Wrongful Death Lawyers
Tennessee residents experienced 6,101 accidental deaths in 2020, with 721 in Davidson County. The sudden nature and preventability of a wrongful death make it especially traumatic for families.
The compassionate Nashville personal injury attorneys at NST Law understand the emotional and financial stress wrongful death causes. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, we are passionate about helping families like yours find justice and pursue maximum compensation.
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What is a wrongful death in Nashville?
The state of Tennessee defines wrongful death as any death caused by the wrongful act, omission, or killing by another. This includes intentional and negligent acts. Negligence occurs when the following circumstances can be proven:
- The defendant breached a duty of care;
- The death would not have occurred except for the breach;
- The breach is the cause of death;
- The family has suffered damages because of the death.
Common types of wrongful death cases in Nashville
Wrongful death can occur in multiple situations, with motor vehicle accidents the most common. Negligence is almost always a factor.
Nashville drivers experienced 81 fatal passenger vehicle accidents in 2021. According to the Nashville Police Department, these numbers are rising. The main contributing factors to auto accidents are speeding, distracted driving, and driver impairment.
Nashville truck accidents are especially deadly because of their significant size and weight. They cost twenty drivers their lives in 2021. Truck drivers are professionals who owe others an extra duty of care. Truck owners, usually trucking companies, are liable for wrongful deaths caused by their drivers.
Motorcycle crashes in 2020 caused 151 fatalities across Tennessee. These accidents often occur when drivers fail to see motorcyclists because of distracted driving, speeding, or other careless acts.
Workplace Wrongful Death Injuries
Tennessee workers experienced 124 accidental deaths in 2019. When your loved one has been killed on the job, you have the right to receive workers’ compensation for medical expenses and partial wage reimbursement. You also may be able to recover damages from third parties, such as property owners and manufacturers of faulty equipment.
Additionally, wrongful death suits are also often the result of medical malpractice and nursing home abuse.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Nashville?
Wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed by the executor of the estate or personal representative, but actions may be brought by the next of kin, which includes a surviving spouse, child, or parent.
What types of compensation are available in a Nashville wrongful death lawsuit?
Your surviving family members may be able to recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages, depending on the facts of your case.
Economic damages are monetary losses, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and the pecuniary value of the decedent’s life. This includes loss of income or potential income.
Non-economic damages are non-monetary losses that include loss of parental guidance, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering of the deceased.
Non-economic damages are capped at $750,000, except in cases of minors whose parents are the victims. In these cases, the limit is $1,000,000.
Punitive damages are awarded as a punishment against a defendant who caused the death through malicious, intentional, fraudulent, or reckless behavior. Punitive damages are limited to twice the total compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.
How much compensation will my family receive?
The amount you receive will vary by the facts of your case. If the deceased is partly at fault, the compensation will be reduced proportionally to the share of fault. If the deceased’s share of fault is 50% or higher, compensation is barred. The victim’s age, financial status, and relationship with family members are also considered.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Tennessee?
Tennessee wrongful death laws require families to file most lawsuits within one year of the death. Due to the preparation needed to file a case, it is important to involve an experienced Nashville wrongful death attorney as early as possible.
How can NST Law help me with a wrongful death case?
If your family has lost a loved one because of negligent actions by the responsible party, you should never have to face the resulting complexities alone. At our law firm, we use our over 30 years of experience to offer personalized and compassionate legal representation during these difficult times.
Our dedication to our clients has helped us win millions in settlements and verdicts on their behalf. Below are a few of our wrongful death results:
- $6,301,713 on behalf of a 65-year-old killed in a truck accident
- $1,300,000 on behalf of a deceased fetus in a car accident
- $1,400,000 on behalf of a husband who was killed in a head-on collision and a seriously injured wife
The experienced legal team at our Nashville office also represents family members living throughout the metropolitan area including those in Murfreesboro, Franklin, Brentwood, and Lebanon.
Contact NST Law today for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Nashville wrongful death lawsuits
Below are answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing until and unless we win compensation on your beha
Families may file one action per wrongful death. If additional actions are filed, the additional action will be made a party to the first action. Regardless of which family member filed the action, the proceeds will be awarded to the estate and divided among the surviving spouse, children, and next of kin.
It is never advisable to speak with anyone representing that at-fault party, including the insurance company. The insurance company hopes to minimize your compensation. Anything you say could be used against you.
If the insurance company does contact you, never admit fault. Do not sign any documents, and do not discuss settlement offers. Instead, provide the name and contact information of your attorney.
This varies widely and is influenced by the complexity of your case, the amount of compensation you are seeking, and the willingness of the insurance company to compensate you fairly. If we negotiate a settlement, you will receive compensation faster than if the case goes to trial. Most cases settle without going to trial.
Wrongful death proceeds are distributed to the surviving spouse, children, next of kin, or to the executor of the estate for the benefit of the family. If any of the survivors are minor children, the court may order their share of the proceeds to be placed in a trust fund for their benefit.
Proceeds may be distributed as a lump sum or structured settlement, where the family receives a fixed amount every month or year. Upon payment of the claim, your attorney will apportion the award as ordered by the court.
Economic and non-economic damages are usually not taxable under IRS rules, but punitive damages may be taxed.
Tennessee §20-5-106 subsection (d) provides for the right of families to file a wrongful death action for a fetus at any stage of development.