Understanding Damage Caps In Tennessee Injury Cases
In many cases, there are limits, or caps on the amount of damages that someone who is injured in an accident can legally receive from a jury. Tennessee injury law does have caps on certain kinds of damages.
There are really two different kinds of damages, economic and non economic (punitive is actually a third, but that is only awarded in very rare cases).
Caps on Economic Damages
One kind of damage is economic loss or economic damage. There are countable, calculable, quantifiable damages. Examples of economic damages are medical bills, lost wages, damage to your vehicle or property, or any losses you may expect to have in the future, such as future lost wages.
There are no damage caps on these kinds of damages. Whatever your expenses are, or your hard economic losses may be, or what your expenses going into the future are anticipated to be, you are allowed to recover, with no maximum amount.
Caps on Noneconomic Damages
Non-economic damages are a bit different. These are damages that you cannot just count up, or calculate. As an example, pain and suffering, loss of quality or enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium or companionship of a partner, are all noneconomic damages.
In Tennessee, there is a maximum cap on damages for these kinds of damages, of $750,000. However, this cap can be raised if you have what the law calls a catastrophic injury or catastrophic damages.
You can exceed the $750,000 cap on non-economic damages, if you have any of the following:
2) The loss of both hands, or both feet, or 1 hand and 1 foot
3) The death of a parent, if the survivor is a minor child
4) Burns that cover 40% of the body or 40% of the face
There is also no cap on damages, if the Defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. Any injury that was intentionally caused to you, will not have damage caps. If the Defendant’s actions that cause you the injury lead to the Defendant being convicted of a felony, there is also no cap on damages.
Caps When Suing the Government
Note that as restrictive as these caps sound, they are more favorable then when suing government actors or agents. If you sue the government for injuries, there is a $300,000 cap on damages per victim, with a total $1 million cap on an entire occurrence. These caps include both economic and noneconomic damages combined.
You can exceed these caps against the state or government, if the government entity you are suing has an insurance policy, and the limits of the policy exceed the maximum statutory cap.
So, although the most you could receive against, say, a city in Tennessee is $300,000, if that particular city had a $500,000 insurance policy, you could recover a maximum of $500,000.
Call the Knoxville car accident lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today to help you understand what compensation you can receive in your Tennessee accident.