Economic and Non-Economic Damages in Tennessee Car Accidents

After being involved in a car accident, an individual will likely receive a combination of economic and non-economic damages in their Tennessee car accident. They may also receive punitive damages as a result of their accident. The law wants to make an individual financially whole again, and will reward damages after a Tennessee car accident to do so.

If an individual spent money on medical expenses, they will likely be compensated. Loss of income or loss of wages will also be accounted for when recovering damages.

If you have been involved in a car accident in Tennessee, it is pertinent that you consult with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to help build a claim to maximize the amount of damages you may be owed.

Economic Damages

Economic damages after a Tennessee car accident are damages that a person can put a specific dollar figure on. This includes both past and future medical bills, which can be estimated by an expert.

Lost wages, both past and future, are economic damages. Property damage is also considered. How much it costs for an individual to fix their car is included, as well as any applicable rental car expenses. Economic damages are simply any expense out of a person’s pocket that is directly related to the accident that they were in.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages in Tennessee car accidents are damages that a person cannot put a specific dollar amount on. Such damages after a Tennessee car accident are subjective. These include elements such as pain and suffering, both past and future, and any emotional damage afflicted.

For example, if someone is involved in a wrongful death case where they lost a child, they are entitled to recover an amount that the jury believes is appropriate.

Calculating the Award

Non-economic damages are difficult to calculate after a Tennessee car accident, and are decided by a jury of an individual’s peers. They determine how bad the injury was, and how long the individual was suffering for. Then, they will come up with a dollar amount to properly justify this suffering.

The difficult part about awarding damages after a car accident in Tennessee, from a jury’s standpoint, is that they know no matter how much money they give the person, it will not diminish their suffering.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are damages that are designed to deter conduct and to punish a wrongdoer. If, for example, a person is hit by a drunk driver, a jury may give them not only economic and non-economic damage awards, but may also add additional money to punish that drunk driver for what they did.

This is to send a message to the community that if a person acts criminally, they are going to end up paying much more money.

Insurance Coverage

Auto insurance usually covers non-economic and economic damages after a car accident in Tennessee. This includes income, pain and suffering, and medical expenses. However, they usually do not cover punitive damages, which are usually exempt under a person’s insurance policy.