Brentwood Wrongful Death Lawyer
The unexpected loss of a loved one is always devastating. However, if your loved one died because of someone else’s criminal or negligent act, your grief could be compounded by anger.
Although money could never make up for your loss, pursuing monetary damages against the person who caused this unexpected loss could be helpful to you and your family. To do this, you could benefit from working with one of our compassionate injury attorneys. A Brentwood wrongful death lawyer with the Miller Injury Firm could explain your options and provide steady support throughout the process.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
When someone dies because someone else’s behavior was careless or criminal, Tennessee law says certain family members can sue for damages. It is important to understand that while a prosecutor might bring a criminal charge against the person who killed your loved one, the criminal matter is separate from the wrongful death lawsuit.
If the deceased person left a surviving spouse, the spouse usually is the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the surviving spouse cannot be the plaintiff if the spouses were separated or were not living together in the two years before death.
If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased’s children could bring the wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased person was dependent on a parent at the time of death, the parent could bring the lawsuit. In most other cases, the administrator of the deceased’s estate would sue for wrongful death. An experienced Brentwood attorney could advise a family who the appropriate plaintiff would be in a particular wrongful death case.
Distribution of Damages
Regardless of who the plaintiff is in a wrongful death lawsuit, the law decides how to distribute the damages that a court might award. If the deceased person left a surviving spouse but no children, the spouse gets all of the proceeds from the lawsuit. If there are surviving children but no spouse, the children may divide the money equally between themselves.
If the deceased person left both spouse and children, they divide the proceeds from the lawsuit. A surviving spouse must receive at least one-third of the award. The remainder is split between the surviving children.
Recovering Damages After a Fatal Accident
Damages in wrongful death cases combine money that the deceased would be eligible to receive had they lived, and money to compensate the family for their loss of the decedent.
The plaintiff could receive compensation for the deceased’s medical expenses between the date of their injury and their date of death. The plaintiff’s damages could also include income the decedent lost if they were unable to work after their injury. In addition, plaintiffs could expect compensation for the deceased person’s pain and suffering, their lost ability to enjoy life between the date of injury until their death, and their funeral and burial expenses.
A plaintiff could also collect damages for the loss of the loved one’s financial contribution, which is called the pecuniary value of their life. A court calculates that value by determining how much money the deceased person would have earned if they had lived to their expected lifespan and subtracting their projected living expenses during that time.
If the plaintiff is a surviving spouse or child, they could seek damages for the loss of the deceased person’s love and companionship. Depending on the circumstances, a plaintiff could seek damages for mental anguish related to the death of their loved one. A capable untimely passing attorney in Brentwood could suggest which damages a family might seek in their unique situation.
Caps on Damages
Tennessee Code Annotated §29-39-102 limits non-economic damages to $750,000 in most cases. If the deceased left a minor child, the limit could be $1,000,000.
Depend on a Compassionate Brentwood Wrongful Death Attorney
After suddenly losing a loved one, it could be difficult to go through the civil process. A Brentwood wrongful death lawyer could handle all the logistics involved in bringing your claim, freeing you to concentrate on helping your family move through this difficult time. Call today to schedule a consultation with a member of the Miller Injury Firm team.