If you have recently been injured in a Murfreesboro motor vehicle accident you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries if another party caused, or contributed to, the collision. The type and amount of the compensation to which you may be entitled will depend on a number of factors. Only an experienced Murfreesboro car accident attorney can evaluate the unique facts and circumstances of your accident and provide you with specific advice and guidance; however, a basic understanding of compensation in a personal injury accident may be beneficial in the meantime. Although many states have moved to “no-fault” systems for motor vehicle accidents, Tennessee remains a “fault” state. What this means is that you will need to prove that another party’s negligence was a contributing factor in the accident in order to be entitled to any compensation for your injuries. Tennessee is a modified comparative fault state. In essence this means that as long as your degree of fault in the accident was less than the defendant’s you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Compensation may include both economic and non-economic damages in Tennessee. “Economic damages” refers to out of pocket expenses such as medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost wages. These are typically easy to quantify as you will have a receipt or estimate for the value of the item. “Non-economic damages”, on the other hand, are far more difficult to calculate. Non-economic damages are what people commonly refer to as “pain and suffering”; although your non-economic damages may actually include all of the following:
“physical and emotional pain; suffering; inconvenience; physical impairment; disfigurement; mental anguish; emotional distress; loss of society, companionship, and consortium; injury to reputation; humiliation; non-economic effects of disability, including loss of enjoyment of normal activities, benefits and pleasures of life and loss of mental or physical health, well-being or bodily functions; and all other non-pecuniary losses of any kind or nature.”
Because non-economic damages are more subjective in nature the value of the non-economic portion of your award or settlement is much more difficult to determine. Both economic and non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for injuries suffered. In rare cases, a victim may also be entitled to punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are not intended to compensate the victim but are intended to punish the defendant and deter certain conduct in the future. For this reason, punitive damages are normally only awarded if the defendant’s actions were malicious, intentional, reckless, or fraudulent. If you have suffered injuries in a Murfreesboro motor vehicle accident, consult an experienced Murfreesboro personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine what compensation is available to you.