Marion County Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful death claims present some of the most challenging a plaintiff will pursue in court. When a loved one dies, securing a financial future should be the least of your stress. Moreover, you need to focus on the well-being of yourself and your loved ones after suffering a devastating loss. A Marion County wrongful death lawyer would be able to assist an individual throughout the process.

Utilizing the legal services of an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help put your mind at ease, knowing that you can be represented by an experienced and skilled attorney in a court of law.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

When the negligence of an individual, business, or other entity causes a death, there is the potential for a wrongful death lawsuit. Negligence has a unique meaning under the law. Under principles of tort law, negligence refers to the failure to conform one’s conduct to the standard of care a reasonably prudent person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.

While the specificities of the law vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, depending on how court cases were resolved over the years, the gist of a negligence lawsuit boils down to the following: an injured person who did not cause their own injury should be entitled to some type of recovery, usually measured in terms of monetary damages. A Marion County wrongful death lawyer understands this and would fight for an individual so they can receive compensation.

Elements of a Negligence Lawsuit

The following elements must generally be proven for a personal injury plaintiff to secure financial compensation.

  • Duty  – This is a legally enforceable relationship between two or more parties. For example, the pilot of an airplane owes a duty to the passengers of the plane to operate the vessel in a manner that a reasonably prudent pilot would under similar circumstances
  • Breach – A breach occurs when there is a failure to exercise the standard of care, or level of expected conduct. Using the same example as above, the pilot would breach the duty owed to the passengers of the airplane by ingesting illegal drugs or alcohol before taking flight, materially deviating from standard flying protocol, or intentionally crashing the plane
  • Causation – Meaning harm or injuries were actually caused by the defendant, and not some other party. For instance, if an individual on the airline died due to toxic shock syndrome before any negligence or other wrongdoing by the defendant, unbeknownst to the rest of the passengers on the airline, then the pilot should not be responsible for that individual’s death because the pilot’s conduct had nothing to do with that specific passenger’s demise
  • Damages -A plaintiff must show the actions of the defendant resulted in damages to the plaintiff, for example in funeral expenses, burial costs, loss of earnings capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of society and companionship

Additionally, under Tennessee Code §20-5-106, the plaintiff in a wrongful death case must prove that the injury is deemed a death, and that this death was caused by the wrongful act, omission, or killing at the hands of another. Since the plaintiff is deceased and cannot bring their own action to court, the legislature permits certain family members or personal representatives of the deceased to bring a claim. If the deceased individual did not leave behind a surviving spouse, the children, next of kin, personal representative, surviving parent, or administrator of the decedent’s estate would likely have standing to file suit, depending upon rules of succession and facts in that case.

Contact a Marion County Wrongful Death Attorney Today

A wrongful death lawsuit has a short deadline for filing. Under Tennessee Code §28-3-104(a)(1), the representative or family member of the deceased has only one year to file suit, or risk the claim being time-barred forever. If you would like to pursue a suit on behalf of a deceased family member, contact a Marion County wrongful death lawyer today to begin researching your case.