When you lose a close family member or relative, it can feel as though the world is ending. However, it is up to you to take action and demand the liable party be brought to justice for their negligent or harmful acts. With help from a knowledgeable North Memphis personal injury lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, you can get the most out of your claim.
With our team working to build a powerful case against those responsible for causing your loved one’s death, you can mourn your loss in peace. Contact our office for a free consultation today to learn more about what is next for your wrongful death action.
How Wrongful Deaths Happen in North Memphis
A wrongful death can occur anytime one party is responsible for causing the death of another. It does not matter whether the death was accidental or intentional. If not for the liable party’s actions, your cherished family member may still be alive.
Your wrongful death lawyer in North Memphis, TN, at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, will need to carefully conduct an investigation so we can uncover the identities of those who caused your family member’s passing. Unfortunately, wrongful deaths can occur in nearly any type of accident or event. Some of the most common ways wrongful deaths happen include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Electric scooter accidents
- Autonomous vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog attacks
- Fatal injuries caused by defective devices
- Work accidents
- Factory accidents
- Construction accidents
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
If your family member passed away after suffering injuries in another type of accident which we did not include above, that does not mean you do not have grounds for a claim. The best way to explore your options is to discuss the specific details of your loved one’s death with a compassionate wrongful death attorney at our firm.
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How Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work
You may have the right to file a wrongful death claim under Tenn. Code § 20-5-106 if another party’s actions or inactions contributed to or caused your family member’s death. Wrongful death claims are a type of personal injury lawsuit brought forward on behalf of the decedent.
Depending on how your loved one’s death occurred, you might have a chance to file a claim with the insurance company first. In some cases, the defendant does not have insurance coverage or the insurance settlement offer does not sufficiently meet your family’s needs. When this happens, bringing your wrongful death action to trial may be in your family’s best interests to demand justice.
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Tennessee Wrongful Death Laws
Your wrongful death attorney in North Memphis, TN, will help you prepare for the claims process and ensure you understand the laws that could influence the outcome of your case. Although you may be anxious to get started, it is essential to be aware of these laws so you can prepare accordingly.
The Right to File a Claim
You may or may not have the right to file a wrongful death action when your loved one passes away due to someone else’s reckless or negligent actions. Tennessee wrongful death laws stipulate that only specific parties have the authority to take such action. Here are the parties who have the right to file a wrongful death claim, in order of precedence:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The decedent’s surviving children
- The decedent’s next of kin
- The executor of the decedent’s estate
- The decedent’s surviving parents, if the decedent was financially dependent on them at the time of their passing
While specific family members and entities have the authority to file a wrongful death claim, it is essential to note that any damages awarded will be paid to the decedent’s surviving family members.
Statute of Limitations
According to Tenn. Code §28-3-104, your civil lawsuit must be filed before the Tennessee statute of limitations for wrongful death claims expires. This means you will have just one year from the date of the decedent’s death to file your claim before your opportunity passes.
Unfortunately, you will lose your chance to recover the compensation your family might have otherwise deserved if your lawsuit is not filed within this timeframe. Fortunately, the sooner you get a North Memphis wrongful death lawyer working on your case, the less likely it is that the statute of limitations will negatively impact the outcome of your claim.
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How Families Are Compensated in a Wrongful Death Claim
Damages awarded in a wrongful death claim are paid to the decedent’s surviving family members. However, certain damages will also be awarded to the decedent’s estate.
Damages for the Decedent’s Estate
The decedent’s estate can recover compensation for the decedent’s economic and non-economic damages. This might include:
- Compensation for the decedent’s physical pain and suffering
- Restitution for the decedent’s diminished quality of life
- Compensation for the decedent’s emotional trauma and mental suffering
- Compensation for the decedent’s funeral and burial costs
- The decedent’s medical expenses
Damages for Surviving Family Members
The decedent’s surviving family members are also entitled to compensation for their damages. Examples of potentially recoverable damages could include:
- Loss of the decedent’s guidance, society, love, companionship, and care
- Loss of the decedent’s financial contribution, including an inheritance, lost wages, loss of employee benefits, and reduced earning potential
- The surviving family member’s loss of the decedent’s household contributions, including childcare, upbringing, and household upkeep and maintenance
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Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in North Memphis for Help Today
The wrongful death claims process can seem overwhelming after everything you have been through. However, when you have the right legal advocate on your side, you can trust your lawyer to ensure the at-fault party is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Reach out to an experienced North Memphis wrongful death attorney at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC to find out more about how you can make the liable party pay. Please complete our online contact form or call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.