It is never easy to lose a loved one. However, losing a loved one due to the negligence of another individual can add feelings of anger and frustration to those of grief and sadness. These types of wrongful deaths are unfortunately not uncommon in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 169,936 people died in 2017 as a result of unintentional injuries. While these deaths may have been unintentional, that does not mean you are unable to take any legal action if your loved one died in an accident because of negligence.
Still, while you may know you can pursue legal action, doing so may be challenging while you are still in the process of grieving your loss. As such, you may want to work with a Nashville wrongful death lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Our lawyers understand the pain you are dealing with and may be able to assist you in many ways. Call our team at 800-593-3443 to learn more about the ways in which we may be able to help you with your case.
Potential Causes of a Wrongful Death
A multitude of factors or behaviors can cause a wrongful death. While the causes may be different, another party’s negligence plays a major factor in all wrongful deaths. Examples of some possible causes of wrongful death include:
- A person dying due to a motorcycle, car, or truck accident
- A person dying due to medical malpractice from a medical professional
- Birth injuries that lead to death
- Malfunctioning or defective products that cause a person to die
- Unsafe situations on a property that lead to a person’s death
- A death that stems from a workplace or construction accident
- Biking accidents that result in a person’s death
- Negligent drowning deaths
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful deaths lawyer serving Nashville, call 800-959-1444
Potential Awards in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There are many different damages for which you may be able to receive compensation in a wrongful death case. Some of these are similar to those seen in personal injury cases, while others are unique to wrongful death suits. Some examples of the damages you may be able to recover compensation for include:
- Medical bills incurred by the deceased for the treatment they received
- Emotional trauma that you are suffering from because of the death of your loved one
- Grief counseling that you receive due to the death of your loved one
- Funeral expenses that you need to pay for the deceased
- Loss of income if the deceased was a provider of income for you and your family
- Loss of companionship or consortium if you were married to or had a relationship with the deceased
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Wrongful Death Laws in Nashville
According to Tennessee Code Ann. § 20-5-16, a wrongful death occurs whenever injuries, a wrongful act, an omission, or a killing by another person causes someone’s death.
Tennessee law also treats wrongful death claims as a unique type of personal injury case, in which the injured party is unable to bring their case to court due to their death. Instead, this right is then passed on to certain family members or a personal representative of the deceased’s estate.
Because one is a criminal case and the other is a civil case, a wrongful death claim can be filed even if a criminal charge for homicide in conjunction with the death has been filed or will be filed. A criminal case could result in punishments such as imprisonment or probation.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
In Tennessee, there are specific rules regarding who can file a wrongful death claim. Primarily, the deceased person’s spouse is able to file a wrongful death claim. If there is no spouse, then the children or next of kin of the deceased are able to file. A personal representative of the deceased’s estate may also file a claim. Should none of these be available, then the right to file a claim falls to the surviving parent or parents of the deceased, or to the administrator of the deceased’s estate.
Statute of Limitations
Tennessee has a statute of limitations that requires all wrongful death cases must be filed within one year of the deceased person’s death (TN Code § 28-3-104). Any cases that are not filed within this timeframe may not be heard in court, meaning there will no longer be an ability to recover any awards.
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Working with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
There are several ways in which a Nashville wrongful death lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you with your case. Some of these ways include:
It is important for the defendant in your case to be recognized as liable for the deceased’s death in order for you to recover awards. A lawyer will be able to analyze the situation under which the death occurred and work to prove liability by gathering the appropriate evidence, like medical reports, eyewitness testimony, police reports, and surveillance video.
It is possible that the defendant or their insurance company may offer you a settlement offer before your case is taken to court. However, this offer may be much less in terms of compensation than you truly deserve. A lawyer may be able to look over any settlement offers, determine if they are appropriate based upon your damages, and negotiate new offers if they are not.
Allow the Ben Crump Law, PLLC Team to Help You
We at Ben Crump Law, PLLC know that the death of a loved one can be difficult to grasp. As such, you can let a Nashville wrongful death lawyer handle your case, which will allow you to focus more on processing your emotions. Do not hesitate to give our team a call at 800-593-3443 to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.