But when you suspect there’s foul play involved, it can be even more difficult to mourn the loss. If you believe someone you love recently passed away due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you can choose to sue for wrongful death in order to hold the third party accountable.
Wrongful death laws and statute of limitations vary by state. In Tennessee, the law states that all wrongful death actions must be pursued within one year of the date of your loved one’s death. Filing a lawsuit within this timeframe can help ensure you get justice for your spouse, parent, or child (depending on your specific case).
To determine if you have grounds for a case and answer any questions, the G3 team provides a free, confidential case evaluation. If it’s determined that you do have a case, you may be entitled to one or more of the following benefits:
Though there’s no amount of money that could ever make up for the loss you’ve experienced, your G3 attorneys understand that wrongful death suits are about much more than money. After investigating the death and proving negligence, we’ll set up an estate on behalf of your deceased loved one so we can fight to get you both the justice you deserve.
With hundreds of 5-star reviews, your G3 lawyers have built a reputation around providing compassionate guidance to those in need of financial and emotional support after a wrongful death or other accident. Let us help you get what you deserve.
Tennessee defines wrongful death quite broadly. Tennessee Code Annotated Section 20-5-106 defines wrongful death as:
In Tennessee, a wrongful death claim can be filed even if the offending party is brought up on criminal charges for homicide or related charges. It is a civil suit. Unlike a criminal case, compensation is limited only to monetary damages and does not include jail time or any other such penalty.
Technically, a wrongful death lawsuit in Tennessee is a type of personal injury claim. The difference is that the deceased party is not able to file the suit on their own, so another party must file on their behalf.
As with any other personal injury case, you must prove certain elements of the situation in order to win the case. You must prove that the deceased’s death was caused by the “intentional act” or negligence of another individual. You must also prove the damages that you have suffered as a result of the loss of your loved one.
There are many situations that can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. These include, but are not limited to:
Wrongful death claims are always very case-specific, and the elements of a claim are complex, which is why working with an experienced Knoxville wrongful death attorney is important when pursuing a wrongful death claim.
In addition, you must act quickly if you are planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Tennessee after the death of a loved one. Under Tennessee’s statute of limitations, you only have a year from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
In most cases, the spouse of a deceased individual has the first right to file a claim for wrongful death. However, there are some exceptions if:
Divorced spouses may not present a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased person was not married or the spouse is unable to file a claim, their children may do so. If they are under the 18, a court-appointed guardian may file the claim on their behalf. However, if the deceased person does not have children, their parents may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased person doesn't have any of the above mentioned individuals in their life, a representative or executor of the person's estate may be able to file the suit on behalf of the person's heirs. This is typically only an option when none of the above parties are able to file a wrongful death suit.
As mentioned, wrongful death claims are civil claims that are separate from criminal proceedings, and monetary damages are the only avenue of compensation. Under Tennessee’s wrongful death laws, you may receive compensation for the following:
In addition, the court may award punitive damages if the deceased’s death was due to an intentional act of “malice or recklessness.” As an example, if the deceased person was killed by a habitual drunk driver with multiple DUIs, a judge may elect to award further damages to the deceased person’s family to penalize the offender.
If your loved one has died as a result of the negligent or malicious actions of another person, it’s important to seek justice, and to hire an experienced Knoxville wrongful death attorney like G. Turner Howard III.
Working with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Knoxville provides a number of benefits throughout the process.
If you need help navigating the complexities of filing a wrongful death suit in Knoxville, The Law Offices of G. Turner Howard III. Contact us for a free, no-commitment consultation with our team and get the help you need.