An individual or business could be responsible for your catastrophic personal injury even when this third party has not committed a criminal act. In this case, you can file a civil lawsuit to recoup associated medical costs and lost wages as well as damages for pain and suffering.

If you are struggling with medical bills and can no longer work after a serious injury, learn more about filing a personal injury lawsuit in Tennessee.

Understanding negligence

You do not have to prove the other party acted purposefully to win a personal injury suit, but you do need to prove negligence. This means that the other party failed to fulfill his or her responsibility to refrain from injuring another person, that this failure directly led to your injuries and that you suffered financial loss or damages as a result of the incident.

Modified comparative fault

Tennessee uses a modified comparative fault standard to award damages in a successful personal injury case. With this law, you can share up to 50% of fault for your injury and still receive partial damages. For example, if you slip and fall in a store that did not post wet floor caution signs but you were also texting when the fall occurred, the judge could find you 20% at fault and you would receive 80% of the legally allowed damages.

Statute of limitations

Tennessee residents have one year after the injury to file a civil personal injury lawsuit. After this date, the court will dismiss your case and you are no longer eligible to sue for damages. If the injury occurs before an individual turns 18, the one-year clock begins running on his or her 18th birthday. If the responsible party also faces criminal charges, you will have two years to file a civil lawsuit.

In addition to economic damages such as lost wages and medical expenses, you can collect noneconomic damages in Tennessee. The state limits this category to a cap of $750,000 for most personal injury cases.