Wrongful death cases are some of the most painful, difficult experiences that a person can go through. Not only do you have to deal with the untimely, preventable death of your loved one, you must also now fight for justice and the compensation you deserve. However, wrongful death laws vary from state to state, sometimes making the process confusing and difficult to navigate. Read on to learn about wrongful death cases in Chattanooga, and how hiring a wrongful death lawyer can contribute to making your case as easy as possible.
The Tennessee Definition of Wrongful Death
In Tennessee, a wrongful death is one that is caused due to the negligence or direct action of another person. Unlike some states, wrongful death personal injury lawsuits are completely separate from any possible criminal charges stemming from the death. Where some states require criminal charges to be filed, or the case be completed before a wrongful death case can begin, Tennessee allows wrongful death suits to be filed before any criminal charges are brought. However, there are only a few specific people that can file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased.
Learn Who is Allowed to File a Claim
The ability to file a wrongful death case in Tennessee is dependent on a person’s relationship with the departed. There exists a strict hierarchy of who can file a wrongful death claim, with the surviving spouse of the deceased at the top of the lists. If there is not a spouse, the order of potential claimants is as follows: surviving children, the person in control of the deceased’s estate, the parents of the departed if the departed was still dependent on them at the time of death and the deceased’s estate’s administrator if the deceased was a dependent of the state. No matter the person who files the wrongful death suit, there are clearly defined damages available depending on the facts of the case.
What Types of Damages Are Available in Tennessee?
Previously, damages available in Tennessee wrongful death suits were severely limited—claimants would only be eligible to receive an amount equal to what the departed would receive had they survived. Now, however, there is a broad range of damages available after your loved one has suffered a wrongful death. Some of the most common forms of wrongful death damages include compensation for lost earnings and wages, as well as funeral expenses. It is also possible to receive damages for less tangible effects of your loved one’s death such as mental anguish and loss of companionship. Whatever damages you are seeking, it is important to know that you only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death suit.
Make Sure to File in Time
Most types of personal injury suits have a limited time frame where they can be filed, but few have as short a window as wrongful death suits. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for filing wrongful death suits is one year from the death of your loved one. Waiting too long to make your claim puts the likelihood of having your case heard at risk, meaning you should file as soon as possible. If you are close to the statute of limitations expiring in your wrongful death lawsuit, then your best choice to consult a knowledgeable Chattanooga wrongful death lawyer.
Consult with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Chattanooga
Facing the untimely death of a loved one is a very stressful time in someone’s life, a fact that is much more compounded if your loved one was killed due to the negligence of another person. Wrongful death personal injury lawsuits were designed exactly for these circumstances and are meant, in some way, to help you move on from your loved one’s death. If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Chattanooga, then you need to hire the type of wrongful death lawyer you can only find at the McMahan Law Firm. With offices in both Knoxville and Chattanooga, our experienced legal team will handle your wrongful death suit compassionately and professionally, honoring your loved one’s memory while getting you the compensation you deserve. Contact the Insiders at the McMahan Law Firm today to begin the filing process.