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Nashville Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Wrongful Death > Who Is Entitled To Wrongful Death Benefits In Tennessee?

Who Is Entitled To Wrongful Death Benefits In Tennessee?


Losing a loved one is never easy, and when that loss is unexpected due to an accident the loss can be even more devastating for a family. After such a loss, the financial burdens can increase significantly, and a wrongful death lawsuit can help a grieving family during this difficult time. The knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers at Mitch Grissim & Associates are here to help you navigate this difficult time and zealously advocate for the compensation you deserve after such a loss. To learn more about your legal options for a wrongful death lawsuit, call or contact our office today for a free consultation.

Who Can File for Wrongful Death?

If an accident victim is survived by a family member, they can seek compensation for wrongful death in Tennessee. However, if the victim is survived by multiple family members, Tennessee law dictates who is allowed to file a lawsuit for damages. Only certain people in a certain order are allowed to file a case in order to collect compensation for the loss of a loved one, and it follows the state’s laws on intestate succession.

Surviving Spouse

If the victim of an accident has a surviving spouse, the spouse is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit for damages. Even if there are other surviving family members, the spouse has the primary right for filing a case for damages.

Surviving Spouse with Children

If there is a surviving spouse and children, either adult or minor, the spouse and children split the compensation for a wrongful death lawsuit. This applies to children of the surviving spouse and children from previous relationships of the accident victim. The spouse and children either split the damages equally, or the spouse takes one-third, whatever is greater.

Surviving Children

If there is no surviving spouse but there are surviving children, the children are entitled to file the wrongful death lawsuit. If there is more than one child, the children split the compensation from a wrongful death claim equally.

No Surviving Spouse or Children

If the victim of a fatal accident has no surviving spouse or children, the parents of the victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This applies to adopted parents, as well, and divorced parents must split the proceedings of a claim equally. However, parents who owe back child support are not entitled to compensation from a wrongful death claim until arrearages are paid, nor are parents who were not a part of their child’s life.

Talk to Our Office Now

Have you suffered an unexpected loss of a loved one because of an accident? The knowledgeable and experienced Nashville wrongful death attorneys at Mitch Grissim & Associates are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about whether you qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit in your case.

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