Tennessee Wrongful Death Claims: Know Your Rights
When a loved one dies, all of his or her family and friends mourn the loss and begin to learn how to live without the loved one. But when the death is due to someone else’s mistake, the healing process can take so much longer. It just seems so unfair.
In cases like this, it is most often prudent for survivors to speak with a lawyer about filing a Tennessee wrongful death lawsuit. Whether a faulty product, negligent medical professional, careless motorist, or dangerous working condition caused the death, the law allows compensation for the losses of survivors.
What Is Wrongful Death in Tennessee?
When it can be legally proven that a person has died because of the negligence, recklessness, or intention of another person, company, or entity, wrongful death has occurred. Wrongful death claims include all kinds of fatal accidents, whether they happen on the road, on the job, or on an operating table. This type of claim, while difficult for all involved, is capable of achieving justice for the bereaved.
In order to prove a wrongful death case, certain elements must exist:
- A human being has been killed prematurely.
- There was negligence or intent to cause harm.
- The negligence or wrongful act actually caused the person’s death.
- A representative of the deceased’s estate or the deceased’s next of kin must bring the lawsuit.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When a wrongful death lawsuit is filed, the survivors are the plaintiff(s). The decedent is the person who has died, and the defendant is the person or entity named as responsible for the death. The representative filing the claim (usually the executor or next of kin) will file on behalf of the survivors who have suffered because of the death of the decedent. These survivors can include:
- Immediate Family Members: This includes spouses, children, and parents of children not yet married.
- Financial Dependents: Anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased may sue for wrongful death.
- Distant Family Members: Depending on the circumstances, other family members outside the immediate family may be included.
- All persons who suffer financially: Some states allow those who are not related to the decedent, but who financially suffer loss, to file suit.
What Types of Damages Are There in a Wrongful Death Case?
When this kind of case is filed, damages may be filed for many reasons. Some of the most common are:
- Lost wages from deceased, including future earnings
- Medical costs
- Lost benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost companionship or support
- Funeral expenses
- General damages
- Punitive damages (if reckless, malicious, intentional or fraudulent conduct is proven)
What Should You Do if You Have a Wrongful Death Claim?
The first thing to do when you feel that a loved one has died due to someone else’s negligence is to contact a good Tennessee lawyer. Hiring an attorney is the best option because he or she can help you understand Tennessee wrongful death law, gather evidence needed for your case, prepare legal documents and file them correctly, and build a strong case.
This is no time to be alone. Bailey & Greer, located in Memphis, serves clients throughout the state. Our experience and willingness to take your case all the way to trial make us the best choice in Tennessee wrongful death lawsuits. Call us toll free at 877-819-4414 to set up a free initial consultation. Let the healing begin today.
Bailey & Greer represents people with wrongful death claims in Tennessee and Mississippi, including Memphis, Germantown, Bartlett, Cordova, Jackson, Collierville, Arlington, Lakeland, and all of Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton counties. We have also handled cases in Arkansas, Georgia, and Missouri.