Cummings Law discusses the damages that are available in a wrongful death claim.

No amount of money will ever replace your loved one. However, the only way the courts have of compensating a family for wrongful death is with a monetary award for damages. A Tennessee wrongful death attorney can help families who have suffered a tragic loss seek maximum compensation for their damages by filing a wrongful death claim.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Under Tennessee’s wrongful death statutes, wrongful death is typically defined as the death of a person caused by injuries sustained as the result of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. The death may arise from a variety of incidents including:

  • Traffic accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Intentional acts or assault
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Dog attacks
  • Boating accidents
  • Product liability claims (injuries sustained because of a defective product)
  • Workplace accidents
  • Premises liability claims (slips, trips, falls, or injuries on another party’s property)
  • Sports or recreational activities
  • School activities or functions

A wrongful death claim is an action by the deceased person’s survivors for compensation of certain damages they sustained because of the death of their loved one.

Damages Available

In Tennessee, a person’s survivors may recover compensation for a variety of damages. If you file a wrongful death claim or a wrongful death lawsuit, you may receive compensation for:

  • The medical expenses paid to treat your loved one from the date of injury through the date of death;
  • The costs related to your loved one’s cremation, funeral, and burial;
  • Loss of benefits and income that would have been earned or received by your loved one had it not been for the untimely death;
  • The pain and suffering your loved one endured from the time of the injury through the date of death;
  • Loss of consortium, companionship, love, affection, support, and guidance experienced by the survivors; and,
  • Punitive damages in cases involving certain circumstances, such as gross negligence or intentional acts.

Are There Caps or Limits to the Amount of Compensation Awarded in Wrongful Death Claims?

For any claims arising on or after October 1, 2011, there is a cap on the amount of compensation survivors may receive for non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim. The cap does not apply to the amount of compensation a family may receive for medical expenses and loss of income. The limit applies to the amount of money the family may receive for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, companionship, love, affection, support, and guidance. The cap on noneconomic damages is $1 million. The $1 million cap only applies if the person had minor children at the time of death. Otherwise, the cap on non-economic damages is $750,000.

The punitive damage cap, if applicable, is $500,000 or two times the compensatory damages, whichever figure is greater.

Contact a Tennessee Wrongful Death Attorney for More Information

Tennessee’s statute of limitations restricts the time to file a claim for wrongful death. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Cummings Law today. Our experienced Tennessee wrongful death attorneys can evaluate the case and explain the family’s legal rights and options for recovering compensation for the damages and losses caused by another party’s negligence and wrongdoing.

Posted in: Wrongful Death