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Pain and Suffering Damages in Tennessee

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Tennessee may be best known for the Music City, but ever since you were injured in that accident, country music just doesn't put the same skip in your step that it used to. If your winter blues dragged on through summer, you may be entitled to recover pain and suffering damages in Tennessee. The table and accompanying explanations below summarize important aspects of the laws governing pain and suffering damages in Tennessee.

Statute of Limitations

Limits on Damages

  • $750,000 in non-economic damages for most injuries (§ 29-39-102(a)(2))
  • $1,000,000 non-economic damages cap for catastrophic loss or injury (§ 29-39-102(c))
  • Non-economic damages prohibited for most property damage claims (§ 29-39-102(k))

Other Limits

Noneconomic Damages

Pain and suffering damages in Tennessee are part of a larger category of damages known as "noneconomic damages". Noneconomic damages include all nonpecuniary losses of any kind or nature, such as:

Claim Types

Whether your injury was the result of medical malpractice, a slip and fall, a car accident, a dog bite, or defamation, may be able to recover pain and suffering damages in Tennessee.

Amount Limits

Unfortunately for injured parties, Tennessee caps pain and suffering damages at $750,000. However, several exceptions apply. For one, in the case of catastrophic loss or injury, the cap is increased to $1,000,000. The cap no longer applies if the defendant acted intentionally, concealed or destroyed evidence, was under the influence, or the defendant's actions resulted in a felony conviction.

Time Limits

Tennessee has comparably short time limits—statutes of limitations—on how long you can wait to file a lawsuit. For instance, if you broke your hip honky tonkin', you will need to file your lawsuit within one year of your injury. However, if your car was damaged in a car accident, you have three years to file a claim.

"49% Comparative Fault"

Tennessee's negligence laws do a nice job of finding a middle point between limiting liability of wrongdoers and enabling injured parties to recover damages for their losses. Rather than using pure comparative or pure contributory, Tennessee employs the strictest form of modified comparative fault: the "49% comparative fault" rule. This rule allows only parties who are 49% or less at fault for their own injuries to recover damages.

Are You Entitled to Pain and Suffering Charges? Talk to a Tennessee Lawyer

Tennessee is new to the game when it comes to limiting pain and suffering damages, and the courts have gone back and forth as to whether the caps are constitutional. In order to determine the amount of pain and suffering damages you may be entitled to, you'll want to speak with a Tennessee injury attorney to determine what caps apply to you.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.