Who is Entitled to Wrongful Death Benefits in Tennessee?
Coping with the sudden loss of a loved one is never easy—especially if their death was caused by someone else’s reckless, careless or negligent actions. Their absence in your life can cause unbearable suffering, both emotionally and financially, but it is important to know that you are not without options. You have the right to file a wrongful death claim if your family member was killed under preventable circumstances; however, your relationship to the victim will play an important role in determining whether or not you have the highest priority to pursue a claim.
Only one wrongful death case can be filed, regardless of how many relatives have suffered a loss. This means that there is an order of priority that must be followed. If the deceased was married, their surviving spouse would be the one to bring a wrongful death action. In the state of Tennessee, the victim’s spouse is always the “highest priority,” so to speak. Even if the surviving spouse and the deceased were separated at the time of the accident, the surviving spouse would still have first priority.
If the deceased was unmarried with children, whether adult or minor, the children would be entitled to bring the wrongful death case. If the victim had more than one child, all of the children would share equally in the financial recovery. If the victim was unmarried and had no children, however, the next of kin would be entitled to bring the action. In many cases, this will be the parent or parents of the deceased. Even if one parent was granted sole custody, the recovery must be shared equally.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Case?
In the event of a wrongful death, it is the right of surviving family members to pursue financial compensation for the economic and non-economic losses they have experienced.
Damages in wrongful death case may include compensation for:
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
- Medical expenses that were incurred by the deceased
- Income that would have been earned by the deceased
- Loss of enjoyment of life / loss of companionship
- Physical and mental suffering by family members
- Mental anguish suffered by the deceased.
How Long Would I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Tennessee, a statute of limitations applies to all personal injury and wrongful death actions. This means that you have a limited amount of time to pursue damages from the responsible party. If you fail to take action before the statute of limitations expires, you would be prohibited from recovering any level of compensation. For this reason, you should move quickly to discuss your case with a Nashville personal injury lawyer at Bill Easterly & Associates
The statute of limitations for wrongful death actions in Tennessee is one year.
Schedule Your No-Cost, No-Obligation Consultation Today
Are you ready to seek justice on behalf of your love one? If so, don’t wait to get in touch with the wrongful death attorneys at Bill Easterly & Associates We have been serving clients throughout Nashville and all surrounding areas for more than two decades, so you can trust that your case will be in competent hands when you come to us for help. All you have to do is contact our office at (615) 244-2222 or fill out a free case evaluation form online to get started.
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