Tennessee Personal Injury Law: Punitive Damages
In the state of Tennessee, legal cases in which injury or fatalities have occurred to one or more parties at the fault of another usually involve the added complication of punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages that accommodate a victim for his or her injuries. Punitive damages are somewhat criminal-related, and so state law allows victims who are entitled to such benefits to receive them as an added award to any already guaranteed compensatory damages.
Persons attempting to receive more compensation from a person at fault in a case involving incident related injury are also required by Tennessee law to provide a substantial amount of evidence that supports their accusation. Navigating through a legal case involving injury can be complicated for all involved parties, and so legal representation is recommended for anyone who has been injured in an accident and wishes to pursue further compensation beyond the initially granted damages.
When To File For Punitive Damages:
Compensatory damages already exist to accommodate the victim of an accident for any harm incurred as a result. Therefore, punitive damages specifically aim to punish offenders in injury cases for any harm that resulted as a fault of their behavior. Tennessee state legislation provides that victims who have been injured at the fault of another person and have been awarded punitive damages in addition to any compensatory benefits are allowed to keep all additional damages added with the punitive charge. This differs from many other states, which require that punitive damages be transferred into a crime-stopping fund facilitate by state government.
Many victims may not know when to file for punitive damages. One main incentive to apply for this type of compensation is if there is substantial evidence at hand that proves negligence or fault. This is called the “burden of proof,” and no punitive damages will be awarded to victims who are unable to adequate provide a satisfactory amount of evidence supporting their defense. Furthermore, “negligence” may be factor leading to a court’s awarding punitive damages, but only as a supplementary cause – unreasonable behavior, recklessness, and malicious intent are really what Tennessee judges seek when deciding whether or not punitive damages should be granted.
Limitations On Punitive Damages:
Regardless of what punitive damages the jury decides to award a victim of injury in legal cases, the state of Tennessee has established a limit in regards to how much punitive compensation may be received. The final award, punitive and compensatory combined, may not amount to more than twice the amount of compensatory damages, or is capped simply at $500,000.
Certain exceptions to this regulation exist within Tennessee legislation for specific circumstances, such as those in which alcohol or drug abuse is involved or intentional injury was inflicted.
Recovering Punitive Damages In Tennessee:
Although it might seem unfair in many situations, the state of Tennessee does not allow victims of injury to hold it accountable for punitive damages. Even compensatory damages filed against the state must be submitted through a separate claims court, with less likelihood of a satisfactory settlement than cases filed against individual persons. Even cases in which the state of Tennessee is clearly liable for unreasonable conduction of a situation resulting in harm do not permit individual victims to file for punitive damages.
Legal Representation And Punitive Lawsuits:
If you or a loved one has been harmed as the result of an accident in which another party is at fault, then you are probably entitled to punitive damages in addition to any compensation already received to accommodate you for you injuries. Although difficulties might surface for cases that involve state entities, good legal representation is generally crucial to secure the best possible settlement. Our team of attorneys offers the experience, connections, and resources best suited to assure a satisfactory settlement for a wide variety of legal cases involving punitive damages. Evidence is best gathered at the time of the accident itself, so don’t wait! Set up an initial consultation with one of our skilled lawyers, and get on track towards receiving the punitive damages you deserve for your injuries.