When a death is considered wrongful it is aptly termed wrongful death. If you believe someone you love has been the victim of wrongful death it is important to speak with an experienced Murfreesboro, Smyrna, or La Vergne, Tennessee personal injury attorney, though learning the basics about how a death is considered wrongful can also be helpful.
According to Tennessee Code Annotated section 20-5-106, wrongful death is the wrongful act, omission, or killing by another. Simply put, wrongful death is the death of a person caused by the negligent, intentional, or wrongful conduct of another person or entity.
The State of Tennessee regards wrongful death as a type of personal injury. Clearly, the person injured is not able to file suit on his or her own death, so this duty is generally left to the next of kin. It is important to note that wrongful death is a civil matter. This is relevant because a wrongful death claim is entirely separate from a homicide case, even if they are both the result of the same death. A wrongful death case is filed by the family or personal representative of the deceased in civil court whereas a homicide case is filed by the district attorney’s office in criminal court. The primary difference between these two different types of claims is that a civil claim, in this case wrongful death, can only be punished with a monetary award. A criminal matter has the potential to lead to the defendant facing fines and jail time.
When filing a wrongful death claim, you generally have the right to ask for compensation for:
– Burial and funeral expenses.
- Loss of the deceased’s person’s love and companionship.
- Lost wages the deceased would have probably earned if he or she had not died.
- Physical and mental suffering incurred by the family as a result of the death.
- Loss of the ability of the deceased to earn an income between the time of injury or illness and the time of death.
- Loss the deceased’s enjoyment of life between the time he or she was ill or injured and died.
- Mental anguish the deceased suffered as a result of the fatal illness or injury.
Because the State of Tennessee has a statute of limitation of one year after the date of the wrongful death, it is important not to waste too much time. As soon as you have reason to believe that your loved one died as the result of someone else’s actions, you need to consult with a Murfreesboro, Tennessee wrongful death attorney.