If a person’s death is due to the negligent conduct of another party, such as the actions of a drunk driver or a medical mistake when a patient is under a doctor’s supervision the family of the victim may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim for compensation for their family member’s untimely death.
When a family loses a loved one due to someone else’s mistake it is difficult for them to come to terms with the event. There is one way that can help to bring closure and that is by filing a wrongful death lawsuit which helps to bring the person who caused the death to justice as well as offering some financial security for those family members left behind.
Wrongful death lawsuit
This is similar to a personal injury claim but is compensation for the death of a loved caused by someone else.
Wrongful deaths commonly take place in these situations:
- a motor vehicle accident;
- use of a defective product;
- slip-and-fall accidents on a premises;
- killings and assaults which were deliberate;
- medical malpractice.
Features of a wrongful death lawsuit
A wrongful death lawsuit depends on negligence taking place. This means you need to be able to prove that the death of your family member was caused by negligence such as causing an accident that led to the death of your loved one because the motor vehicle driver was under the influence of alcohol or death from a slip and fall in a building that hadn’t been maintained to a safe standard.
If you can provide sufficient evidence that proves your family member died due to either a negligent or intentional act, you should be able to file a claim for financial compensation which covers specific non-economic and economic losses.
Wrongful death in Tennessee
Only particular family members may file a Tennessee wrongful death claim. They are as follows:
- a surviving spouse;
- any surviving children, if no surviving spouse is present;
- the surviving siblings, if no surviving spouse or children are present;
- the administrator or personal representative of the deceased person’s estate;
- surviving parents of the deceased, if the deceased was dependent financially on their parents at the time of the death.
How wrongful death settlements are determined
A wrongful death settlement is calculated based on the value of the economic and non-economic losses related to the death of the family member, such as:
- the deceased person’s medical treatment costs;
- burial and funeral costs;
- loss of wages;
- loss of any future income if the deceased had been still alive;
- loss of care and emotional support provide by the deceased.
How Tennessee defines wrongful death
In Tennessee, a person has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit if the family member died from “injuries received from another” or “by the wrongful act, omission, or killing by another” but would have been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit if he or she had survived.
Tennessee law treats a wrongful death claim as a special kind of personal injury case which means the injured person is not able to file his or her own individual claim in court but certain family members or the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim.
There are many incidents that could lead to the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit such as:
- a death in a car accident caused by a negligent driver;
- medical malpractice;
- an intentional act (including a crime).
Who is eligible to file a Tennessee wrongful death lawsuit?
The person’s surviving spouse is first in line for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In the absence of such a spouse the right is given to the following parties:
- any surviving children;
- any surviving next of kin;
- the administrator or personal representative (sometimes referred to as the “executor”) of the deceased estate;
- any surviving parents or parent, if the deceased was still dependent on a parent or parents at the date of the death.
Tennessee wrongful death damages
These could include all or some of the following:
- funeral and burial expenses
- medical treatment expenses
- loss of wages, including wages and benefits the deceased person would probably have earned if still alive;
- mental and physical suffering the deceased experienced;
- the survivors’ loss of the care, guidance, love, companionship and society provided by the deceased person;
You should contact a dedicated and experienced personal injury attorney at the Keith Williams Law Group in East Nashville to discuss your legal options if a loved one has been killed as a result of someone else’s negligence.. You can contact Keith Williams at (866) 820-4457.