent at fault and therefore liable for $6.75 million of the total award.
In instances of extreme disabling injury or death, families count on the justice system to help them cope with the costs of medical care and loss of income. And in order to achieve a favorable outcome, it’s important to find an experienced Winchester, TN personal injury lawyer.
John R. Colvin has represented the interests of many families in personal injury cases. If you need help with your personal injury case, call us today for a free consultation, at (931) 962-1044.
TN Health Care Negligence
When an injury arises in the care of another – in a hospital or nursing home, for example – the victim may have a hard time proving a claim of negligence. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 29-26-115, states, “ … injury alone does not raise a presumption of the defendant’s negligence.”
To prevail in a claim of negligence against a health care provider, a plaintiff must provide evidence that establishes the standard of professional care for the defendant’s specific function and that the defendant “acted with less than or failed to act with ordinary and reasonable care in accordance with such standard.”These types of cases can become complicated when the suit is filed by the family member of a victim who is incapacitated or who is unable to deliver clear testimony about the cause of their injury. That’s one reason why nursing home abuse or neglect may be difficult to prove, although statistics indicate nursing home patients are routinely exposed to unreasonable hazards.
As of June 2015, data from the previous three inspection cycles of Tennessee nursing homes found that of 321 homes inspected, 37 had serious deficiencies, meaning factors that put residents in immediate jeopardy. One nursing home was cited for failure to properly investigate a patient’s lacerated foot and broken bone and was cited for additional serious deficiencies just three months later.
Winchester Personal Injury Lawyer John Colvin Defends Your Rights
Whether a patient in a nursing home or a passenger in a car, a person whose injuries are caused by the negligence of another party may exercise their right to seek compensation. Insurers and businesses will do their best to defend their own interests in such cases, or to reduce awards paid to plaintiffs. With a lawyer on your side, however, you’ll have a better chance at getting favorable results.
If you need help with a personal injury case, call experienced Winchester, TN personal injury lawyer John Colvin now at (931) 962-1044, or fill out our online contact form.