Tennessee Court Reaffirms the Principle that Personal Injury Plaintiffs Get Only One “Bite at the Apple”

Posted in Car Accident,Tennessee Accident Law on May 14, 2014

It is idiomatic that a plaintiff in a civil suit gets only one opportunity to recover for their injuries at trial. This doesn’t necessarily restrict that plaintiff from naming several different parties in one suit. In fact, that is exactly what the law expects of a plaintiff. The idea is to get the whole case wrapped up in one trial. That way the court can conserve valuable judicial resources by not having to hear the same case several times.

minibus-972240-mOne personal injury plaintiff recently learned this lesson the hard way, when a Tennessee Court of Appeals dismissed his personal injury claim because they had settled out of court with the only party who was found to be responsible for the accident.

The Accident

In the recent case, Lake v. The Memphis Landsmen, a man was riding on an airport shuttle when the bus on which he was riding was involved in a serious accident with a concrete truck. Evidently, the concrete truck collided with the shuttle and sent it into a nearby light pole. The plaintiff was thrown through the glass window and onto the street. As a result the man suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The Case at Trial

The man and his wife filed suit against the concrete truck company as well as the airport shuttle service, Before trial, the plaintiff and his wife settled with the concrete company out of court for an undisclosed amount.

At trial, the plaintiff tried to make his case for the airport shuttle company being responsible for the accident. However, the jury returned a verdict that showed the concrete company was liable for 100% of the damages suffered by the plaintiff.

The Appeal

The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the jury’s verdict was not proper, given the facts of the case. However, the appellate court didn’t buy the plaintiff’s argument and affirmed the jury’s verdict. The court noted that the plaintiff was not entitled to any recovery amount outside that which they have already recovered through the out of court settlement with the concrete truck company.

The Importance of a Good Legal Team

Accidents happen. When they do someone is often responsible. It is the job of a skilled legal team to understand the nuances of the accident as well as the legal landscape in which the claim appears. In the end, a legal team should ensure that the accident victim is compensated enough to cover all their expenses from the accident as well as any pain an suffering caused by the accident.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you have recently been involved in any kind of serious Tennessee accident, you should speak with a Tennessee accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. It may be that you are entitled to a significant monetary award. However, it may require some strategic planning in order to ensure that you are compensated as much as possible. To find out more about the personal injury laws in Tennessee click here, or call 615-200-1111 to set up a free initial consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney.

See Related Blog Posts:

Teen Killed After Allegedly Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel: The Dangers of Fatigued Driving, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published April 27, 2014.

September 2012 Bus Accident Determined To Be an Accident, Nashville Injury Lawyer’s Blog, published May 5, 2014.