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Understanding damages in a Tennessee car accident case

One of the first things people want to know about their car accident case is how much it will be worth. The likely amount of a potential recovery can affect many parts of a case, such as settlement negotiations and the amount of time and effort a plaintiff would want to put in.

Calculating damages can present several challenges. An experienced attorney can identify likely types of recovery and figure out an effective approach to substantiating each damages demand.

Types of damages

Generally, plaintiffs in Tennessee car accident lawsuits may recover compensatory and pain-and-suffering damages. Compensatory damages reflect the financial losses you suffer as a result of your injuries, while pain-and-suffering refers to the negative effects on your quality of life.

Common types of compensatory damages include medical expenses and lost earnings. Many plaintiffs find it easier to prove past damages in these categories by submitting invoices and pay stubs. In addition to proving you sustained these damages, you must also show these expenses or losses stem from the injury you incurred due to the accident. You should also have medical proof that any treatments were really necessary and that your injury actually prevented you from earning as much as you used to.

Proving future damages

You can also recover compensatory damages based on likely future losses. For example, you may never be able to return to work, or you may continue to need rehabilitative therapy, surgery or long-term care for your injuries. Some injuries, such as TBI, can continue to affect many areas of function, need ongoing treatments and take unpredictable turns for the worse. You will need medical evidence, such as physician testimony and reports that explain in detail how the injury will likely continue to affect your life in future years.

Pain and suffering

Pain-and-suffering damages may include physical pain, emotional stress, embarrassment, inability to enjoy one's usual activities and difficulties sustaining relationships with loved ones. Medical records can support claims of ongoing pain and impairment. The plaintiff, along with relatives and friends, can testify as to the personal effects of the injury.

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Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

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Knoxville, TN 37909

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