Unexpectedly losing a loved one is devastating. In cases where an individual dies because of the wrongful act or omission of another person, the surviving family may be entitled to financial compensation for the loss of their loved one.
If you suspect that the loss of your loved one was due to negligence, you may wish to contact a Nashville wrongful death lawyer to learn about your rights and responsibilities under Tennessee law. A compassionate injury attorney could provide helpful guidance during this difficult time.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Nashville, the deceased’s rights to recovery transfer to their surviving family, including personal representatives, legally adoptive parents, and other beneficiaries. Courts hold the surviving spouse’s rights above all others, under Tennessee Code § 20-5-106(a). The spouse has the superior right to file the wrongful death action and control the litigation. Anyone unsure whether they have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one should retain a local lawyer to evaluate the claim and determine estates’ rights.
Types of Damages
An untimely death can cause significant financial hardships. Fortunately, state law allows the surviving family members of the deceased to seek compensation from the party responsible for the wrongful passing. A wrongful death claim could seek compensation for funeral expenses, lost wages, potential earnings, and loss of consortium.
Under Tennessee Code §20-5-113, family members can seek compensation for afflictions suffered by the deceased before passing. Known as a survival action, beneficiaries could recover compensation for medical expenses and physical and mental pain and suffering the deceased experienced due to the accident that caused their eventual death.
Additional damages include incidental damages suffered by the next of kin. While no amount of money can replace a loved one, an understanding attorney
in Nashville could help the family recover compensation to get their life back on track after losing a loved one unexpectedly.
Statute of Limitations for Untimely Passing Claims
Under Tennessee Code §28-3-104(a)(1), a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within one year of the date that the accident occurred. Filing after this date risks having the claim dismissed. A dismissal for failing to adhere to the statute of limitations is generally unappealable.
Insurance adjusters often delay cases to minimize a claim, lower settlement offers, or deny accidents altogether. Filing a personal injury lawsuit in wrongful death cases expedites recovery by forcing insurance companies and defense counsel to adhere to a strict discovery schedule set forth by the court. When reasonable settlements cannot be achieved through simple negotiations with an adversary, filing suit may be the next step to obtaining compensation for a case. It could be beneficial to work with a local attorney experienced with wrongful passing cases to determine how best to proceed.
Reach Out to a Nashville Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a loved one due to a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, workplace mishap, defective drug, or other negligent act, you could have grounds for civil litigation. More than filing legal action on your behalf, an attorney could assist with providing answers to questions about legal documents, expenses, and ensuring that those who are accountable are brought to justice. Call a Nashville wrongful death lawyer today to begin discussing your options.