Dynamics of a Nashville Wrongful Death Case

Wrongful death in Nashville and in Tennessee is when an individual dies as the result of somebody’s negligent or reckless or criminal behavior. It is called a tortious act; somebody died that otherwise would not have except for negligent behavior. In general, the wrongful death statute of limitations in Tennessee is one year. It may be in your best interest to pursue a case with an experienced wrongful death attorney before it is too late. A lawyer can help you understand the dynamics of a Nashville wrongful death case.

Difference from Other Personal Injury Cases

In some ways they are exactly like other injury cases in that there is a negligent or reckless act, a breach of that duty, and that act caused some type of injury. The injury in this case is death. The biggest difference is the horrible outcome in a wrongful death case that is somebody’s demise. Because of that, unlike a normal injury case, the biggest difference is who can bring it. Since the person is no longer alive, someone else has to pursue that claim on their behalf.

Leading Causes of Wrongful Death

The causes of wrongful death are the same as liable injury cases. There are car accidents and trucking accidents. Trucking accidents are more than the normal fender-bender-type accidents because of the weight and size of the vehicle. Malpractice cases lead to someone’s death.

There are a lot of construction accidents, because they can lead to serious injuries which can result in somebody dying, There are also a lot of nursing home cases. Nursing home cases often turn to be wrongful death cases because people in these nursing homes are often fragile and vulnerable. Whereas somebody stronger could withstand an injury and survive it, a lot of nursing home clients cannot.

What is the Statute of limitations for Survival Actions?

The statute of limitations for survival actions is one year in Tennessee. It is part of the wrongful death claim damages that are left with the survivors, so it is all wrapped together. It is a derivative of the wrongful death claim, so there is that one-year time limit.

Absence of a Will

It does not matter in Nashville or throughout Tennessee as to whether or not the decedent had a will because the proceeds from any wrongful death claim are going to pass under intestate laws. They are going to pass it like the decedent did not have a will. If someone sues a wrongful death case and has a spouse, everything goes to the spouse. If a person has a spouse and children, it goes to their spouse and children per our intestate laws. There are a couple of exceptions under the wrongful death act in Tennessee. If the spouse of the deceased abandoned them prior to death, they may forfeit their right to get any proceeds from the wrongful death. 

Treatment of Wrongful Death in Nashville

In Nashville, they are going to be the same in every other city in the State of Tennessee. Tennessee, encompassing Nashville, is different from a lot of other states. Every state will have laws that govern what damages are allowed in a wrongful death claim, who can bring the wrongful death claim, and how much time they have to bring the wrongful death claim.

Wrongful death cases can recover economic loss of the person, arising from the person who passed away. In Tennessee, except for a few exceptions, those emotional damages for the loss of a loved one are capped at $750,000. The punitive damages cap can be lifted if there was a crime involved or somebody intentionally falsified or destroyed records. There are a few other ways one can get beyond that $750,000-cap, but those are the core differences of a wrongful death claim in Nashville as opposed to other jurisdictions. If you are interested in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, it may be critical to understand the dynamics of a Nashville wrongful death cases.