Tennessee Wrongful Death Lawsuits Resulting from Auto Accidents
A Tennessee wrongful death lawsuit claims that the victim of an automobile accident was killed as the result of negligence on the part of the person or party being sued. Wrong death lawsuits also claim that the victim’s survivors, typically a spouse, children or parents, are entitled to monetary damages as a result of the other party’s negligence. When a loved one unexpectedly dies because of the negligence of another person, such as in a fatal automobile accident, the surviving family members are often understandably overcome with feelings of anger, grief and confusion. Because of this natural emotional response, it is important for family members who have lost a loved one to contact an experienced Tennessee wrongful death accident attorney to discuss their legal options.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim in Tennessee
Filing a wrongful death claim in Tennessee can be a complex process, which is why it is imperative that surviving family members enlist the help of a qualified Tennessee wrongful death lawyer following a fatal automobile accident. Wrongful death claims resulting from auto accidents typically consist of four elements:
- The death was caused, in whole or in part, by the conduct of the defendant
- The defendant was negligent or strictly liable for the victim’s death
- There is a surviving spouse, children, beneficiaries or dependents
- Monetary damages have resulted from the victim’s death
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in TN
Following an auto accident which results in the death of a loved one, it is extremely important that surviving family members take certain steps to ensure their wrongful death attorney has all the necessary information before taking any legal action. Among the things that should be collected are:
- The victim’s death certificate
- Any police reports associated with the auto accident
- Insurance documents
- Medical records
These elements will help determine what kind of damages the victim’s family members may be entitled to. Pecuniary, or financial, injury is the main measure of damages in a wrongful death action. Financial injuries can include the loss of support and lost prospect of inheritance, as well as incurred medical and funeral costs.
Insurance Coverage for Wrongful Death Accidents
Many people expect that, after losing a loved one in an auto accident, the at-fault party’s insurance will provide financial compensation for the surviving family members. Unfortunately, there are instances in which the amount of insurance coverage available is very low. In Tennessee, like every other state in the U.S., motorists are required to maintain a minimum amount of liability to cover property damages and medical expenses for the other party if they are found to be at-fault in an accident. In Tennessee, the minimum requirement for bodily injury liability is 25/50, which means the negligent party’s insurance company will pay a maximum of $25,000 for a single person, and a maximum of $50,000 for all persons for a single incident, regardless of how many people are involved. Unfortunately, despite state regulations, many Tennessee drivers fail to obtain adequate insurance coverage for their vehicles. This means that if your family member is killed in an accident caused by an uninsured or inadequately insured driver, you may not be able to receive any financial compensation from the negligent party without filing a wrongful death claim.
Contact a Tennessee Wrongful Death Attorney for Help
If you believe you have a valid claim for the wrongful death of a family member, consult a TN wrongful death attorney to discuss your legal options. Your claim should be handled by a professional so that you and your family members can focus on dealing with the resulting consequences of losing a loved one in a Tennessee auto accident. By hiring a qualified Tennessee wrongful death attorney, the wrongful death victim’s surviving family members can feel confident that their wrongful death claim will be represented in a professional and effective manner. Following a Tennessee auto accident in which a loved one is killed, surviving family members should not try to navigate the legal process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit on their own. Contact a TN wrongful death lawyer today and collect the financial compensation you deserve.