After getting into an accident that causes serious injury, you may understandably have a laundry list of questions about what you should do next to protect yourself and your best interests. Fortunately, successful civil litigation could allow you to hold the person who harmed you responsible for their misconduct.
The assistance you need for your claim is available from a knowledgeable and experienced Hamilton County personal injury lawyer. Once retained, your dedicated attorney could explain how the process works in as much detail as necessary, take the lead on collecting evidence of fault for your injuries, and demand fair restitution for the harm you have sustained.
The most important legal concept for most accident victims to understand is negligence—negligence is the idea that someone who causes an accident through reckless or careless conduct should bear liability for the harm they caused. An injured plaintiff must prove four elements of negligence to achieve a positive case result, which a skilled attorney in Hamilton County could assist with.
First, the defendant must have had an explicit duty to act reasonably around the plaintiff under specific circumstances. This duty of care can take various forms depending on the circumstances. For instance, motor vehicle drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws, while private landowners may have different degrees of responsibility to protect visitors from harm.
The injured plaintiff must then prove that the defendant breached their duty in some way by acting irresponsibly and prove that breach was the direct cause of an accident. Finally, the plaintiff must demonstrate a causal link between the accident and the losses they are seeking compensation for.
Although the injured party is the plaintiff in a personal injury case, they are not exempt from being found negligent, and therefore, partially liable for their own damages. In these cases, court precedent in Tennessee allows a civil court to proportionately reduce the total value of a plaintiff’s damage award by the percentage of fault assigned to them. The court can also prohibit any recovery at all if that percentage equals or exceeds 50 percent.
Furthermore, as a lawyer in Hamilton County could affirm, Tennessee Code §29-39-102 sets a cap of $750,000 on recovery for personal injury damages without objective financial value such as physical pain and suffering, with an expanded cap of $1,000,000 applying only to claims involving catastrophic injuries.
Knowing that someone else is to blame for your injury and proving them at fault in civil court are very different, as anyone who has gone through civil litigation knows all too well. If you want a fair chance at fair financial restitution, seeking representation from a seasoned legal professional is essential.
A Hamilton County personal injury lawyer could answer questions you might have and options for what next steps may be appropriate in your situation. Schedule your private consultation today to get started.