Should I Settle Out of Court in Tennessee?

If you or somebody you know has been injured in an accident that was caused by the careless or negligent actions of another person, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to recover compensation. However, lawsuits can become complicated. What many people do not realize is that most personal injury cases are indeed settled out of court and never make it to a jury. There are various reasons why this is the case. Every personal injury case is different, but estimates show that anywhere from 80% to 90% of cases are settled before they reached the courtroom.

Are there advantages to settling out of court in Tennessee?

Since so many cases are settled out of court, we want to discuss the advantages of this approach. It can take some time for a personal injury case to make it to the courtroom. The simple truth is that settlements are less expensive and take much less time to conclude than trials. This can be a major advantage for injury victims that need money sooner rather than later.

Another advantage of settling out of court is predictability. Settlements are typically reached after a carefully negotiated and thought-out process in which both parties have come to a compromise. With a settlement, an injury victim will know exactly how much money they will be receiving for their injuries, and this certainty can be comforting. When a case goes to trial, it is impossible to predict how a jury may rule on a case after seeing all of the evidence and hearing testimony. There is no guarantee that the injured victim will win or how much the jury will award on their behalf. It could be more or less than what would have been agreed upon in a settlement.

Are there are disadvantages to settling out of court in Tennessee?

There are many reasons why an injury victim and their lawyer may choose to take a case to trial, particularly if the other parties involved do not offer a fair settlement. However, even if the defendants do offer a settlement, it may be much lower then what you could actually receive for your injuries. If you and your attorney believe you have a strong case, taking the case to trial could result in a much larger settlement on your behalf.

Are there caps on damages in a Tennessee personal injury case?

Under Tennessee law, there are no caps for how much a person can receive in economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages. However, there is a $750,000 cap in place for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, in most personal injury cases. The cap on non-economic damages rises to $1 million for injuries involving:

  • Amputation
  • Severe burns
  • Paralysis due to spinal cord injuries
  • Wrongful death of the parent of a minor child

How much do these injury cases cost?

In general, you will find that Tennessee personal injury lawyers take these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the injured party will face no upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. They will not pay legal fees until a favorable settlement or verdict is reached on their behalf. Their injury attorney will be paid based on an agreed-upon percentage of a final settlement. Contingency fees are important to keep in mind when it comes to choosing your lawyer. It may be the case that you select an attorney that is  looking for a quick settlement to avoid the expenses of taking your case to trial. However, a qualified and experienced Nashville personal injury lawyer will not be afraid to take your case to trial if it means securing maximum compensation for your injuries.