Losing a loved one is always painful, but the realization that a loved one’s death was avoidable can be paralyzing. This is why it is crucial to have the support of professional, caring attorneys committed to handling complex legal issues when dealing with a death resulting from another’s negligent conduct. Negligent individuals, companies and even governmental agencies may be held liable for damages under wrongful death claims, within certain parameters. In such cases, close relatives may be entitled to compensation under Tennessee law.
Compensation can include such things as reimbursement of funeral costs, expenses for medical treatment, lost wages, or intangible costs, such as mental anguish and loss of love and affection. If the conduct that caused the death of an individual was particularly reprehensible, punitive damages may also be available to punish the wrongdoer so that such atrocities do not occur again. Claims for wrongful death are often partnered with other claims relating to nursing home abuse, product liability, negligence and medical malpractice.
Because Tennessee has a relatively short timeframe within which a case can be filed compared to other States, immediate consultation with an attorney is essential when considering whether to pursue a wrongful death case. Hesitation to discuss your story with a legal professional could mean the loss of your right to file a claim. Thus, even if you do not call our firm, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Should you chose Jehl Law Group, one of our accomplished attorneys will be happy to set up a free consultation where you can privately discuss in a quiet, comfortable setting what happened to your loved one. Once provided with all of the facts, they will be able to advise you of your rights. Such cases are handled by our firm on a contingency fee basis. If we do not recover for you, you do not owe us anything.
There are certain things that we look for in pursuing an action under the Tennessee wrongful death statute:
- Was the death caused by an action or inaction on the part of the potential defendant;
- Was there negligence on the part of the potential defendant;
- Was there emotional or financial injury to the surviving family member(s)?
Damages awarded from wrongful death generally fall into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Assessing the value of economic damages invariably requires the expertise of an actuary and/or economist to calculate the earning capacity lost, in addition to future monetary value of services that would have been provided by the deceased. Non-economic damages vary depending on the amount allowed by the State. (Tennessee currently limits non-economic damages to the amount of $750,000.00.) Punitive damages are also dependent on the severity of negligence and injury sustained as a result of the negligence. Tennessee law also places restrictions on punitive damages awarded in wrongful death cases. Ongoing consultation with an experienced attorney will keep you up-to-date on what to expect in the event that your case goes to trial.
A significant number of undisclosed or confidential settlements have been recorded in Tennessee wrongful death lawsuits involving nursing homes in recent years. One involved a nursing home in which 20 residents died in a fire. Because of this lawsuit, Tennessee has enacted laws regarding safeguards to protect nursing home residents from fire hazards. Hundreds of undisclosed claims similar to this one have been settled from the wrongful deaths of defenseless elders. Other settlements have significantly compensated close relatives of those damaged by medical malpractice, product liability and/or preventable accidents that impacted their entire families.
While no money can ever replace the loss of a loved one, Jehl Law Group is committed to fighting for any and all possible compensation owed to our clients. Our overriding goal is to provide closure for the wrongs done.