After losing a loved one unexpectedly, most people are overwhelmed. Dealing with grief and other emotions can be draining. It can leave a person with little or no capacity to take care of any of the other responsibilities they may face, such as funeral arrangements, dealing with insurance companies, and issues related to the estate.
If you lost a loved one in an accident that was someone else’s fault, our Clarksville wrongful death attorney can help you effectively hold the negligent party accountable for your loss while pursuing compensation that can help you through difficult times.
What Is the Definition of Wrongful Death?
Legal dictionaries describe wrongful death as "the death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act of another person." Tennessee's wrongful death statute lays this out more specifically:
- Where a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act, fault, or omission of another and a suit is brought for damages, the party suing shall, if entitled to damages, have the right to recover for the mental and physical suffering, loss of time, and necessary expenses resulting to the deceased from the personal injuries.
This means that when someone dies due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional act of another person or entity (such as a corporation or a hospital), the victim’s surviving family members may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the losses they incurred as a result of their loved one's untimely death.
Types of Wrongful Death Accidents
Wrongful death lawsuits can arise in relation to a wide range of fatal accidents and injuries, including the following:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective drugs and medical devices
- Birth injuries
In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate all of the following:
- An individual died.
- Their death was caused by someone else's negligence or intent to cause harm.
- There are surviving family members who suffered financial injury as a result of the individual's death.
Taking the Weight Off Your Shoulders
We know how challenging it is to experience the death of a loved one, which is why we focus on taking the weight off your shoulders. We can take on the responsibilities of building a case, including dealing with insurance companies, to ensure that you and your loved ones can focus on what matters most at such a challenging time.
We will examine all possible avenues for compensation, including:
- Loss of income
- Loss of consortium
- Conscious pain and suffering your loved one may have experienced
- Punitive damages
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Tennessee?
Tennessee law places restrictions on who can pursue a wrongful death claim. Under Section 20-5-107 of the Tennessee Code, the following parties may pursue a wrongful death claim:
- The deceased person's spouse
- The deceased person's child or next of kin (if there is no surviving spouse)
- The executor of the deceased person's will
- The natural or adoptive parents of the deceased
- A personal representative of the deceased (if there are no dependents or spouse)
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Tennessee
Wrongful death claims in Tennessee are subject to a one-year statute of limitations, meaning you typically have until the first anniversary of your loved one's death to pursue legal action against the person or party responsible. This time limit may sometimes be extended in rare circumstances. Since complying with this extremely tight statute of limitations can ultimately make or break your case, it is critical that you get an attorney involved early on after your loved one's death to guard your rights.
Securing Multimillion-Dollar Settlements and Verdicts
At Pete Olson Injury Law, we are here for you and your loved ones. We focus on doing everything we can to make the process of pursuing justice as easy as possible. You deserve to have time to reflect and to be with those you love, but you also deserve to be compensated for what was taken from you. Attorney Pete Olson has been helping people with the most challenging cases for more than 30 years. During that time, he has favorably resolved more than 1,000 cases and obtained multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients.
If you have lost a loved one to an accident, we can help you pursue accountability and full compensation. Turn to Clarksville wrongful death attorney Pete Olson today.