I broke my hip in a fall-down accident at a local store. The company wouldn’t settle me so I filed a lawsuit. The doctor said I might need a hip replacement in the future. How will a jury award me damages for this surgery?
Well, first you have to win your case. That is, you will have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the store caused the dangerous condition or knew or should have known of the existence of the dangerous condition and failed to rectify it.
If you prove the fault of the store, then you can recover your past and future medical expenses (and other types of damages). However, you can recover future medical expenses only if a doctor says that it is more likely than not that you will need hip replacement surgery. If the doctor says that, the jury can consider the cost of the future surgery, which will come from the testimony of the doctor or another witness.
If a doctor will not say that a future surgery is probable but will only say it is possible, Tennessee law does not permit you to recover damages for the surgery.
Your lawyer will meet with your doctor and determine whether the doctor will testify that surgery is probable or just possible. The anticipated testimony of the doctor will influence the value of the case for settlement purposes and at trial.