Manchester is 64 miles southeast of Nashville. It serves as the county seat for Coffee County, which has about 52,796 residents. Coffee County is home to many farms. Another nearby city is Tullahoma, which means “red rock” in Chocktaw. If you are hurt in Coffee County due to another person’s careless actions, you should consult experienced personal injury lawyer Matt Hardin for advice. Our office represents clients in connection with personal injury, medical malpractice, truck wrecks, car wrecks, motorcycle wrecks, and wrongful death.
Most crash victims try to hold the person or entity that injured them accountable through a negligence claim. You will need to establish four elements: the defendant’s duty, the defendant’s breach of that duty, causation, and damages. If any of these elements seems unlikely to be established, the defendant will probably bring a motion for summary judgment. This is a motion that takes the case away from a jury and asks the judge to grant a judgment in favor of one of the parties without the benefit of a jury trial. Unfortunately for plaintiffs, it became easier for defendants to obtain summary judgment with the passage of T.C.A. § 20-16-101 in 2011.
A judge is required to grant a defendant’s motion for summary judgment if the defendant submits affirmative evidence that negates an essential element of the plaintiff’s claim. The judge also must grant summary judgment if the defendant demonstrates that the plaintiff’s evidence is not sufficient to establish an essential element of the claim. If the defendant did not owe a legal duty to a plaintiff, for example, the motion will be successful. Similarly, if the defendant can show that he or she reacted to an emergency situation reasonably, even though it caused harm, the defendant might prevail. A Coffee County personal injury attorney can determine how to respond to this kind of argument.
If the negligence lawsuit survives beyond this phase, it will be tried before a jury. Both the plaintiff and defendant will question jurors in a phase called “voir dire” in order to seat an impartial jury.
After that stage, the attorneys for both parties will present opening statements describing the story from the perspective of their clients. The plaintiff will present his or her case first. The plaintiff’s attorney will have to establish all elements at that time. The plaintiff may present witness testimony, expert testimony, and relevant records. The defense attorney will also have an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses and object to any evidence that doesn’t conform to the rules. The defense will then present its own witnesses, including both eyewitnesses and other experts. After both parties present closing statements, the jury will make its decision.
To win a personal injury lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove that a majority of the evidence, or “the preponderance of the evidence,” shows an injury was caused by the defendant’s conduct. The burden of proof for a civil personal injury suit is more relaxed than it is for a criminal case involving the same conduct. Accordingly, a defendant who is acquitted of a manslaughter charge may still be held accountable for a wrongful death in civil court.
If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident due to somebody else’s negligence, experienced Manchester car wreck attorney Matt Hardin can examine the facts to determine whether recovery is possible under Tennessee law. Make an appointment for a free consultation with Mr. Hardin by calling (615) 200-1111 or by sending a message through our online form. We serve clients throughout Manchester, Tullahoma, and Coffee County.