Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Tennessee?
Out of all the tragedies you can experience in your life, probably the most painful is losing your loved one in a preventable accident. If your loved one has been killed due to the fault of another, it can seem an almost impossible situation. After the deceased person has passed, many family members choose to file a wrongful death suit for financial compensation and emotional closure, which Tennessee law allows.
Filing this type of suit is not a decision made lightly, making it important that you learn exactly what is involved in these types of cases. Discover who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim after the untimely death of a loved one and why you may need legal representation.
The legal team at Mitch Grissim & Associates can support you during one of the most difficult times in your life. Wrongful death lawsuits are very complex and can be difficult to prove fault lies with the responsible party. Our knowledge and experience prove that we understand the Tennessee wrongful death laws and that we can defend your rights throughout this process.
For a free initial consultation about your potential wrongful death or personal injury claim, contact us as soon as possible.
How Location Affects Your Claim
The biggest determiner of who will be allowed to file a wrongful death claim is what state you are located in. Every state has its own specific rules for who can file a wrongful death claim, which means you should examine your state’s rules closely before you make any legal decisions.
Who Can File Wrongful Death Claims?
In most cases, there is something of a hierarchy when it comes to filing Tennessee wrongful death suits. Only certain family members can pursue a death lawsuit in Tennessee, which includes the following parties.
A surviving spouse is usually the first party that can file a claim. Following that, the adult children of the deceased can file suit. Finally, parents may file wrongful death lawsuits in cases involving their children if they are either unmarried or minors.
Additionally, minors are unable to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If they are the only surviving family members of the deceased person, a personal representative will have to file on their behalf.
Understanding your state’s rules at the outset with the help of a lawyer will make the process of filing survival claims much easier.
Can a Will Impact My Right to File?
Another issue that can affect your ability to file a wrongful death suit is the existence of a will. If your loved one has had a will written, then a court will usually name an executor of your loved one’s estate, which can be you or, more typically, an attorney.
Whoever is named the executor of the will or is appointed to represent your loved one’s interests will be able to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of you or the deceased.
Finding out whether or not your loved one left behind a will should be one of your first steps in trying to decide whether or not to file a survival claim.
Filing Your Claim On-Time
Lastly, as with many other types of lawsuits, wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations for how long you have to file. Typically, the statute of limitations expires a year after your loved one’s death. However, if your case involves the government in any way, the filing period is considerably shorter, usually ninety days from the time of death. Knowing the Tennessee wrongful death laws is critical to filing on time.
Make sure to file your case within the time limit so that you don’t miss out on the compensation that you need to move on from the untimely death of your loved one.
Why Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The idea of moving through legal options after the tragedy of a lost family member can feel overwhelming. Though no amount of compensation can bring your loved one back, it can help surviving spouses and surviving children in the aftermath.
Recover Compensation for Damages
When someone’s negligence leads to a person’s death, many financial and emotional ramifications affect the family after this person died. The family members of the deceased person can recover damages to cover these losses according to Tennessee law.
There could be lost wages from the deceased individual no longer being able to provide an income stream. There are funeral and burial costs to deal with. The surviving spouse or surviving children, as well as any other surviving family members, may have to pay for grief counseling, therapy, or other medical expenses. If your deceased loved one was killed in a car accident and there were other injuries received by passengers, they may have medical bills to pay as well. All of these costs can be covered by a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit.
There are also punitive damages that can be assessed for pain, suffering, and the loss of the deceased person’s love. Though this is a more difficult number to calculate, it is another way to hold the negligent party accountable for the wrongful act. To recover damages, you will need sufficient evidence that implicates who is at fault under Tennessee wrongful death laws.
Evidence Gives you the Best Chance to Win
Proving that the deceased person passed away due to another’s negligence is difficult. Whether or not a claim passes initial scrutiny will depend entirely on the evidence provided. If there is reasonable doubt that the accused party was not responsible, then wrongful death suits can fall apart.
A lawyer with personal injury lawsuit experience understands the kind of evidence that must be submitted to give the deceased person’s spouse or other family members the best chance of winning a Tennessee wrongful death claim. They can offer formal legal advice about what data to track for your lawsuit, including any evidence from the incident, medical bills, and other proof of damages.
State law requires a preponderance of evidence to win a death lawsuit in Tennessee, so working with a lawyer from our firm can equip you during the case. Very narrow circumstances can make all the difference in whether or not your claim is successful.
Bring Justice to the Responsible Party
Many wrongful deaths are entirely preventable. They could be caused by inattention while driving, accidents on worksites, or even defective products. In some cases, criminal charges could be brought against the at-fault party, but this would be separate from a wrongful death lawsuit. A criminal case can end with incarceration while a civil suit cannot.
This means that even if there is a criminal charge, a surviving spouse, surviving parent, or another surviving family member can still bring a wrongful death lawsuit against them.
By working with our law firm, we can hold those responsible accountable for their negligent actions, ensuring that these mistakes are not repeated in the future which will cause further tragic loss.
We Spell Out Your Legal Options
In a Tennessee wrongful death case, many nuances will affect the deceased person’s estate.
Get Legal Help with Your Wrongful Death Claim
After your loved one has been killed due to the negligence of another, you will find yourself in a very difficult situation, particularly if the departed was the earner in your family and there are significant lost wages.
Tennessee’s wrongful death laws are difficult to navigate on your own. To ensure that your loved one gets the justice they deserve, you should team with Mitch Grissim & Associates to file a wrongful death lawsuit with the help of a lawyer.
We have plenty of experience handling survival claims and can handle your case the way that you deserve. Our team values the attorney-client relationship above all and will protect your interests during the claims process.
Schedule a visit with us today to start fighting for your rightful compensation, or start with a free consultation to discuss your case with our injury lawyers.