The death of a loved one is always a tragedy. But when someone else's negligence caused that death, it can be especially difficult to deal with. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's careless or reckless behavior, you may wonder if you have any legal recourse. The answer is yes; you can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Tennessee. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand the legal process, establish if you are eligible to bring forth a claim, and determine what party to hold responsible for your loved one’s untimely death.
Potential Defendants in a Wrongful Death Case
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim and recover compensation. There are certain restrictions on who can file a wrongful death claim in Tennessee. In Tennessee, the law allows the following parties to file a claim and in the following order:
- Surviving spouse
- Natural or legally adoptive parents of the deceased
In some cases, the personal representative of the deceased's estate may also be able to sue for damages.
Depending on the circumstances and what caused the wrongful death, various parties could be held liable. It is also possible for there to be more than one defendant involved in a wrongful death lawsuit as well. It’s important to understand that all parties involved may be held liable for damages associated with the death.
Possible defendants may include:
- Individuals such as a drunk or distracted driver
- Company or employer
- Government agencies such as municipalities
- Organizations or universities
- Manufacturer or distributor
- Premises or establishment owner
Types of Wrongful Death Accidents
Wrongful death fatalities can result from the following types of accidents:
- Auto accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice and more
Regardless of the type of accident, if your loved one’s death resulted from another party’s negligence, you may have a case.
Comparative Negligence and Damages
Comparative negligence may come into play in a wrongful death case. This is when the court assigns percentages of fault to each party involved in the accident. For example, if the court finds that the deceased was 20 percent at fault for the accident that led to their death, any damages awarded in the case will be reduced by 20 percent.
If another party is found responsible for the wrongful death, possible damages that could be awarded include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Why You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death cases can be complex and confusing, which is why you need to have an experienced attorney on your side. An attorney will be able to explain your options and help you navigate the legal process so that you can get the justice and closure you deserve.
An experienced attorney will investigate your claim thoroughly, assess the potential defendants involved in your case and identify whether any additional parties are accountable for damages related to the accident resulting in your loved one’s passing. Your lawyer will also work with insurance companies on your behalf to make sure that you receive fair compensation.
Each state has a specific timeframe for filing a wrongful death lawsuit called a statute of limitations. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is one year from the date of your loved one's death. If you try to file after the one-year deadline has passed, your case will likely be dismissed. An experienced lawyer will ensure your claim is filed within this deadline.
If you lost a loved one as a result of a wrongful death accident in Tennessee, contact GriffithLaw today. To schedule a no-obligation consultation with our experienced lawyers, contact us online or call us at 615-807-7900. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you are not required to pay any upfront costs to pursue a claim. We charge no fee if there is no recovery.