Losing a loved one is never easy. If you believe the loss of your loved one was caused by the wrongful conduct of another party, accepting the loss can be even more difficult. No amount of compensation is worth the loss of a loved one; however, if you are a surviving family member you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the wrongful party which will provide you and your family with compensation as well as hold the negligent party accountable. First, however, you must determine if you are entitled to bring a wrongful death claim in Tennessee. Generally speaking, if the decedent was married, his or her spouse has priority in filing a wrongful death claim in Tennessee. If the spouse does not want to have priority, he or she can waive that right. Also, the courts may deny a spouse’s right to bring a wrongful death claim if he or she is not competent or exhibits other extenuating circumstances, such as being in the midst of a divorce from the deceased at the time of the decedent’s death. If the decedent does not have a surviving spouse or that spouse does not have the right of priority, the children of the decedent have the right to file a wrongful death claim. If the children are minors the court can appoint a guardian for the purpose of filing the wrongful death claim. In the case of the decedent being a minor or an unmarried adult with no children, the parents have the right to file a wrongful death claim. If the parents of the decedent are divorced and the child was a minor, the parent with primary custody has the right to file the claim. If the decedent left behind a valid Last Will and Testament naming an executor or executrix, that person has the right to file a wrongful death claim. In the event that the decedent did not have a Will, anyone may request the court to be appointed as an administrator of the estate and file a wrongful death claim in the name of the estate. Only one wrongful death case may be brought in the State of Tennessee. If more than one party files suit, the court will consolidate the cases and will determine who will be in control of the litigation As you can see, filing a wrongful death suit is far from simple. If you have lost a loved one to what you believe was a wrongful death, you need to contact a skilled Murfreesboro, Tennessee personal injury attorney today to determine what legal options you have available..
Stan BennettStan’s practice at Bennett & Michael focuses on Personal Injury, Criminal Defense, Divorce, and Family related matters. He also practices in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, in Washington D.C.