The loss of a loved one is one of the most emotional and traumatic life events that a person can endure. The stress and pain are magnified when a loved one’s death is unexpected and caused by the negligence or recklessness of another. It can leave the surviving family members devastated. Not only must they say goodbye to their loved one and process their feelings of grief and anger, they are also left worrying about the costs associated with the funeral and carrying on without their loved one’s contributions.
While a Tennessee wrongful death suit cannot undo a tragic and untimely death, such an action can provide surviving family members with financial compensation. In some cases, if the deceased loved one was the family’s sole bread winner, without wrongful death compensation, the surviving family could experience the necessities including their home.
Tennessee Code Annotated 20-5-106 defines a wrongful death as a death that is caused by “injuries received from another” or by “the wrongful act, omission, or killing by another.” Tennessee treats wrongful death claims as a special type of personal injury case, in which the injured person is no longer available to bring his or her own claim to court. Instead, the right to bring the claim passes to certain family members or to the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
A wrongful death claim may arise out of a number of circumstances, such as in the following situations:
- Medical malpractice that results in decedent’s death;
- Automobile or motorcycle collision;
- Airplane crash;
- Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances;
- Criminal act such as murder or manslaughter;
Surviving family members who file wrongful death suits may be able to obtain compensation for:
- reasonable funeral and burial expenses
- loss of earning capacity during the period between the infliction of injury or illness and the time of death
- loss of enjoyment of life during the same period
- mental anguish the deceased person actually suffered as a result of the fatal injury or illness
- lost wages, including the value of wages and benefits the deceased would likely have earned if he or she had lived
- physical and mental suffering, loss of time, and necessary expenses incurred by family members as a result of the death, and
- loss of the deceased person’s love, society, and companionship.
Tennessee statute provides you with a limited amount of time in which to file a wrongful death claim — one year. So, if you intend on filing suit for damages related to a loved one’s wrongful death, it’s imperative you do it within the statute of limitations. It’s equally important that you seek the services of an experienced wrongful death lawyer. Contact attorney Michael Pence to schedule your consultation.