What's my Car Accident Case Worth?
If you are injured in a car crash in East Tennessee, you may be wondering whether you may bring a lawsuit and which types of damages may be available. Each victim’s situation is unique, and so are the damages that they may seek. It is important to retain Maryville car accident attorney Mark Hartsoe, who has the experience to probe the full range of your injuries and costs after a wreck. Your losses may be economic, physical, and emotional, and just because something is intangible, like pain and suffering, does not mean that it cannot be compensated.Understanding the Value of a Car Accident Case
You have only one year after a car wreck to bring a personal injury lawsuit in Tennessee. The first step in a car accident case is establishing liability. In certain clear-cut cases, a defendant will stipulate to liability. For example, if the defendant ran a red light, swerved out of control, and crashed into your vehicle, it would be hard for the defendant to deny their fault. However, in many cases, the parties disagree fiercely about whose fault the accident was. To establish the defendant's liability, you will need to show that the defendant's failure to drive safely was the cause of the accident. This must be shown to be more likely true than not to prove that the defendant is liable for your injuries.
Once liability is established, you will need to prove damages. This is what your car accident case is worth. Damages may be both economic and noneconomic. Economic damages are concrete, objective damages like medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, household services, medical mileage, therapy, and vocational rehabilitation. Often, these damages may be established with documentary evidence.
Noneconomic damages are intangible losses and may vary dramatically depending on how your attorney presents your case. They include items of loss like pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement and scarring, and loss of enjoyment. With some exceptions, a Tennessee tort reform law caps these damages at $750,000. However, whether this cap on damages is constitutional remains to be seen.
When presenting the ways in which your injuries have caused you to lose your enjoyment of life, your attorney will likely present your testimony about what you did before the crash, as well as the ways in which you are limited after being injured. For example, it may be the case that you hunted and fished, played sports, or played with your children prior to a car accident. If you suffered spinal cord injuries, these activities may be out of the question, and the loss of them is likely to reduce the quality of your life. Your attorney may also present testimony from your family about the ways in which your life has been altered as a result of your injuries.
In some cases, it may be necessary to present expert testimony about damages. For example, your attorney may need to present expert testimony on future wage loss. The expert might discuss your life expectancy and the ways in which your earning capacity has changed, based on your past work performance.Contact Maryville Attorney Mark Hartsoe Following a Car Accident
It is crucial to retain a motor vehicle collision attorney who knows how to work up your case and present your damages so that the jury will understand the full extent of the accident’s impact on your life. Maryville car accident lawyer Mark Hartsoe can promptly evaluate whether you have a claim and provide knowledgeable representation. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at 865-804-1011 or complete our online form to arrange a free consultation. Hartsoe can assist victims throughout East Tennessee, including in Blount, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, Campbell, Hamblen, Greene, Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.