East Ridge Wrongful Death Lawyer

When you lose a loved one due to someone’s negligence or reckless behavior, the consequences for the entire family are often devastating. No compensation could make up for losing your family member. However, an East Ridge wrongful death lawyer could help you seek out justice on behalf of your loved one against the parties responsible.

A compassionate personal injury lawyer with experience representing grieving families could ease your emotional stress during this difficult time and help you navigate each phase of the legal process.

East Ridge Wrongful Death Laws

Tennessee law treats wrongful death case as a type of personal injury claim when the injured party is no longer able to assert their own claim in court. Rather, the right to present a claim passes to specific members of the decedent’s family or a personal representative of his or her estate. Under Tennessee Code Annotated §20-5-106, wrongful death is defined as a death due to the omission, wrongful act, killing by, or injuries received from another person.

The law permits a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed even when criminal charges for homicide are filed or have already been filed for the death. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim, presented directly by the family of the decedent or the estate’s personal representative. Additionally, liability in wrongful death involves monetary damages only whereas responsibility in a criminal case could be expressed by probation, imprisonment, or other types of punishment.

Who Is Eligible to File an East Ridge Wrongful Death Claim?

Tennessee law permits specific members of the decedent’s family or a personal representative of the decedent’s estate to present a wrongful death claim. The initial right to file a wrongful death lawsuit rests with the surviving spouse of the decedent. If the decedent was not married, the following parties, in order of eligibility, would be able to present a claim:

  • The decedent’s surviving children or next of kin
  • The personal representative of the decedent’s estate
  • The decedent’s surviving parents or parent, if the decedent was a dependent at the time of his or her death
  • The administrator of the decedent’s estate, if the decedent was a dependent at the time of his or her death

Recovering Damages in an East Ridge Wrongful Death Case

In the past, wrongful death damages in the state of Tennessee were limited to the recovery the decedent could have secured had they lived. However, the laws have been amended to allow surviving members of the decedent’s family to recover specific types of damages for harm caused by the person’s untimely death. A wrongful death attorney in East Ridge could help the decedent’s family recover the following types of compensation:

  • Burial and funeral costs
  • Loss of earning potential during the period between the injury or illness and death
  • Loss of life enjoyment during that same period
  • Lost income, such as the value of benefits and income the decedent would likely have earned had they lived
  • Loss of the decedent’s companionship, society, and love
  • Loss of time, physical and emotional suffering, and reasonable costs incurred by the surviving family because of the individual’s death

Tennessee law mandates that all wrongful death claims be filed within one year of the decedent’s death. If the lawsuit is not filed by the designated timeline, the court could refuse to hear the case, and surviving family would lose their right to seek compensatory damages. A wrongful death lawyer in East Ridge could take swift and decisive legal action to ensure a claim is filed by the statutory deadline.

Speak with an East Ridge Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If you are nearing the filing deadline, it could be in your best interests to discuss your options with an experienced East Ridge wrongful death lawyer who would ensure your legal rights are preserved. Call today to arrange your initial case consultation.