Often, the last thing on a person’s mind after a tragic accident is a wrongful death lawsuit. The period of mourning following the death of a loved one requires making funeral arrangements and dealing with all that has been lost, and it is usually not a time when people are thinking clearly. During this difficult time, making important decisions, such as filing wrongful death claims, can be a challenge. Fortunately, when an individual’s life is taken due to wrongful death, our legal system allows for the surviving family members to recover money for their financial losses and seek justice for their emotional losses through legal action.
With every personal injury lawsuit, there exists a specified time period in which a legal claim must be filed. This time limit, referred to as the statute of limitations, may vary depending upon the type of the accident involved and the state in which the suit is filed. For most wrongful death cases in the state of Tennessee, wrongful death claims for damages must be filed within one year of the date of death; although for some wrongful death lawsuits there may be extenuating circumstances, and therefore exceptions, that allow the statute of limitations to be extended. As one year is considered a short time frame to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit, it is generally recommended that family members begin consultations with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to begin preparations for a case.
The expression “wrongful death” is used to refer to the circumstances in which a person dies or is killed as a result of someone else’s willful misconduct or negligent actions. In these harrowing situations, family members are often burdened with additional worries about how their family will survive financially without the income, benefits or support that their loved one had provided. Consulting a wrongful death attorney soon after the death of a loved one will ensure evidence is preserved in your case.