How Wrongful Death Differs From Other Types Of Personal Injury
The unexpected loss of a loved one in an accident is often a devastating experience for a family. Not only are you managing the grief associated with that loss, but you must also try and handle the financial burden that often comes when someone dies unexpectedly. While money can never truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death claim can assist the family of a fatal accident victim; however, it is important to understand how a wrongful death claim differs from other types of personal injury lawsuits in order to preserve your right to damages. At the law office of Mitch Grissim & Associates, our dedicated legal professionals are here to help. Call or contact us today to learn more.
Who Can File a Claim?
The first major difference between a personal injury claim and a wrongful death case is who can file a claim for damages. In a personal injury case, only the victim (or a minor’s parents) can bring a claim for compensation against those responsible for their injuries. In a wrongful death case, the victim can no longer speak for themselves, so the law allows for others to file a case on their behalf. Under Tennessee law, this right is reserved for the victim’s spouse, and if no spouse exists, then the right passes to the following people in order:
- Surviving children or next of kin
- Personal representative of the estate
- Surviving parents, if the victim was a dependent at the time of death
- Administrator of the estate, if the victim was a dependent at the time of death
Types of Damages Awarded
The other significant difference between a wrongful death and personal injury case in Tennessee is the types of damages awarded for a successful claim, although there is some overlap. For a personal injury case, compensation includes economic and noneconomic damages for the victim, including payment for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of future income and benefits, pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
In a wrongful death case, damages are split between the victim’s estate and the loved ones of the deceased. Compensation in a wrongful death case includes payment for all final medical expenses, reasonable funeral and burial expenses, loss of earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering before the victim’s passing, lost wages, emotional distress of the family, and loss of the victim’s love, companionship, and guidance. To learn more about the differences between these types of claims, talk to one of our experienced attorneys today.
Call or Contact Our Office Now
Have you or someone you know lost a loved one in an accident? If so, the knowledgeable Nashville wrongful death attorneys at Mitch Grissim & Associates are here to help you file a wrongful death claim against those responsible for your loss. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free evaluation of your case now.