The loss of a cherished family member is never easy to deal with. However, when their death was preventable or caused by the actions of another party, you may be ready to make them pay. You can help your loved one get the justice they deserve when you contact an experienced Marion personal injury lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC.
Our team can analyze the circumstances of your case and gather the evidence needed to prove liability so your family can recover the compensation you are entitled to. Contact our office for a free consultation today to learn more about how the wrongful death claims process works in Marion and what to expect from your case.
Do You Have Grounds for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Marion?
According to Tenn. Code §20-5-106, wrongful deaths occur when an individual succumbs to injuries caused by someone else through intentional acts, wrongful acts, or omission.
Essentially, anytime someone who has suffered fatal injuries would have had the right to pursue a personal injury claim, their surviving family members may have the opportunity to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party.
It may not be clear whether you have the authority to move forward with a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death can be negligence-based, caused by medical malpractice, or through other types of intentional acts, including assault or murder.
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Wrongful Death vs. Criminal Charges
Wrongful death claims are different from the criminal charges the person responsible for causing your family member’s death might face. There are several differences between wrongful death claims and criminal charges. Some of the most notable differences include:
- If the defendant is found liable in civil court, they will be ordered to compensate the victim’s surviving family for their damages
- If the defendant is found guilty in criminal court, they will face criminal penalties, including jail time, fines, probation, community service, and other consequences
- The state’s prosecuting attorney must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case
- Your attorney must prove liability based on a preponderance of the evidence in a wrongful death lawsuit
The individual responsible for causing your family member’s death could be at risk of being charged with a criminal offense if they intentionally caused the decedent’s death or otherwise violated a state or federal law which ultimately caused the decedent’s death.
However, even if the liable party is not facing criminal charges, you may still have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. You can find out what options are available to you when you contact a wrongful death attorney in Marion for help.
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TN Wrongful Death Laws You Need to Know
If you are interested in pursuing a wrongful death claim in Marion, it is essential to understand which Tennessee laws could have an impact on the outcome of your case. Here are a few of the most important laws you should be aware of:
Statute of Limitations
To pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, your claim must be filed before the statute of limitations expires. Under Tenn. Code §28-3-104, the statute of limitations for Tennessee wrongful death claims is just one year from the deceit and stuff.
If your lawsuit is not filed before this deadline passes, you will be barred from having your case heard in the Tennessee civil courts. You can avoid the statute of limitations negatively impacting your ability to recover fair compensation by retaining an attorney as soon as possible after the decedent’s passing.
Under Tenn. Code §29-11-103 if the decedent is partially responsible for causing their fatal injuries, the compensation you are awarded could be adjusted to account for the decedent’s portion of fault.
For example, if the decedent was killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, but the decedent was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, the judge may find the decedent 10% responsible for causing their fatal injuries. If your family was awarded $5 million as part of your wrongful death settlement, this would be reduced by 10%, leaving you with a wrongful death payout of $4,500,000.
The Right to File the Claim
If you are hoping to file a wrongful death lawsuit you must first be sure you have the right to file the claim. Tennessee law only allows specific family members to pursue wrongful death actions. These parties include, in order:
- The deceased’s surviving spouse or partner
- The deceased’s surviving adult children
- The deceased’s surviving next of kin
- The personal representative of the decedent’s estate
- The deceased’s surviving parents if they were considered a dependent at the time of their death
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Compensation in Marion Wrongful Death Claims
Compensation in Marion wrongful death claims is awarded to the decedent’s surviving family members no matter who files the initial wrongful death action. Some of the different types of damages that may be recoverable in wrongful death lawsuits include:
- The deceased’s financial losses, including their loss of income and wages, future potential earnings, inheritance, bonuses, and salary increases
- The deceased’s burial expenses
- The deceased’s funeral expenses
- The deceased’s medical care prior to their death
- The survivor’s loss of the deceased’s protection, love, guidance, companionship, and support
- The emotional trauma and physical pain the decedent experienced prior to their death
These are just a few of the more commonly awarded types of wrongful death damages. To find out whether there are other types of compensatory damages or punitive damages you could be awarded, contact your wrongful death lawyer to discuss your case in further detail.
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Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Marion for Help Today
If you are interested in learning more about what legal options may be available to you, reach out to an experienced Marion wrongful death Lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC for help.
Our firm is proud to offer complimentary consultations to families dealing with wrongful deaths across Marion and surrounding cities. Do not let this opportunity pass you by. You can reach us by phone or through our convenient contact form to get started on your wrongful death lawsuit as soon as today.