Damages in Burn Injury Cases in Tennessee

A person who suffers a burn injury in Tennessee as a result of the negligence of another person has a right to recover damages for their injuries.  As Tennessee burn injury lawyers, we have represented many people who received burns in a variety of settings. 

Tennessee law provides that a burn injury victim can recover damages for the following:

  • medical expenses
  • lost wages
  • pain 
  • suffering 
  • disfigurement 
  • disability
  • loss of enjoyment of life.

If the burn injury results in future or permanent medical problems such as scarring, additional damages may be recovered for 

  • future medical bills
  • future lost wages or lost earning capacity
  • pain
  • suffering
  • disfigurement
  • disability 
  • loss of enjoyment of life.

The jury evaluate each of these elements of the damage claim and makes a decision as to the fair value of the claim.  

There is no artificial limit on damages to burn injury victims if they were injured before October 1, 2011.  For those injured on or after October 1, 2012, Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly have placed an arbitrary limit on the damages that can be recovered.  Although there is no limit on the recovery of medical expenses and lost wages, there is a limit of $750,000 for claims for pain and suffering, disfigurement, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life.  

There are a couple of exceptions to the $750,000 cap.  First, if the burn victim had 3rd degree burns over forty percent (40%) or more of the body as a whole or 3rd degree burns up to forty percent (40%) percent or more of the face, the cap is increased to $1,000,000.  In addition, there is no cap whatsoever if the injury was caused by a drunk or drug-impaired driver or if was caused by someone intending to do harm  There are a couple of other limited exceptions as well.  

An experienced burn injury lawyer will know the law of damages and be able to tell you whether you fall within any exceptions to the arbitrary cap on damages.