My wife lost her leg is a bus accident last month. Does Tennessee law impose any limit on the damages she can recover from the negligent party?
There is no limit on the damages can recover for medical expenses or loss of earning capacity that arise as a result of the loss of the leg. However, if the wreck occurred on or after October 1, 2011, there is a limit on the damages she can recover for pain, suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life – referred to by the Legislature as "non-economic damages." That limit is $750,000.
The Legislature has determined that no person can recover non-economic damages in excess of $750,000 unless the injury is "catastrophic" or the falls within a narrow class of exclusions (for example, the defendant was under the influence of alcohol). The amputation of a single limb is not considered a catastrophic loss by the Tennessee General Assembly. You have to have at least two amputated limbs for the injury to be determined "catastrophic" and even then non-economic damages are limited to $1,000,000.