The injury lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard understand the grief endured by individuals in Nashville and beyond who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Whether a family member has died because of medical malpractice, an automobile accident, or the negligence of a property owner, you may be able to seek damages to compensate you. We know that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, and initiating legal proceedings may be the last thing on your mind. However, asserting your right to compensation may be a way to hold accountable those who were responsible for your relative’s death and alleviate any financial burdens arising from it.Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim in Tennessee
A wrongful death case is similar to other personal injury actions in that negligence must be proven before damages are awarded. To succeed in this type of claim, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased individual and failed to meet that duty of care. Once duty and breach are established, there must be proof that the negligent action caused the victim’s death. Finally, it must be shown that damages have been incurred as a result of the loss.
When a person passes away from injuries received as the result of another’s negligence, there are also several additional legal requirements. The state of Tennessee has enacted laws that allow a claim to be brought on behalf of a deceased individual, under the rationale that a person’s death should not extinguish a right of action. A wrongful death claim may also be asserted on behalf of an unborn child, provided that he or she would have been able to survive if not for the negligently caused injuries.
The wrongful death laws contain specific steps that must be taken to ensure that compensation can be sought. These rules affect who may bring an action and who may recover damages. A wrongful death claim must be brought by a surviving spouse, surviving children, next of kin, parents, or a personal representative.
Any damages that are obtained in a wrongful death case will pass first to a surviving spouse. If there is none, the state laws provide the order of how damages will be distributed. First, any proceeds would go to the children of the deceased person, and then to parents and siblings if there are no children. In these cases, it may be possible to recover damages for medical and funeral expenses, mental and physical pain and suffering, and loss of earning capacity. You should not hesitate in bringing a claim, since the statute of limitations restricts the period within which a lawsuit based on an accident can be filed. If you do not take action during this time, you likely will not be able to recover compensation.
The evidence and testimony presented by the parties in a wrongful death case can significantly affect the amount of damages awarded. Information regarding the deceased person’s life expectancy, health condition, earning capacity, and relationship with family may be useful to establish.Explore Your Options After a Fatal Accident with a Franklin Lawyer
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another party in Franklin or elsewhere, you should consult the accident attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard. Our lawyers will work quickly to resolve your case, all while working in your best interests. For a case evaluation, contact us online or call (615) 800-7096. We have represented individuals and families throughout Williamson and Davidson Counties, including in Brentwood, Belle Meade, and Hillsboro Village.