There is no amount of financial compensation large enough to account for the harm caused by a life unfairly cut short. However, pursuing fair financial recovery from the person responsible for your family member’s premature death can be essential to protect your financial security in the future. A wrongful death claim could also help you gain a sense of accountability and move forward from this tragedy.
A Cleveland wrongful death lawyer could provide dedicated and compassionate assistance throughout every stage of your legal proceedings. Even if you are not sure what course of action best suits your family’s needs at this sensitive time, a private consultation with a personal injury attorney could help you understand your options and make an informed decision.
Unlike other forms of personal injury litigation, wrongful death claims are not meant to seek compensation for the person directly affected by someone’s negligent or intentional misconduct. Instead, these claims are meant to reimburse surviving family members of a person who lost their life in an accident. A wrongful death claim accounts for the damages those family members have experienced and will experienced because of their loved one’s death.
Recoverable damages in this sort of case can be either economic or non-economic in nature. Eligible family members may seek restitution for:
Importantly, Tennessee Code §29-39-102 sets a cap of $750,000 on recovery for non-economic harm in wrongful death cases. If the deceased person had a dependent minor child, the cap is raised to $1,000,000.
In accordance with TN Code §29-39-104, courts that elect to impose punitive damages against an egregiously negligent or knowingly malicious defendant cannot award more than the greater of $250,000 or twice the value of economic and non-economic damages combined. A Cleveland wrongful death attorney could further explain these caps and how they may affect a particular claim.
Under TN Code §20-5-106, the right to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased accident victim initially belongs to the decedent’s spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the right to file suit passes to other immediate family members and related parties in the following priority order:
If an estate administrator or executor is the one who files a wrongful death case, any damages they recover would go to the decedent’s surviving family members. A wrongful death lawyer in the area could answer further questions about the legal nuances of these types of claims.
Pursuing financial compensation after a loved one’s death is a difficult undertaking in the wake of immense tragedy. While a civil damage award or private settlement cannot erase all the harm done to you and your family, it could help protect your quality of life moving forward.
Schedule a consultation with a Cleveland wrongful death lawyer and get the legal guidance you need in these difficult times. Call today for a private meeting.