Knoxville Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, accidental deaths occur each day. People are killed in fatal car accidents, workers pass away on the job, patients die in hospitals, and elderly residents pass away in nursing homes. Many wrongful deaths result from negligence and are preventable. All states, including Tennessee, have enacted wrongful death statutes to allow a claim to be brought if someone dies as a result of a negligent act or omission that would have entitled the deceased to bring a personal injury claim if he or she had survived. If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence, call our office today to speak with a Knoxville wrongful death lawyer. Our attorneys have obtained more than $1.5 billion in recovery for injured parties and their loved ones. We are the largest personal injury law firm based in Tennessee.Asserting a Wrongful Death Claim
Tennessee law defines a wrongful death as one caused by “injuries received from another” or by “the wrongful act, omission, or killing by another.” This broad definition includes most personal injury causes of action, including auto accidents, truck accidents, product liability, nursing home abuse, and medical malpractice. Under Tennessee law, certain family members (usually the spouse, children, or parents) or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death action.
In a Tennessee car or truck accident case, the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit in court is one year from the date of incident. There are specific rules in medical malpractice and nursing home neglect cases. A wrongful death claim must be settled or filed with the appropriate court within the relevant statute of limitation, or the surviving family members may forever lose the opportunity to seek recovery.
An experienced wrongful death attorney in the Knoxville area can advise you as to whether you have standing to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of your loved one. You should consult with legal representation as soon as possible following your loved one’s death, as these claims can be complex and take time to prepare for court.
The success of a wrongful death case often hinges on whether negligence can be established against the defendant(s). The relevant standard of care can differ, depending on the type of claim being asserted. For instance, proving a car or truck driver’s fault may entail demonstrating that the defendant driver failed to act reasonably under the circumstances or drive safely. This can be accomplished through witness testimony. In a medical malpractice case, however, it is necessary for an expert witness to testify in order to prove liability.Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Action
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim for monetary damages. On behalf of the deceased, claimants may seek funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and loss of enjoyment of life during the time from injury to death, and mental anguish prior to death. Certain family members may also be able to seek recovery for their own harm as a result of the death, including compensation for lost wages and future earnings of the deceased, physical and mental suffering, and loss of the deceased’s love and companionship.One of the most common situations in which a wrongful death claim may arise is a fatal car accident. Knox County residents likely know that the roads in this area are even more dangerous than the Tennessee average in most respects. There were 67 fatal accidents in Knoxville in 2013-14, costing 73 lives and involving 109 vehicles. In every year since 2010, Knoxville has surpassed the Tennessee average in terms of fatal accidents per 100,000 residents and vehicles involved in fatal accidents per 100,000 residents. Whether you are driving down a street like University Avenue or an interstate like I-275 or I-40, therefore, it is critical to be alert to your surroundings and any hazards that arise.
If you have lost a spouse, child, parent, or close relative due to medical malpractice or some other negligent act, you may be allowed to file a wrongful death action on behalf of your loved one. Let us help you during this trying time. Call Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz toll-free at 800-LAW-4004 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with one of our injury attorneys. Our firm represents clients across Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Kentucky, including in Jackson, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Nashville, Caruthersville, Hayti, Oxford, Tupelo, Starkville, Grenada, Columbus, Meridian, Jackson, Little Rock, and Jonesboro. NST is the way to go for people who need a wrongful death lawyer in Knoxville.