An image of a two-car accident.

How Damages Are Calculated in Tennessee Car Accidents

When filing a car accident claim, many people believe that they can only collect damages for their medical expenses. While these damages are absolutely covered in your personal injury claim, you may be entitled to additional compensation for other types of damages you sustained in the accident.

In Tennessee, damages are broken down into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Below, we will break down the types of losses covered in each of these categories.

Economic Damages

These are the damages are more easily calculated because it involves adding up your total out-of-pocket expenses. Such damages include:

  • Medical Expenses. This includes any bills for emergency room visits, hospital stays, rehabilitation, prescription medications, and ongoing medical treatment plans.
  • Lost Wages. You may be put out of work for a period of time after your accident. If and when you are able to return to work, you may not be able to do the job you did before. This includes compensation for past and future lost wages, as well as loss of household income.
  • Lost Earning Capacity. The injuries suffered may impact your capacity to earn income. If proven, you may be entitled to recover for this loss.
  • Property Damage. This includes damage to your vehicle as well as any other damage to your personal belongings (such as a cell phone).

Non-Economic Damages/Intangible Damages

We prefer the term “Intangible Damages.” While intangible damages may be more difficult to calculate, they are no less “real” than ‘economic damages.’ Basically, these are damages you should be compensated for because of how the accident may have impacted your life. Non-economic damages that you may seek compensation for include:

  • Pain and Suffering. This includes any pain you suffered by sustaining your injury and during the recovery process. This also includes any pain and suffering you will more than likely experience in the future.
  • Emotional Trauma. Many accident victims sustain emotional trauma that prevents them from returning back to their normal lives either temporarily or permanently. These damages would cover emotional injuries.
  • Loss of Consortium. If you lost the companionship of a close loved one, such as a spouse, you may be awarded additional compensation.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life.

The compensation you receive for non-economic damages will largely depend on your attorney’s ability to show how your life was impacted because of the accident and how it has caused you serious emotional harm.

In Tennessee, non-economic damages are capped to $750,000 in personal injury cases. However, if the injury is deemed a “catastrophic injury,” the cap is increased to $1 million. Please see our discussion of Tennessee’s Caps on Damages here. Examples of catastrophic injuries in Tennessee include:

  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Loss of limb (amputations)
  • Serious burns
  • Wrongful death (if the decedent left minor children)

Helping Injured Individuals Heal

The attorneys at The Haynes Firm know just how an injury can impact your life and that of your family. Contact The Haynes Firm for dedicated and compassionate legal representation. We treat our clients like family and will tirelessly fight to ensure that you receive the compensation that you need to heal.

Remember that our firm offers free consultations. Contact The Haynes Firm to schedule yours today.

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