Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Tennessee?

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed following the fatal wounding of a person due to the negligence of a person or corporate entity.

Who Can File for Wrongful Death?

In Tennessee, the surviving spouse of the decedent has the first right to file a wrongful death claim. However, if the deceased was not married or the surviving spouse abandoned the deceased 2 or more years prior to the death, other parties may file this claim.

Family members who can file a wrongful death claim include:

  • children;
  • parents;
  • next of kin; and/or
  • a representative of the deceased’s estate.

Which Damages Can Be Claimed?

Family members can claim some damages that do not normally arise in personal injury claims. For example, parties seeking compensation can seek reimbursement for funeral and/or burial expenses. The most common monetary damages sought in wrongful death cases are:

  • loss of financial support;
  • loss of companionship;
  • family members’ mental anguish;
  • pain and suffering of the deceased; and/or
  • medical bills.

Survival Claims

Tennessee has a ‘hybrid’ system that combines wrongful death and survival into the same legal claim. Both are civil, which means the burden of proof is lower than with a criminal prosecution. A survival claim is for the family of the deceased to seek compensation for losses (like pain and suffering). This claim is like a standard personal injury lawsuit that a surviving injured party may have initiated and the compensation will end up a part of the deceased’s estate.

Helping You Seek Rightful Compensation

Our wrongful death advocates have over 40 years of experience advocating for our clients’ best interests. We understand the emotional toll a wrongful death claim can have on a family and will do everything we can to ease the legal burden of the process. We will strongly advocate your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

For a consultation, contact our firm online or call us at (423) 299-4489.

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