There are several situations in which you might be able to file an injury lawsuit on behalf of a family member. Unfortunately, the most common by far is if the family member has died.
This matter falls under the jurisdiction of state law. Here are some of the details for Tennessee.
Who can file a wrongful death case?
As explained on FindLaw, the essence of a wrongful death case is that you begin a lawsuit on behalf of a deceased family member. These suits give you a chance to recover monetary damages that the court would have otherwise awarded to your lost loved one.
In Tennessee, your eligibility to begin one of these suits will depend on your relationship with your family member. Specifically, the right to file proceeds in the following order:
- The spouse
- Next of kin or children
- The estate’s personal representative
- The parents
- The estate’s administrator
This is just the statutory rule. Based on the unique details and complications of your case, you might have options.
Who benefits from these cases?
There are also rules on how you might benefit from a court award or settlement in a wrongful death case. Your eligibility would follow the rules of intestate succession. In other words, the court would probably distribute the money as though your loved one had died without a will. However, please know that these rules can be complex — and that insurance companies typically take an aggressive stance against wrongful death cases.
Your damages probably include more than the funeral expenses and lost potential earnings of your loved one. They also should probably take into account the pain and suffering the loss caused your family. You might have to fight to get what you truly deserve.