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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Tennessee?

A loved one's death is never easy, but losing family members in accidents and incidents that were caused by someone else's negligence is a particularly heartbreaking situation. Hundreds of thousands of people die each year in the US in circumstances that are grounds for a wrongful death case- but what are the most common causes?


The following guide to wrongful death causes in Tennessee covers what counts as a legal wrongful death- and what are the most common reasons it happens in the state. Including exactly What is wrongful death?


What Does Wrongful Death Mean Legally?

What Does Wrongful Death Mean Legally?


In the legal sense, a wrongful death is a fatality that occurs due to the action or inaction of another party who owed a duty of care to the victim.


To prove fault in wrongful death cases, a person must be able to show that:

  • The defendant had a duty to perform that impacted the deceased.

  • They failed in some way to adequately perform their duty.

  • Their wrongful act caused the death or holds the majority of the blame (more than 51% or more) for the incident or accident that led to the fatality.

Without evidence proving these three points, it may not be possible to hold someone accountable or liable for a wrongful death claim. It is important to work with a trusted and experienced Tennessee wrongful death law firm to avoid complications and ensure the negligence that led to someone's death does not go unanswered.


Wrongful death lawsuits are part of the personal injury claim family- but only apply when a person dies of the injuries or illness caused by another's actions.


What Are the Common Causes of Death in Tennessee Wrongful Death Claims?


Motor Vehicle Accidents


Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents are some of the biggest killers in Tennessee, with many crashes leading to fatalities and wrongful death claims.


If a person is killed in a crash caused by someone else (drunk driving, reckless driving, speeding, etc.), their family could file a wrongful death claim. There may be a crossover in some cases with criminal charges, but the two are not connected as far as damages are concerned.


Medical Malpractice


Arguably the most commonly seen cause for a Tennessee wrongful death case is medical malpractice, although the lawsuits are sometimes filed differently.


A wrongful death lawsuit can be claimed for almost any type of medical treatment or care received if it played an integral part in a person's death. Incorrect treatment, wrong dosages of medication, neglect in nursing homes, surgical errors, and missed diagnoses are just some of the things that may warrant a wrongful death action.


Workplace Accidents


Another possible cause of wrongful death in Tennessee is an accident in the workplace, most often construction accidents or related injuries. If an employer fails to provide a safe environment and an accident happens as a result, it could be a wrongful death.


Slip and fall accidents, unsecured objects, electrocutions, and exposure to harmful substances are some examples of work-related wrongful death causes.


Dangerous or Defective Products


Although not as common as the previous three causes, dangerous or defective products are sometimes the reason for a person's wrongful death in Tennessee. Some fatal accidents happen because machinery fails, things break, and proper warning is not provided for the dangers of using the product.


How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work?


Regardless of the cause of death, there are several vital steps in any wrongful death claim in Tennessee.


Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?


It falls to the surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit to claim compensation for the loss of their loved one. Under Tennessee's wrongful death laws, only certain family members can file the claim, and there is a specified order in which people have the chance to do so.


The list is as follows:

  1. The deceased person's spouse

  2. Children of the deceased or next of kin

  3. The deceased person's parents (natural parents, as long as the victim was not legally abandoned or surrendered)

  4. The adoptive parents of the deceased (if they were a dependent at the time of death)

A personal representative for the deceased's estate can file the suit on behalf of the family member with permission.


What Compensation is Potentially Available to Victims' Families?


The range of damages family members can claim in a wrongful death lawsuit is vast, including (but not limited to):

  • Medical bills for any treatment received between the accident or incident and the individual passing away that related to the injury or illness.

  • The pain and suffering of the deceased before their death, and the subsequent mental anguish, pain, and suffering of the surviving family members.

  • Lost wages and loss of future financial support (if the claimant was financially dependent on the deceased)

  • Funeral expenses and burial costs

  • Loss of companionship for the surviving spouse

There is no cap in Tennessee on how much compensation can be awarded for economic damages in a wrongful death claim, but non-economical damages are usually capped at $750,000.


How Can a Tennessee Wrongful Death Attorney Help?


A wrongful death claim is usually more complex than a personal injury lawsuit, and because settlements are often high, it is difficult to handle proceedings without the guidance and assistance of an experienced and dedicated attorney.


They can maximize compensation claims, secure evidence, and fight a case on behalf of the clients to ensure they get the justice their deceased loved one deserves.


Common Tennessee Wrongful Death Causes Summed Up

Common Tennessee Wrongful Death Causes Summed Up


Many incidents can lead to a wrongful death suit, but the most common in Tennessee are motor vehicle accidents and medical malpractice. Anyone who has lost a family member due to the negligence of another who failed to fulfill their duty of care should speak to a wrongful death attorney about filing a claim.


Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Today


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys in Nashville are experts in Tennessee law, personal injury cases, and wrongful death lawsuits. They go to war for Nash victims and their surviving family members to seek compensation and justice, standing side by side with people facing the hardest times of their lives and leaving nothing on the table as they fight for what is right.


Contact the team today for a free consultation to learn more about filing a wrongful death.

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