Many Tennesseans rely on cars every day. Unfortunately, even the most attentive and careful drivers can be injured in a car accident caused by a single negligent person. For decades, the Nashville car accident attorneys of Matt Hardin Law have served the needs of clients in Nashville and throughout Tennessee. If you suffered a personal injury because of a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation.
Driving involves certain inherent risks. In 2013, there were just over 167,000 car accidents in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Of those 167,000 accidents, about 11 percent were caused by some form of distracted driving, making other drivers one of the biggest threats on the road. People injured or families who lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent driver are entitled to seek compensation for their financial, emotional, and physical injuries.
A person injured in a car wreck may be able to seek compensation if the accident was caused by the negligence of another person or entity. The victim of the accident can file a negligence lawsuit against the responsible party, and a car accident attorney in Nashville can help. To bring a successful negligence lawsuit the person bringing the suit, the plaintiff, must prove:
Proving the first of these elements is usually perfunctory. All drivers in Tennessee owe everyone else on the road a duty to behave the same as a reasonable person under similar circumstances. Failing to live up to this standard is called a breach. Defendants can breach their duty by sending a text message while driving, failing to yield the right of way, driving drunk, or engaging in any other behavior that is unreasonable given the circumstances.
To prove the final element, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s behavior resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. In accident cases this is a straightforward proposition. A driver distracted by a text message causes an accident that injures the plaintiff. This is a clear example of causation. Any time an accident was directly caused by the defendant’s behavior, there is causation. Our Nashville car accident lawyers can help you determine the presence of this and other elements after a crash.
Once the plaintiff proves the three elements of a negligence claim by a preponderance of the evidence, she is entitled to damages, the amount of which is determined by a judge or jury.
Multiple types of damages are available in Tennessee. Economic compensatory damages are objective costs the plaintiff incurred as a result of the accident. Some examples of this type of damages are medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and the cost of future medical care or therapy. Complementary to economic damages are so-called noneconomic damages. These include more subjective injuries, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. The jury can award both economic and noneconomic damages based on the evidence presented at trial.
In some cases, the jury may also award punitive damages, which are special damages intended to punish defendants for egregious behavior. Punitive damages are awarded in a small percentage of cases, so ask an experienced lawyer if you have questions about the types of damages you might seek.
Many car accident victims do not realize that if they were injured by a negligent driver, they are legally entitled to compensation. The first step in that process is contacting a knowledgeable lawyer. With their extensive experience, Tennessee car accident attorney Matt Hardin has helped countless Tennesseans seek compensation for their car wreck injuries. Call (615) 200-1111 or visit our contact page to schedule a free case evaluation.