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Tennessee Wrongful Death Laws

When a person dies because of the negligent actions or misconduct of another party in Tennessee, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party and recover financial compensation. A wrongful death claim is a special type of personal injury claim that enables individuals to file a lawsuit on behalf of their deceased loved one. 

Furthermore, if a wrongful death involves a homicide, a lawsuit can still be filed in court if the criminal charge has been filed or will be filed. However, the criminal case will be pursued by state prosecutors. 

The surviving spouse of the deceased person has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If there is no surviving spouse, then the right belongs to the surviving children or next of kin. If there are no surviving children or next of kin, then the right falls to the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate. 

If the deceased person relied on his/her parent(s) at the time of death, then the surviving parent(s) may file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased person was a dependent when he/she died, then the administrator of his/her estate may file a lawsuit. 

In Tennessee, surviving members can recover damages for any harm they suffered by the untimely passing. In the past, damages were limited to damages incurred by the deceased individual if he/she survived and recovered from the fatal injury. 

The following are the common damages a spouse or family member can recover from a wrongful death lawsuit in Tennessee: 

  • Funeral and burial costs 

  • Lost wages and benefits the deceased would've earned if he/she survived 

  • Loss of earning capacity 

  • Loss of enjoyment of life 

  • Pain and suffering

  • Loss of companionship and consortium 

According to the state’s statute of limitations, wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within one year of the date of the deceased individual’s death. 

Although no amount of money is worth the life of your loved one, you should hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and recover compensation to pay for all expenses related to his/her death. Our legal team at Eldridge and Cravens, PC provides compassionate and personalized legal representation to maximize your entitled damages and help you and your family grieve in peace. 

Contact us today at (865) 544-2010 for a free initial consultation and discuss your case.