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The critical elements of a wrongful death suit

| Jul 7, 2021 | Wrongful Death |

The death of a loved one is never easy, and it can incite Tennessee legal action when it is the result of someone else’s negligence. If you lost a spouse or family member due to another person or organization, you might have grounds for a claim.

According to the Tennessee Bar Association, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death suit is one year, in most cases. However, it may extend to two years, depending on the situation.

Types of wrongful death accidents

When a death occurs due to the negligence or actions of another person without malicious intent, the law typically determines that it was an accident, not a criminal act. Types of wrongful death accidents include the following:

  • Automobile accidents caused by a negligent driver
  • Workplace fatalities caused by defective equipment or unsafe conditions
  • Slip and fall events caused or contributed to injuries that resulted in death

A wrongful death suit often occurs when a person or persons can prove that the death of a loved one occurred directly or largely due to defective machinery, vehicles, or negligence without intent.

Elements of a wrongful death suit

For a successful claim, the loved ones of the accident victim must prove several elements. The first is that the person died as a result of carelessness, recklessness or negligent actions. Another factor is proving that the defendant owed a duty to your loved one. This could be the employer breached their statutory duty by not maintaining a safe workplace. It might also be a duty of care that drivers owe to others sharing the road with them.

In addition to proving the negligent actions, you must also show how that behavior caused the fatality. The death must generate significant, quantifiable damages. This could include funeral and burial costs, loss of income and potential earnings, medical bills and pain and suffering. Understanding the requirements of a suit is essential for gathering the information that can help prove a loved one’s wrongful death.