When Tennessee residents get injured through not fault of their own or because a doctor was negligent, they have the right to file a claim and have their case heard. They also have the right to collect compensation if their case is heard before a court. However, a bill passed on May 12, 2011, in the Tennessee Senate will limit the amount of compensation a person or family is entitled to based on the type of case they have. If you have been injured or have questions about how this new bill will affect your case, then you should speak with a Tennessee personal injury lawyer right away. They can answer any questions you may have and help get you the compensation you are entitled to.
This bill will mean that a $750,000 cap will be placed on damages that are considered non-economic, such as pain and suffering, and there will be a $1million cap for cases that involve serious spinal cord injuries, severe burns, or the death of a parent or child. Punitive damages will be capped at twice the amount compensatory damages or at $500,000 whichever is the greater amount. After the bill was passed, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris stated that, “Thirty states have done this so it’s a big step for Tennessee. We think it’s not only a good thing for competitiveness, but to maintain the strength of our judicial system.”
Supporters of the bill think it will help create jobs and people opposed to the bill say that limiting damages will unfairly target victims and free companies and other business from accountability and personal responsibility. Democratic Senator Roy Herron of Dresden stated that, “We are harming the victims and protecting the wrongdoers. You’ve got non-economic damages, you’ve got punitive damages, you’ve got the Consumer Protection Act, you’ve got security, it’s a bunch of bills put together and I thought it ought to be voted on its own merits.” Finally, for people that really believe in the system, they believe this a tragedy, and that a jury should decide damages. Mary Mancini, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, stated that, “Any legislator that voted for this bill will have to look into the eyes of a victim’s family member and tell them: `”This is how little I think your loved one is worth.”`
Tennessee residents and people all across the country unfortunately get injured while on the job or because of someone else’s carelessness. When this happens, Tennessee residents should be able to go to court and get the compensation they deserve depending on the injuries they suffered and the circumstances of their case. However, because of this new bill, compensation amounts will be changing. If you have been injured or want to know how this new bill will affect the compensation you receive, we encourage you to contact one of our compassionate and experienced Tennessee personal injury attorneys. We will work with you, answer any questions you may have and help to make sure you get the compensation you deserve by law.