We all hope to spend as much of our lives as possible with the people we love. A healthy and long life benefits not just the person living it but also the people in their family and community. The sad reality is that all too often, people leave our lives earlier than they should through no fault of their own.
Individuals and businesses can cause the death of others through negligence, defaults and outright misconduct. Under Tennessee law, such situations open up the responsible party to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death claims are a specialized subset of personal injury claims. They allow people to seek justice and financial compensation through the civil courts for behavior that causes a loss for their family. Who has the right to file such a lawsuit in Tennessee?
Tennessee wrongful death laws empower family members
Those with the strongest claim to file a wrongful death lawsuit include the closest and most dependent members of someone’s family. A spouse has the strongest right under Tennessee law. Children can also take legal action when a deceased parent does not have a surviving spouse.
If the person who dies has neither spouse nor children, then their parents can potentially pursue a wrongful death claim. After that, the authority passes to their next of kin. In cases where there are no family members to bring the claim, a representative of someone’s estate can file a civil lawsuit related to a wrongful death.
Those considering such action should act in a timely manner, as Tennessee state law imposes a one-year statute of limitations on wrongful death filing that begins counting down on the date of someone’s death.
Why should you consider a wrongful death lawsuit?
When you already have to endure the stress of a tragedy, the idea of involving court proceedings on top of that can be distasteful at first. However, with the right assistance, pursuing justice through the Tennessee civil courts doesn’t have to burden you or other members of your family.
Learning more about the basics of wrongful death claims in Tennessee can help you hold someone accountable for their actions and protect your family during this difficult time.