Most Recent Tennessee Judiciary Report Shows Damages Awarded in Personal Injury or Death Trials Only 31% of the Time

Posted on May 29 2015 7:41AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

The most recent Tennessee judiciary annual report was published providing statistics for the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year for Tennessee cases.  This is another in a series of posts where I will discuss the interesting statistics found in this report.  Today I will discuss the personal injury and death cases in Tennessee where there was an actual trial. 


For the 2013 - 2014 fiscal year there were a total of 416 personal injury or death cases that actually went to trial.  Out of those cases, only 128 (only 30.8%) of them resulted in damage awards.  This is a significant decrease over the 2012 – 2013 year where 41.1% of these trials resulted in damage awards.  Also, keep in mind there are obviously some cases that proceed to trial where the defendants actually admit liability and the only issue at trial is the amount of damages.  As a result, this is a truly stunning number which further reflects how conservative Tennessee courts and juries are becoming in awarding damages in personal injury or death cases.


Shelby County Statistics:


Some of the statistics for individual counties are also quite surprising.  For instance, in Shelby County a total of 95 such cases proceeded to trial.  Out of those 95 cases only 36 were awarded damages (38% received awards).  This is drastically reduced from the prior fiscal year when 57.9% of the personal injury or death tort trials in Shelby County resulted in an award of damages.   


Davidson County Statistics:


Davidson County also reported a reduction in number of cases that actually resulted in damages.  There were a total of 57 trials in Davidson County, Tennessee for personal injury or death cases.  A total of 34 resulted in actual damages.  This shows that 59.6% of the time damages were actually awarded in Davidson County cases.  This is reduced from the prior fiscal year where damages were awarded 65% of the time. 


Knox County Statistics:


Knox County statistics also show a significant reluctance to award damages for personal injury or death cases.  There were a total of 61 such cases that proceeded to trial in Knox County in this fiscal year.  Only 9 of them resulted in actual damages awards.  This means that only 14.8% of the time damages were awarded in Knox County for these kinds of cases.  That is an incredibly low percentage for a large county.  In fact, it is a significant reduction over the 47% statistic for the 2012 – 2013 fiscal year. 


Once again, these statistics show that Tennessee is becoming more conservative in awarding damages in cases involving personal injury or death.  Based on my review of the statistics, it appears there is a significant trend developing that shows a material reduction in the amount of cases where damages are actually awarded in Tennessee. 


Follow me on Twitter at @jasonalee for updates from the Tennessee Defense Litigation blog.

TAGS: Tennessee Legal Statistics
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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Tennessee Defense Litigation Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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