Fatal Car Accidents
Losing a loved one as a result of a fatal car accident is a traumatic experience, leading to a deep sense of grief and often uncertainty about what to do next. As you cope with the loss of your family member, legal action understandably is not the first thought on your mind. However, when a negligent driver or another party is responsible for a fatal motor vehicle collision, it is important to explore your legal options. Pursuing a claim not only may alleviate your financial burden but also give you a sense of justice by holding a wrongdoer accountable. The Nashville car accident lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC can represent people in many areas of Tennessee who have lost a loved one, helping them navigate the legal steps following a devastating crash. We offer compassionate and vigorous assistance to families who are left to fight for a victim’s rights in court.Establishing Liability for a Fatal Car Accident Through a Wrongful Death Claim
Many different factors may contribute to a car accident, ranging from a defective airbag or other car part to hazardous road conditions. Most often, however, these collisions are due to another driver’s negligence. As with an ordinary personal injury case, a wrongful death claim originating from a fatal car accident must establish that a defendant or defendants acted negligently. This claim may be proven when a plaintiff can show that the defendant breached a duty of care owed to the deceased victim.
All motorists owe one another and any other road users a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent driver would act under similar circumstances. When someone is driving under the influence or excessively speeding in a residential area, for example, he or she probably would be found to have acted unreasonably if a fatal crash results. A plaintiff must also show that the breach was a proximate cause of the victim’s death, resulting in damages.
Under Tennessee law, a decedent’s surviving spouse, parent, or child may pursue a wrongful death action. In addition, the state allows wrongful death claims to be brought by a parent on behalf of an unborn child, if it is shown that the fetus was viable and would have been able to survive if not for the injuries caused by the defendant. Once the elements of a wrongful death claim are proven, a victim’s family can typically recover damages for any medical expenses incurred, burial or funeral costs, pain and suffering, lost income, loss of consortium, and other losses based on their relationship to their loved one. These cases must be filed within one year of the victim’s death, making timeliness imperative in taking legal action.Seek Representation from a Car Accident Lawyer in the Nashville Area
If you have lost a parent, a spouse, or another loved one as a result of a driver’s careless behavior behind the wheel, the Nashville car accident attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC can guide you in determining your legal options. Our firm also represents people who need a wrongful death attorney in Franklin, East Nashville, Brentwood, and Hillsboro Village, as well as other communities throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. Call us at 615-800-7096 or contact us online to set up an appointment and find out more about your legal rights.