How long do I have to bring a wrongful death claim in Tennessee?

woman holding flowers with hand on coffin at funeralEvery state has its own time limit to bring an injury case against a negligent party, known as the statute of limitations. In Tennessee, most victims have just one year from the date of the initial incident to bring a personal injury claim. But what if the person injured in the accident dies before he or she can file a lawsuit?

Types of Wrongful Death Claims and Compensation in Tennessee

When a person passes away due to someone’s negligence or misconduct, the surviving family members may pursue compensation on the person’s behalf. In most cases, the victim’s next of kin must file a lawsuit within one year of the date of the person’s death, rather than the date of the accident.

Tennessee allows two different kinds of civil claims when an injury results in untimely death:

  • Wrongful death claims. In this type of lawsuit, the survivors attempt to hold the negligent party responsible for personal costs they have suffered due to the loss of their family member. Compensation for wrongful death losses can include lost financial support, loss of companionship, lost contributions to the household, loss of emotional support, and the costs of any therapy or counseling the family has been forced to endure.
  • Survival claims. Survival claims may arise if there was a significant time period between the injury and the date of death. A survival claim seeks to recover the damages that the deceased person suffered before his or her death. In essence, this is a personal injury claim for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering that a victim might have brought if he or she survived the injury.

While time limits for filing a lawsuit after a serious accident may vary, the best time to get an attorney’s advice is always as soon as possible. Our lawyers can discuss your next steps in your free initial consultation, and we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you. To learn more about your claim, please fill out the short contact form on this page or download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.