Personal injury accidents are, at their core, preventable. When one of these accidents, be it a car accident, bicycle accident, or workplace accident, results in the loss of a loved one, that oversight can be traumatic. Fortunately, you have the right to hold the appropriate person responsible for your loved one’s death.
When many think of holding a person accountable for their loved one’s death, criminal convictions often come to mind. In personal injury law, a wrongful death lawsuit is a primary way to hold a person accountable for a loved one’s death. Call Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, to speak with a Germantown personal injury lawyer today.
How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works
A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to any personal injury lawsuit. The victim of a wrongful death accident has the chance to recover compensation from the person who caused the accident. The main difference is that the survivors of the victim file a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf and fight for the compensation they would be owed if they were alive.
Before compensation can be rewarded to the survivors, you must establish the defendant’s liability and the financial burden they’ve placed on you in the wake of a loved one’s passing. With this in mind, your personal injury claim needs to present evidence of an at-fault party’s negligence.
You can use that negligence to elaborate on the breach in the duty of care owed to your loved one at the time of their fatal accident. You can further point to the cost of post-accident medical treatment, property repair bills, and funeral expenses to detail the cost of your loved one’s passing.
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When to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
According to Tennessee’s personal injury statute of limitations, outlined in Tenn. Code §28-3-104, accident survivors acting on behalf of a deceased individual have one year to bring their claim forward in civil court. It’s in your best interest to work with a personal injury attorney if you want to make the most of this timeframe.
Note, too, that this deadline also applies to your pursuit of personal compensation for your own physical injuries and emotional losses. After all, you have the right to demand that the at-fault party help pay for your post-accident recovery if you were involved in the same accident that caused the death of your loved one.
Any attempt to file a wrongful death claim or a related personal injury claim after this statute of limitations expires can see Tennessee courts dismiss your case without thorough consideration. The statute of limitations is designed to ensure that all lawsuits are filed while the facts and evidence about the accident remain fresh and relevant.
Eligible Parties Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Tennessee laws allow direct survivors of the accident victim to file a wrongful death lawsuit. That limits the family members’ right to file a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf. Some examples of direct survivors who would be allowed to file a lawsuit include the victim’s children, spouse, surviving parents, siblings, or next of kin.
If the victim appointed a personal representative for their estate, that person would also be allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit and seek compensation on behalf of the victim. Once the relationship of the survivor filing the lawsuit has been determined, the process can continue.
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Establishing a Wrongful Death Claim’s Economic Value
Contending with the aftermath of the fatal accident can see you deal with more than emotional distress. The financial strain of a loved one’s passing can be as life-changing as the person’s death. That, however, is why our personal injury attorneys strive to work with you. When you work with our team, you can demand financial compensation for losses you never asked for.
Our law firm specifically makes it as easy as possible for you to demand a range of damages in your complaint. These damages can include the following:
- Post-accident medical attention
- At-home care for accident injuries
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
You can work with our Germantown wrongful death accident attorneys to determine which economical and non-economic damages can appear in your request for compensation. Our legal team can also help you bring forward the evidence you need to present to argue for your right to that support.
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Fighting Against Insurance Companies
You don’t fight an at-fault party when you file a wrongful death lawsuit. You fight their insurance provider. After all, insurance providers must provide you with the fair compensation you deserve should a jury find their client, the defendant, liable for your losses.
Because insurance companies do not want to be responsible for rewarding you with the appropriate amount of compensation that your loved one deserves, they will use various deceptive tactics that will question whether their client is liable for your loved one’s injury. These tactics can include the following:
Offering Low Settlement Offers
One of the tactics that insurance companies will use is the tired tactic of the initial settlement offer. Insurance adjusters will try to provide you with a settlement offer to force you to resolve your lawsuit and prevent it from progressing to trial. Insurance adjusters will often use this tactic if it is evident that their client’s negligence was extremely blatant.
Another reason why insurance adjusters could use this tactic is to determine if they can get you to resolve your case by dishing out the lowest amount of money possible. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters have no shame in taking advantage of your grief and implying that the settlement offer is best for you and your family.
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Taking Your Lawsuit to Trial
Fortunately for you and your family, you have the right to deny the insurance company’s initial offer. You have the right to deny any offer that is not beneficial to your family’s needs. If the insurance company is unwilling to meet your demands, you can allow your lawsuit to proceed to a trial.
The preparation you did for your settlement will be different from the preparation you need for a trial. For example, your trial will consist of a discovery phase, a deposition, and perhaps a cross-examination conducted by the opposing lawyer. You can work with a wrongful death attorney in Germantown, TN, to prepare for these phases.
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How a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Germantown, TN, Can Help You
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you want to give yourself the best chance to seek the justice your loved one deserves. You also want to give yourself the proper amount of time to grieve the loss of your loved one and cope with the new changes in your family’s life.
You need a compassionate wrongful death lawyer to empathize with you in this trying time but fierce enough to fight for your loved one’s legal rights. Our combined experience has seen us address wrongful death cases stemming from:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Catastrophic accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
Our Germantown wrongful death lawyers know how to guide you through the stress of these situations and put you on a path toward financial compensation. You can count on our personal injury lawyers to protect you from an insurance company’s malicious tactics and give you every opportunity to secure justice for your loved one.
You can schedule an initial consultation with our team within days of your loved one’s wrongful death accident. We can help you hammer out the details of your insurance claim while also investigating the accident scene for signs of negligence that may give you the right to action in civil court.
Presenting the Best Argument on Your Behalf
One of the most important factors that must be proven in your lawsuit is how the defendant’s negligence caused your loved one’s death. Your wrongful death lawyer can construct the best case possible for you and establish how the defendant’s careless actions directly caused the death of your loved one.
Our legal team can also counter any flimsy arguments the insurance companies will make to insinuate that your loved one’s actions contributed to their death.
Consult with a Germantown Wrongful Death Attorney Today
When you are grieving the loss of your loved one, it can seem as if no one cares about the justice that your loved one deserves. At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC, we ensure our actions show how much we care about fighting for your loved one’s rights.
Our wrongful death attorneys in Germantown, TN, go the extra mile to ensure that your loved ones seek the justice they deserve. Call our office or complete our free case evaluation to schedule your consultation.