Wiseman Bray PLLC — Law FAQ Series: Submit Your Legal Questions!

Wiseman Bray PLLC — Law FAQ Series: Submit Your Legal Questions!

In thinking about how we might better serve our friends, clients, and prospective clients seeking reliable information on the web about Tennessee law, we decided to start a new series called Law FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).  Similarly, we will have periodic blog posts regarding current legal news or informative topics called Law Talk.

Using “Question & Answer” format, we will provide a 30-45 second shot of useful information a few times each week.  Sample topics may include personal injury, business law, construction law, commercial litigation, negligence, medical malpractice, technology, estate planning, auto accidents or car wrecks, insurance law, asset protection, civil rights, brain injury, wrongful death, hospital negligence, nursing home abuse, pharmacy error, workers’ compensation, probate, charitable planning, and trusts.  See a sample Law FAQ here.

We also want this series to be interactive, and so we invite you to submit questions or suggested topics by filling out the Contact Form here and including “Law FAQ” in the Subject/Inquiry box.  Please be assured that your privacy is paramount, so you can be confident that we will not include any names or any identifying details or information when posting about a particular question or topic.  Further, while we may not have the space to answer every specific question, we will do our best to cover in a general way any topics that are submitted.

We also welcome your thoughts and feedback in the Comments section below any of the posts on the blog.

We hope you will enjoy Law FAQ and Law Talk series.  You can easily follow the series by adding our blog address to your Google/RSS feeder, or you can follow along on Facebook by clicking here and then hitting the “Like” button.  You can also keep up with the series on Twitter by clicking here and then hitting the “Follow” button.

We hope you won’t necessarily need all of the information included in the Law FAQ series, but we hope that you will be able to pick up some interesting and valuable information along the way.

We’re also giving away free Wiseman Bray PLLC t-shirts.  Click here to get one!

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Wiseman Bray PLLC serves the communities of Memphis, Cordova, Bartlett, Germantown, Collierville, Millington, Southaven, Shelby County, Oakland, Tennessee, Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin and surrounding areas.

Law FAQ: How long do I have to file a legal claim?

Law FAQ: How long do I have to file a legal claim?

The deadline for filing a lawsuit is referred to as the statute of limitation.  The length of time you have to file a lawsuit under Tennessee law depends on the nature of the underlying claim:

Personal Injury — Under Tennessee law, a personal injury claim must generally be filed within 1 year from the date of injury.  Personal injury claims include things like car wrecks, slip and falls, and medical malpractice.  There are some situations where the 1 year deadline can be extended — for example, where an injury cannot reasonably be discovered within the statute of limitation, or where the injury occurs to a minor — however, such exceptions are rare and can be very tricky.  The determination of the precise time period can be complicated, and therefore you should contact a lawyer if you you have a personal injury claim to avoid the risk that you miss an important deadline.  (Other claims that are likewise subject to a 1 year statute of limitation include many state and federal civil rights claims, claims for legal malpractice, violation of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, and claims for breach of fiduciary duty by a corporate officer.)

Important Note: the “date of injury” for purposes of calculating the 1 year is the date of the incident leading to the injury — not necessarily the date the injury blossoms into it full consequence.  Example: a car wreck occurs and the victim initially survives but eventually dies in the hospital 5 days later.  The date the statute of limitation begins to run on the wrongful death claim is NOT the date of the death, but rather the date of the auto accident.

Defective/Dangerous Product — Under Tennessee law, a products liability claim must generally be filed within 1 year from the date of injury, but in no event can it be later than 10 years from the date of the first purchase of the product for use or consumption. Determination of the exact time period can be confusing, and you should contact a lawyer immediately if you believe you have been the victim of a defective or dangerous product, or you may risk forfeiting your legal rights.

Property Loss — Generally speaking, a claim for property-related losses must be filed within 3 years.   This would include, for example, not only physical damage to property (damage to vehicle, house fire, etc.) but also the loss of property or funds as the result of fraud, misrepresentation, conversion, or unlawful interference with contract.

Breach of Contract — Under Tennessee law, a breach of contract claim must be filed within 6 years, unless the contracting parties have agreed in their contract to a shorter deadline.   Breach of contract claims would include, for example, failure to perform agreed-upon services, failure to deliver goods purchased, or failure to make payment.  One notable exception to this rule, however, are breach of contract claims as they relate to the improvement of property (e.g. claims against building or home improvement contractors).  The statute of limitation for such claims is only 4 years from the date of substantial completion of the improvements.

Please note that these deadlines are the generally applicable deadlines for garden variety-type claims.  It would be virtually impossible to attempt to catalog each and every type of claim, and one should be mindful that there are specific statutes of limitation (and potential exceptions) that may apply to particular circumstances and claims.  The most prudent course of action is to contact a lawyer immediately if you think you have a claim that requires investigation and/or legal action.

Stay tuned for more updates/FAQs.

Law FAQ: I was injured in an accident. What amount of damages can I expect to recover?

Law FAQ: I was injured in an accident. What amount of damages can I expect to recover?

Based on some of the TV commercials and urban myths out there, people are led to believe that if they or a loved one has been injured in an accident that they can expect an easy road to a big, fat check.    Don’t believe everything you hear, though, because that simply is not the case.

If you are injured as the result of the negligence of another person or company, you ARE indeed entitled to a fair recovery for your losses — both economic and non-economic losses.  However, insurance companies and adjusters aren’t in the business of just giving away money willy-nilly.  And neither are juries.

If you have a serious injury, there’s nothing that’s “easy” about the process at all.

Unless you want a quick-and-dirty, low-ball settlement you hear about on TV, then you should consult an experienced attorney who will evaluate the facts, determine the strength of your claim, and then actually do the hard work that it takes to secure a favorable and fair outcome, including negotiating with your health insurance carrier for the inevitable subrogation claim against your recovery.

As for the amount of damages that might be recovered, the components of an injury claim include such things as lost wages, lost future earning capacity, medical expenses (past and future), emotional distress, loss of services or companionship of a loved one,  physical/mental impairment, and pain and suffering.  The actual amount varies from case to case depending primarily on the nature and extent of the injuries and damages, as well as the skill and experience of the attorney who pursues the claim.

There is no exact formula to determine a precise figure, but factors that bear on an award of damages include such things as:  the type of injury, the type of medical treatment, the length of medical treatment, the cost of medical treatment, the part(s) of the body injured, the permanency of the injury, your familial status, your age, your prior medical problems (if any), the egregiousness of the conduct of the offender, any past history of similar incidents, your willingness to take the case to trial, the availability insurance coverage, and the size of awards and settlements in similar cases.

Furthermore, the Tennessee legislature this past session passed caps on the amount of the “non-economic” damage component that can be recovered.  Quality of life damages (i.e. pain and suffering, loss of companionship, etc.)  are limited to $750,000, although the law creates exceptions in cases that involve intentional misconduct, destruction of records or activity under the influence of drugs or alcohol.   The cap  rises to $1 million for catastrophic losses defined as conditions involving paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation, especially severe burns, or the wrongful death of a parent leaving minor children.  These caps would not apply, however, to economic damages such as lost wages and medical expenses, for example.

Stay tuned for more FAQs.

Watch Out for Pharmacy Errors – It Could Save Your Life!

pharmacy error lawyer memphis

Recognize Pharmacy Errors

Most pharmacists do a wonderful job. However, preventable mistakes  and pharmacy errors do sometimes occur.

In just the past few years, we’ve represented 2 different plaintiffs in cases involving 2 separate national chain pharmacies that mistakenly dispensed the wrong medication. And unfortunately, it had serious consequences in those couple of instances — so bad, in fact, that we ended up settling those cases for amounts exceeding six figures.

The best course of action for you is not to be a plaintiff in the first place. Resolve to be a responsible partner in your own healthcare. Communicate with your pharmacist and other healthcare providers. Ask questions and stay vigilant about your medications. Know what they are supposed to look like, and what your dosage is supposed to be.

It could save your life.

Need a Lawyer?

Call us at 901-372-5003 or email us here.

 

WISEMAN BRAY PLLC

8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 103

Memphis, Tennessee 38018

(901) 372-5003 Office

www.WisemanBray.com