Even the safest drivers face potential risks on the road that may lead to wrongful death.
According to Tennessee Department of Safety statistics, 1,327 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in 2021. The victim’s families face a life-altering situation that comes with challenges and many questions.
1. Who can file a claim?
In Tennessee, specific family members have a right to file a claim. If the victim has no surviving spouse, the children or next of kin of the deceased may pursue a lawsuit. The parents may also file if the victim depended on them as well as an executor of an estate. Any recovered damages would go to the estate.
2. What burden of proof does the state require?
The state considers a wrongful death as one caused by an unlawful act. Although some get labeled as intentional, most vehicular deaths happen due to negligence. Proving negligence requires evidence that the responsible party willfully, knowingly or recklessly committed an act that had the potential to result in injury or death.
3. What might compensation look like?
In Tennessee, a person can file a wrongful death civil suit regardless of how the criminal case went. The damages received vary from case to case. In general, people can expect compensation to cover burial and funeral costs. Above that, the person filing the claim may seek additional damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship or care.
The loss of a loved one changes everything, especially an unexpected death due to the careless actions of another person.