Losing a loved one is one of the most trying situations you can ever experience, and this devastating event is even harder when your loved one died due to the carelessness or intentional actions of another person. When someone you care about has died due to someone else’s negligence, you may have the ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit you can use to pursue damage after the death of a loved one. However, only certain people are allowed to file a wrongful death suit, making it a good idea to examine this issue in closer detail. Find out who can file a wrongful death lawsuit and learn why you should hire an attorney if you want to pursue this type of civil suit.
Wrongful Death in Tennessee
Every state treats wrongful death cases differently, and in Tennessee, these cases are treated as a type of personal injury suit. When a person is wrongfully killed in Tennessee and is unable to file a case on their own behalf, either the deceased’s legal representative or one of their living family members can file a wrongful death suit.
In some states, you must wait to file a wrongful death lawsuit until criminal charges have been processed. On the other hand, in Tennessee, a wrongful death claim can be filed while a criminal case is ongoing.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
As mentioned in the previous section, family members or a legal representative can file a wrongful death suit for the deceased. However, in Tennessee, there is an order to which parties are allowed to file a lawsuit.
The first people entitled to file a wrongful death suit in Tennessee are the living children of the deceased or the departed’s next of kin. If the deceased person had no children, their personal representative can file a wrongful death suit. Next in line are surviving parents, but they are only allowed to file a suit if their child was dependent on them at the time of death. Finally, if the deceased was a dependent, the estate administrator can bring a lawsuit.
A one-year statute of limitations applies to wrongful death cases in Tennessee, so be sure to file your case before your rights expire.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Damages
At one point, Tennessee limited the damages that could be received in a wrongful death lawsuit, restricting compensation to what the victim would have received had they survived their injuries. Now that this rule has been amended, several forms of damages are available to surviving family members.
If your wrongful death lawsuit is successful, it is likely you will receive damages for burial and funeral costs. It is also possible to receive compensation for lost earning capacity from the point your loved one was injured to the time they died. Other potential wrongful death damages include mental anguish of the deceased, loss of life enjoyment and loss of the departed’s love and companionship.
When damages are awarded to a minor, a trust will be established to hold the money until they reach legal age.
Hire an Attorney
Now that you know who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to start planning your case with the attorneys at the McMahan Law Firm. Our professionals understand how difficult it can be to lose a loved one, and we are prepared to help plan your lawsuit with compassionate advice. Request a consultation today.