What Is a Personal Injury Case? 

A personal injury includes any injury to a person’s body or emotions. When you suffer an injury because of another party’s conduct, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. Tennessee personal injury laws cover many injuries and accidents caused by negligence, strict liability, and intentional torts.

Examples of personal injury cases include, but are not limited to:

A Nashville personal injury lawyer can help you pursue a personal injury case. An attorney investigates your claim, gathers evidence proving negligence, and handles settlement negotiations with the insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to settle, your attorney can pursue a personal injury lawsuit in court.

What Are the Elements of a Personal Injury Case in Nashville, TN?

A personal injury claim is a demand for compensation for damages. Most personal injury claims are based on negligence. 

Negligence is failing to take reasonable care. You must prove each of the four elements of negligence to win a personal injury case in Tennessee. The elements of negligence in a personal injury case are:

The party must owe you a legal duty of care. A duty of care is the obligation to use a reasonable standard of care to avoid causing harm or injury.

For example, Nashville drivers have a duty of care to obey Tennessee traffic laws and drive safely. Doctors owe a duty of care to their patients to provide medical care that meets or exceeds the accepted medical standard of care for the situation. Property owners are responsible for providing safe premises to invitees and guests. 

Breach of Duty 

A breach of duty occurs when a party fails to meet the duty they owe to you. They may breach their duty of care through specific actions or by failing to act (i.e., omissions). 

Deciding whether a party breached the duty of care requires you to determine what a “reasonable person” would have done in the same situation. The “reasonable person” standard differs depending on the facts of the case. 

Jurors must decide what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation. They compare that standard to what the defendant did. If the defendant’s conduct fell short of the standard of care, they may find the defendant was negligent.


It is insufficient to prove that a party was negligent in breaching the duty of care. Their actions must have been the direct and proximate cause of your injuries. 

For example, a driver may run a red light. Running a red light could be considered negligent because a reasonable person would not risk running a red light and causing an accident. However, you must prove that running the red light caused your accident to recover damages.


The final element of a personal injury case is damages. Damages are the harm caused by the party’s conduct. 

An injured party may incur economic damages, including:

Injured parties may also receive compensation for their non-economic damages. These damages include pain and suffering, impairments, disfigurement, emotional distress, and decreased quality of life.

A party is not financially liable for their negligent acts unless you can prove that you sustained damages because of their conduct. 

Tennessee Rules for Personal Injury Cases 

Each state has laws that pertain to personal injury cases filed within their jurisdiction. A few of the basic laws pertaining to personal injury cases filed in Tennessee are:

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The court can dismiss cases filed after the statute of limitations. 

Tennessee has a one-year statute of limitations for most personal injury cases. However, there are exceptions. Therefore, it is wise to seek legal advice as soon as possible after an injury or accident. 

Caps of Damages 

Tennessee does not cap economic damages. In a personal injury case, a jury can award any amount for your financial losses.

However, state law caps the amount of non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit. In most cases, the cap for non-economic damages is $750,000.

You can receive an additional $250,000 for cases involving permanent or severe injuries. In cases involving catastrophic injury that results in paralysis, severe burns, or amputation, the court may allow non-economic damages up to $1 million. 

Comparative Fault 

Tennessee has a modified comparative fault standard for personal injury cases. If the injured party is 50% or more at fault, they cannot receive any compensation for their damages.

However, if the injured party is less than 50% to blame for causing their injuries, they can receive some money for their damages. The amount the jury awards for damages is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the victim for causing their injuries. 

What Should I Do After an Accident or Personal Injury in Tennessee?

The steps you take after an injury or accident can help you with your personal injury case. 

The steps you should take after a personal injury accident in Nashville include:

  • Report the accident. Call 911 to report traffic accidents. If your injury occurs on someone else’s property, also report the injury to the property owner or party with control over the property. 
  • Get medical treatment for your injuries. The sooner you seek medical treatment, the better for your recovery. Additionally, delays in medical care could hurt your personal injury case.
  • Gather evidence to help prove your claim. For instance, take photographs and make a video of the accident scene after a car crash or slip and fall accident. Ask eyewitnesses for their names and contact information.
  • Keep records documenting your financial losses and expenses. Keeping a journal with details about your recovery can also be helpful.

Contact a Nashville personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can review your case during a free consultation, advise you of your legal options, and discuss how much your personal injury case is worth. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers 

Our Nashville personal injury lawyers at Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers handle various personal injury cases. We fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. Contact our law office at (615) 685-8546 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney.