If someone else’s negligent or intentional act cost the life of your close loved one, an Antioch wrongful death lawyer could help the legal beneficiaries and the deceased person’s estate go after money damages for their losses.
You have very little time to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. If you miss the deadline, Tennessee law could bar you from ever pursuing compensation.
A wrongful death lawyer can investigate the events that led up to the fatal injury, gather the evidence, determine who could be responsible, and pursue compensation. The Cochran Firm – Nashville, works hard to hold people responsible financially when they take a life through a mistake or on purpose. You can call us today at (615) 651-7451 for a free case evaluation.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Our state only allows specific people to file wrongful death lawsuits. Section 28-3-104 of the Tennessee Code states that only these people can usually file one of these actions:
- The decedent’s spouse;
- If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased person’s child or next of kin;
- Sometimes, the decedent’s parent can file the lawsuit; or
- The personal representative of the deceased person.
The strict rules about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit contain additional details that might be relevant to your situation. An Antioch wrongful death lawyer can determine who qualifies to take legal action in your circumstances.
Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Cases
The damages you can pursue will depend on who you are. Tennessee merges two types of claims that many other states separate. Our state’s hybrid approach to wrongful death allows people to use one lawsuit to pursue the losses of both the survivors and the decedent’s estate. Section 20-5-113 of the Tennessee Code allows successful plaintiffs to recover these damages in wrongful death actions:
- Survivors of the decedent may be able to receive compensation for their mental and physical suffering, loss of time and necessary expenses resulting from the personal injuries of the deceased, and in some cases loss of companionship.
The dollar value of these items can vary from one plaintiff to another. For example, a spouse might receive a different amount of compensation than a minor child.
The decedent’s estate can recover both economic and non-economic losses such as:
- The medical bills of the deceased person,
- The reasonable cost of the funeral and burial, and
- The decedent’s pain and suffering from the point of injury to the moment of death.
It can be confusing to try and calculate these monetary damages for each potential beneficiary. A wrongful death lawyer can assess your case and can help you understand any potential avenues towards compensation. Call The Cochran Firm – Nashville today at 615-651-7451 for a free consultation.
What We Have to Prove to Win a Wrongful Death Claim
When someone dies from an intentional illegal act, one must prove that the defendant committed the act without justification and that the conduct caused the decedent’s death. Most wrongful death lawsuits are for negligent acts.
In order to recover, the plaintiff must prove all four elements listed below to hold the defendant responsible for the negligent wrongful death.
Duty of Care
The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the decedent. For instance, everyone who operates a motor vehicle has a responsibility to drive carefully and obey the traffic laws.
Breach of the Duty
When a person’s conduct does not measure up to the legal standard, they have breached the duty of care. For example, a driver is operating his vehicle under the influence of alcohol and has a blood-alcohol level that exceeds the legal limit. The intoxicated driver is not paying attention to the road and swerved over into oncoming traffic. As such, the intoxicated driver crashes his vehicle into an oncoming car, killing the other driver. In this case, the intoxicated driver breached his duty to operate his vehicle in a safe and lawful manner.
In order to recover under this cause of action, the negligent act must have also caused the plaintiff’s injuries. For instance, in the above illustration, the intoxicated driver likely caused the collision and the other driver’s death. Specifically, the intoxicated driver was driving under the influence of alcohol and failed to maintain his lane, causing the fatal crash. t
You must have quantifiable losses to be eligible for compensation. Physical harm counts as measurable damages.
How We Handle Antioch Wrongful Death Claims
You do not have to be rich to get our help with a wrongful death case. We handle these cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that our legal fees would come out of any possible settlement proceeds or any award you may attain at the end of the matter. If we agree to take your case, you will not have to pay upfront legal fees.
When you experience the death of a close relative, you are likely to have economic hardship. The last thing that you need is to have to pay additional bills—like legal fees—out of pocket.
We strive to perform a thorough investigation of every wrongful death claim that we handle. We work hard to gather any evidence to build a case. We negotiate with the liability insurance company of a defendant to try to reach a fair settlement in the hopes of sparing our clients the need for a trial. If the insurer refuses to pay a fair amount, we may file a wrongful death lawsuit. You only have a limited amount of time under TN Code § 28-3-104.
Getting Legal Help for a Wrongful Death Case
At the Cochran Firm – Nashville, we are passionate about fighting hard to help people who have suffering at the hands of others. We strive to obtain compensation for our clients in hopes that they are able to embark on their new path after the loss of a loved one.
You do not have to go through the wrongful death claims process on your own. The insurance company is not allowed to contact you directly when you have a lawyer representing you. You can end the stress and the harassing telephone calls. We want to take this burden off of your shoulders.
If we handle your family’s wrongful death claim, we hope that it gives you the time to focus on healing from the emotional pain and loss of your loved one. You can be present for yourself and your family. An Antioch wrongful death lawyer can take care of the rest.
You can call us today at (615) 651-7451 for a no-cost consultation. There is no obligation.