Losing a loved one in an accident is overwhelming. In addition to the emotional anguish this causes, you may have new financial burdens, especially if the deceased was the primary source of income.
However, if your family member’s death was caused by someone else’s negligence, a compassionate injury attorney may be able to help you. Once retained, a seasoned Murfreesboro wrongful death lawyer could work to preserve your financial prospects and achieve some measure of justice on your loved one’s behalf.
How are Wrongful Death Claims Different from Others Personal Injury Claims?
Per Tennessee Code §20-5-106, any accidental or intentional may be grounds for civil litigation if it directly results in someone’s death, whether immediately or as a consequence of catastrophic injuries. Since the person directly impacted by the defendant’s act or omission cannot act themselves, surviving family members have the right to file suit on their deceased loved one’s behalf.
Under Tennessee state law, a decedent’s spouse may hold priority over the right to pursue a lawsuit for an untimely death. However, if the decedent has no surviving spouse, various other parties may be able to file in their stead, including—in order of priority—the decedent’s children, surviving parents, and personal estate representative.
If a wrongful death occurs due to an intentional act, a Murfreesboro attorney could help pursue a case in civil court at the same time as related charges are being pursued against the defendant in criminal court. However, the outcome of one case may have no bearing on the outcome of the other, with the potential exception of a guilty verdict in criminal court being used as evidence of negligence in civil court.
Recovering Compensation for a Untimely Passing
Since wrongful death cases are filed on behalf of the deceased, recoverable damages are slightly different than those available in a typical personal injury claim. In general, wrongful death claims seek compensation for losses sustained by surviving family members and the decedent’s estate as a result of their loved one’s passing, whereas economic losses and non-economic suffering experienced by the decedent prior to their death may be factored into a separate survival action.
Depending on the specifics of a case, damages that a untimely death attorney in Murfreesboro could include in a settlement demand or court case may include:
- Loss of financial support from the decedent, including wages they would have earned from work and profit they would have taken from investments
- Expenses paid by family members for funeral and burial or cremation services
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship, consortium, and/or emotional support
- Loss of time and money by family members who traveled to visit their loved one before their death or to attend their funeral
Any damages recovered on behalf of a minor next-to-kin is sometimes placed in a trust until they are of an adult.
Learn More from a Murfreesboro Wrongful Death Attorney
Unfortunately, surviving family members often have little time to get started on civil litigation. Some personal injury claims in Tennessee are restricted by a one-year statute of limitations, so waiting even a few months before filing suit could have a severe impact on your right to recover compensation.
Help from a Murfreesboro wrongful death lawyer could be crucial to ensure that your case proceeds smoothly. To schedule a confidential consultation, call today.