The death of a loved one is a painful experience, but what makes it more painful is the knowledge that it could have been avoided had proper measures been taken to prevent it from happening. Nashville residents who are considering a wrongful death lawsuit should read on to learn what you should know about wrongful death suits in Nashville.
State Law on Wrongful Death
In the state of Tennessee, a wrongful death is one that results from injuries inflicted by another person or caused by an omission, wrongful act or killing by another. A wrongful death claim is a civil claim that can be filed by a surviving spouse, relative or an individual acting on behalf of the deceased victim. A defendant in a wrongful death suit cannot be sent to jail, but may be ordered to pay monetary compensatory damages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The spouse of the deceased victim can file a wrongful death suit. If the spouse is deceased, the following parties may file suit, in order:
- Surviving children or relatives. If surviving children are under 18, damages can be placed in a trust until they reach a specified age.
- Individual acting as representative of the deceased’s estate
- Surviving parent(s) if the deceased was a dependent when the death occurred
- Administrator of the deceased’s estate if the deceased was a dependent when the death occurred
What Damages Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Seek?
There was time when litigants in Nashville could only seek damages that their deceased loved one would be entitled to if he or she had survived the fatal injury, and the surviving family could not seek damages for any losses incurred due their loved one’s death. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Damages that can now be sought in a wrongful death suit in Nashville include:
- Compensation for burial and funeral expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity between the time the illness or injury occurred and time of death
- Mental anguish suffered by the deceased victim as a result of the fatal illness or injury
- Physical and mental suffering
- Loss of the deceased’s victim’s companionship
Time Is of the Essence
You must file your wrongful death suit within one year of the date of the deceased victim’s death or you will lose the opportunity to have your case heard in court and seek damages for your loss. For this reason alone, retaining an experienced Nashville wrongful death lawyer is imperative to ensure that pertinent paperwork is filed in a timely manner to protect your legal options. Call today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers to discuss your case and learn what legal options are available to you.