Filing a wrongful death lawsuit may seem intimidating. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can hold the person responsible for cutting your loved one’s life short liable for his or her negligence and wrongdoing. A Tennessee wrongful death attorney can help you evaluate your legal options as you seek justice for your family. Therefore, consulting the right attorney makes a huge difference.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Tennessee?
“Standing” is the legal term used to refer to a party who has the legal right to bring a lawsuit in court. A lack of standing typically results in the lawsuit being dismissed. Tennessee’s wrongful death statutes specifically state who has standing to bring a wrongful death action. In other words, the issue of standing is important and requires an attorney’s insight.
In almost all cases, the surviving spouse of the deceased has the first right to bring a wrongful death action. Surviving spouse refers to a wife, husband, or domestic partner under Tennessee law. However, if the couple was not married, the surviving “spouse” does not have standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, ex-spouses also do not have standing to file a wrongful death claim.
Children of the Deceased
If the deceased person was not married, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit passes to the deceased’s surviving children. For example, adult children can file a claim on behalf of their deceased parent. If the surviving children are minors, a guardian or court-appointed representative may file the claim on the children’s behalf. The proceeds of the wrongful death action would likely be held in trust and used for the benefit of the children until they reach 18 years of age. Also, an experienced attorney will be able to help with the trust process.
Parents of the Deceased and Next of Kin
If the person did not have a surviving spouse or any children, the parents of the deceased may then have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, in the absence of surviving parents, the law provides that the deceased’s next of kin may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. For example, “next of kin” can refer to a person’s siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Basically, a non-family member will not qualify as next of kin.
Personal Representatives of an Estate
In some cases, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a lawsuit on behalf of the heirs of the estate. Any proceeds received by the estate are for the benefit of the decedent’s beneficiaries and heirs.
Do You Have Questions About a Wrongful Death Claim? Call a Tennessee Wrongful Death Attorney for Answers.
The details regarding who has the standing to file a Tennessee wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated. Ultimately, the laws related to these types of claims will determine who is entitled to file a claim for wrongful death. The right attorney can help.
Contact the wrongful death attorneys at Cummings Law today. Our experienced Tennessee wrongful death attorneys will review your case to provide legal advice and guidance. This help will assist you in your goal to get compensation and justice for your loved one’s untimely death. Make the right choice. Ultimately, you will be glad you did.
Posted in: Wrongful Death