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Chattanooga’s official name is “Scenic City,” based on its Tennessee location between the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. The Tennessee River runs through it, and seven bridges connect the two halves of the city. The city is a major freight hub, and several rail lines pass through the town. Glen Miller’s song “Chattanooga Choo Choo” has made the city known to millions of music lovers worldwide. Although the song is probably the most famous reference to the city, other mentions abound in numerous films featuring Chattanooga’s Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and Civil War battles. It is surrounded by suburbs like Signal Mountain and Soddy Daisy, home to Hamilton County’s first courthouse. If you are hurt in a car crash due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you should retain an experienced attorney. Chattanooga car accident lawyer Matt Hardin has assisted countless injured Tennessee residents in pursuing compensation for harm endured in car wrecks, truck wrecks, wrongful death, medical malpractice, slip and falls, nursing home negligence, and other types of accidents.
Many plaintiffs bring lawsuits after a car crash to recover damages that they need to avoid financial difficulty. If you are hurt due to another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover all monetary compensation necessary to make you whole after the accident. These include both economic and noneconomic damages, such as past and future medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses, past and future lost wages, disability, disfigurement, past and future lost enjoyment of activities, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. An injured plaintiff may even recover for lost workdays if the employer paid the time as sick days, personal leave, or vacation days.
Usually, economic damages are supported with documentation, and a car accident lawyer in Chattanooga can help you compile what is necessary in that regard. When a victim suffers serious injuries and is no longer physically able to work at the same job, for example, it may be appropriate to retain an expert economist and medical experts to testify on his or her behalf.
In 2011, Tennessee enacted the Tennessee Civil Justice Act, a tort reform law that caps noneconomic damages. These types of damages involve subjective and non-pecuniary determinations by the jury, such as loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering, emotional distress, or a spouse’s claim for loss of society, companionship, or consortium. The cap for noneconomic damages in most cases is $750,000. However, if you or a loved one suffers a very serious injury, such as paralysis or amputation, the cap is increased to $1,000,000.
It is rare to recover punitive damages in connection with a Tennessee car crash case, but it may be possible depending on the circumstances of the collision, and an experienced Chattanooga car accident attorney can help. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are designed to punish a wrongdoer who acts intentionally, fraudulently, maliciously, or recklessly. For example, a defendant who lost his or her license due to prior drunk driving convictions who crashes into another car while abusing drugs and driving without a license may be subject to punitive damages because he or she acted with extreme recklessness. A jury will decide whether this type of damages is warranted. Unlike compensatory damages, a plaintiff must show that punitive damages are appropriate based on a defendant’s conduct by the higher standard of “clear and convincing” evidence.
If you were hurt in a car wreck caused by a careless Chattanooga driver, you may want to consult a lawyer to discuss the options that may be available to you. As you cope with the pain involved in your injuries, you may also be stressed and anxious about paying your medical bills, missing days from work, and the impact on your family. An experienced lawyer can tell you whether you have a viable claim and, if you do, represent you in an action for damages. Contact Matt Hardin by calling (615) 200-1111 or sending a message through our online form.