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Helping you get money for quality treatment, keeping you updated on your case, and fighting for fair compensation are just a few of the actions the personal injury lawyers of the law firm take to prove that your case is important to them. A personal injury lawyer who will work hard for you!
The Tennessee personal injury laws relating to negligence are fairly standard to those practiced in other jurisdictions of the law. In essence, if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you need to prove the following in order to succeed in obtaining reasonable compensation:
- Legal duty—You must act according to the law.
- Breach of duty—You must prove to the court that the defendant violated his or her legal duties by neglecting to act the way a reasonable person would have in a comparable situation.
- Causation—You have to provide sufficient proof that the defendant's irresponsibility, either directly or indirectly, caused your injuries.
- Damages—If you could establish all the requirements mentioned above, you still have to demonstrate that you suffered actual damages.
- Failure to complete all these actions will most likely lead to a favorable result for the defendant. Prevent this from happening to you by hiring a competent personal injury attorney in Nashville.
Pecuniary, or financial, injury is the main measure of damages in a wrongful death action. Courts have interpreted "pecuniary injuries" as including the loss of support, services, lost prospect of inheritance, and medical and funeral expenses. Most laws provide that the damages awarded for a wrongful death shall be fair and just compensation for the pecuniary injuries that resulted from the decedent's death. If the distributees paid or are responsible for the decedent's funeral or medical care, they may also recover those expenses. Finally, a damage award will include interest from the date of the decedent's death.
Determining Pecuniary Loss
When determining pecuniary loss, it is relevant to consider the age, character and condition of the decedent, his/her earning capacity, life expectancy, health and intelligence, as well as the circumstances of the distributees. This determination may seem straightforward, but it often becomes a complicated inquiry, keeping in mind that the measure of damages is actual pecuniary loss. Usually, the main consideration in awarding damages is the decedent's circumstances at the time of death. For example, when an adult wage earner with dependants dies, the major parts of the recovery are: 1) loss of income, and 2) loss of parental guidance. The jury may consider the decedent's earnings at the time of death, the last known earnings if unemployed, and potential future earnings.
Adjustments in the Jury's Award
In a wrongful death action, the jury determines the size of the damages award after hearing the evidence. The jury's determination is not the final word, however, and the size of the award may be adjusted upward or downward by the court for a variety of reasons. For example, if the decedent routinely squandered his income, this might reduce the family's recovery. Similarly, the courts will reduce a jury's award if the decedent had poor earnings, even though he was young, had great potential, and supported several children. At the same time, a jury may award lost earnings despite the decedent's having been unemployed, if he had worked in the past and if the plaintiff presented evidence of the decedent's average earnings while employed. If the plaintiff fails to present such evidence of the decedent's average earnings, the court may set aside the jury's damage award and order a new trial.