Franklin Wrongful Death Lawyer
A person who dies because of another’s action or failure to act suffered a wrongful death. While no amount of money can make up for the loss, the person’s family may sue the offending party to recover compensation on behalf of the deceased.
During this time, a Franklin wrongful death lawyer can provide survivors legal representation that is considerate of the loss and aggressive in achieving monetary damages. An experienced personal injury attorney has worked with wrongful death cases and has a record of achieving the proper compensation for families.Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
Every legal case has specific elements that must be demonstrated in order to recover damages. In the case of a wrongful death claim, or lawsuit, your Franklin wrongful death lawyer will need to prove three elements.
- The defendant owed you a duty of care,
- There was a breach of that duty, or it was not fulfilled, and
- The breach caused harm.
In a wrongful death case, the death of the decedent is an automatic form of damages for which compensation is available, as long as the other elements can be established. Surviving family members may also be able to seek damages for losses they endured because of the death.Damages in Franklin Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death lawsuits seek compensation for monetary and personal losses, called damages. The surviving family may claim all medical care and hospital bills incurred as well as reasonable funeral and burial expenses. Also allowed are the loss of working and investment income the decedent could have earned over a lifetime of working. The value of homemaking also can be included.
The death caused the decedent’s family to suffer the loss of a loved one. These damages include loss of spousal affection and companionship, the parental guidance to children the decedent would have provided, the physical and emotional pain, and suffering caused by the death and the loss of life’s joys between the time of the injury and death.
If the act that caused the death was intentional or irresponsible, the survivors may claim punitive damages, which are meant to punish the offender. However, Tennessee law limits these damages to $750,000, but if the decedent was of minor age, younger than 18, the cap is raised to $1,000,000.Principle Causes of Wrongful Deaths
Wrongful deaths most often happen in traffic collisions with cars and commercial trucks and in bicycle crashes that involve distracted, aggressive, or impaired drivers. Essentially, they can be the result of any scenario where a person’s negligence causes an accident.
Other causes are workplace mishaps due to uncorrected hazards or improper procedures, medical malpractice in surgeries, or a misdiagnosis. Products that have a design or manufacturing failure that makes it dangerous also cause deaths.Criminal activity is also a cause, but the crime is legally separate from the wrongful death. Even if a criminal defendant is acquitted of murder or manslaughter, a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages can prevail. Civil cases require a level of proof that is less stringent than criminal cases. Crimes require proof beyond a reasonable doubt but the civil law’s test is the less strict by a preponderance of the evidence.Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in Franklin, Tennessee?
In general, the personal representative who has been appointed to handle the estate of the deceased person will be given the right to file a wrongful death claim in Tennessee. In the event that no such person has yet been appointed, one of two things might happen: the court will appoint a personal representative, or the descendants legal heirs can take action. The legal heirs typically includes the surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings. When a case involves the death of a child, the parents will likely file the suit. In the event that none of these people survived the decedent, a surviving sibling or extended family member may file a case. A wrongful death lawyer in Franklin, Tennessee can help you to understand who can file your claim.Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Case
The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim in Tennessee is one year from the date of death. In certain cases, the statute may be tolled. For example, if the decedent suffered a disability, or in other words did not immediately die from the injuries, but died later because of the injuries, a Franklin, TN wrongful death lawyer might pursue a wrongful death case.How Can a Franklin Wrongful Death Attorney Help?
If you have a loved one whose death was the result of the negligence of another, contact a Franklin wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible, so they can examine all aspects of your case and help you to decide the best legal options going forward.
Contact an attorney today for a complementary case evaluation without obligation, to ensure that Tennessee’s one-year statute of limitations, beginning the date of the death, does not expire and prevent the case from proceeding.