A wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act. Even if the death is accidental, a victim’s relative can recover damages from those responsible.
Under Tennessee law, a victim’s personal injury claim becomes a wrongful death action if the person does not survive the injuries.
What damages get paid in a wrongful death suit?
Most types of damages available in a personal injury case also apply in a wrongful death action. A claimant can recover medical expenses, funeral expenses and other costs associated with the injury. The survivor can also get compensation for the victim’s lost wages and damages for suffering experienced by the deceased. Damages are also payable to the survivor for losing a loved one.
Who can claim damages on behalf of a decedent?
Under Tennessee law, certain related parties can bring a wrongful death suit on behalf of a victim and their survivors. A surviving spouse is the primary claimant and would have to pursue the action on the decedent’s behalf. If there is no surviving spouse, the persons who can file a lawsuit go in order, starting with the deceased’s children. If there are no children, the right to claim damages goes to the next of kin, then to the estate representative. If the victim is a dependent child, the surviving parents can sue the responsible parties under a wrongful death action.
The death of a loved one is a devastating experience. You want to recover damages if the death results from an accident or someone else’s criminal act.