How are Compensatory Damages Calculated in Tennessee Car Accident Cases?

If you or somebody you love has been injured in a car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, you are likely entitled to various types of compensation. However, car accident claims can become complicated, particularly when aggressive insurance carriers get involved.

It is crucial for any car accident victim to understand how compensatory damages are calculated in these cases. This includes proper calculation of both special damages and general damages that the victim is expected to receive.

Understanding and Calculating Special Damages

Special damages are also referred to as economic damages in Tennessee. These types of damages revolve around the types of compensation that are not too difficult to calculate for a personal injury claim. Some of the most common types of special damage compensation an injury victim can receive include coverage of:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Surgical expenses
  • Lost income
  • General household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Property damage expenses

When working to properly calculate special damages in a Tennessee personal injury case, an attorney will gather any bills, receipts, pay stubs, tax returns, and other documentation that directly shows the losses the victim sustained.

There is no limitation on the amount of money that an injury victim can receive for special damages in a Tennessee personal injury case.

Understanding and Calculating General Damages

General damages are also referred to as non-economic damages in Tennessee. These types of damages are going to revolve around more immeasurable aspects of an injury claim. Often, general damages are referred to as pain and suffering damages. Some of the most common types of compensation an injury victim can receive for general damages includes coverage of:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of consortium and companionship for a spouse

Properly calculating general damages in the aftermath of an injury in Tennessee is much more difficult than calculating special damages. That is because there are no bills, receipts, or pay stubs that can be gathered and added up. In these cases, an attorney will typically use a “multiplier method” in which they will add up all of the special damages and then multiply the total by a set number (usually ranging from 1.5 to 5).

For example, suppose a person sustains $100,000 in economic damages as a result of an injury caused by another party. An attorney will take that total and then multiply it by the set number (in this case, we’ll use 3) to come up with $300,000 in general damages. Overall, the attorney will ask for $400,000 in total compensation from the defendant.

We do want to point out that Tennessee does place a limitation of $750,000 on the total amount of compensation a person can receive for general damages. However, this limitation rises to $1 million for claims involving various catastrophic injuries.

Do you Need an Attorney for a Tennessee Car Accident Claim?

Properly calculating special and general damages after a Tennessee car accident case can be challenging. It is crucial for a victim to work with a skilled car accident attorney who can get involved in these cases early and employ assistance from trusted medical and economic experts to provide a proper valuation of the claim.