Wrongful Death Lawyers Supporting Maryville Families
Blount County attorneys fight for justice and closure for your family
The loss of a loved one is always a terrible tragedy and leaves a family in shock. Money cannot compensate families for the loss of valued relationships, but when the negligent or wrongful acts of others caused the needless loss of a cherished family member, experienced wrongful death lawyers can help you hold the responsible party responsible.
Sadly, after the sudden death of a loved one, families are left behind to handle expenses like hospital bills and funeral expenses. This experience can take a huge toll on a family. The Maryville wrongful death attorneys at Shepherd & Long, P.C. have nearly three decades of experience guiding families through this difficult period in their lives. We can help you, too.
Wrongful death in Tennessee
The term wrongful death applies to a range of circumstances in which an individual dies because one or more other parties engaged in negligent or willful conduct, also known as wrongful acts. Wrongful acts can be unintentional, such as driver errors that cause fatal car accidents. They can also include criminal acts, whether or not the perpetrator intends to kill someone. A person can also be charged with wrongful death if a victim suffers severe injuries and dies from them later.
According to Tennessee law, “in a wrongful death suit only one right of action exists: the action that the decedent would have had, absent death, against the negligent wrongdoer . . . [t]he decedent is the sole party who holds a right of action or claim in a wrongful death suit.” What this means is that the decedent (the person who died) is the one who has the right to bring a wrongful death suit, and their survivors can bring the claim on behalf of the decedent.
Common causes of wrongful death in Maryville, TN
Maryville wrongful death actions can occur from a wide variety of situations and a wide variety of reasons. In our experience, we’ve found the most common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Defective products
- Motorcycle accidents
- Premises liability
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death claim when a loved one dies from another person’s negligence. Those with a legal relationship with the decedent are eligible, including their:
- Appointed representatives
- Estate administrator
Additionally, the statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death claim in Tennessee is the same as for a personal injury claim – one year. However, note that you and your attorney must bring the wrongful death action from the date of your loved one’s injury, not the date of their death. This is why it’s so important to consult with a Maryville injury attorney as soon as possible after this type of tragedy. We can take care of the legal details with compassion while you take the time you need to spend with your family.
What’s the difference between wrongful death and murder?
The most important distinction between wrongful death and murder is that the first is a civil suit, and the latter is a criminal action. Criminal cases are brought by the state of Tennessee, not the victim. If an individual is convicted of murder, they will likely spend time in prison. However, with a successful wrongful death action, which is brought by the victim’s survivors, defendants pay financial restitution.
It is also worth remembering that even if an individual is found innocent in a criminal trial, that does not mean you cannot file a wrongful death action against them too. Our Maryville attorneys can help you file the appropriate documents and build a strong case on your loved one’s behalf.
How do I prove liability in a Maryville wrongful death case?
The reason wrongful death cases are complicated is because the victim cannot provide a statement about what happened. These cases often hinge on the testimony of witnesses, which can make proving fault difficult. However, our East Tennessee wrongful death attorneys work with a wide network of resources – investigators, police officers, eyewitnesses, accident reconstructionists, medical experts – to build the strongest case possible to prove negligence caused your loved one’s death.
How do I calculate damages in a wrongful death suit?
In seeking compensation for a wrongful death action, our attorneys work with experienced financial professionals to determine the value of your claim. We take into account every possible factor relating to your loss in order to arrive at a fair amount of compensation. Some of these factors include the:
- Ages of the decedent’s spouse, children, and other family members entitled to compensation
- Costs of services the decedent performed, like child care, home maintenance, and other tasks
- Decedent’s benefits, including retirement and vacation pay
- Income of the decedent prior to their accident
- Life expectancy of the decedent
- Projected income of the decedent had the accident not occurred
- Type of work the decedent performed
The Maryville wrongful death attorneys at Shepherd & Long analyze all these factors and variables, among others, when determining the amount of compensation for your case.
What damages am I entitled to in a wrongful death case?
As the closest immediate family member or personal representative of the decedent, you have the right to pursue specific damages against the parties liable for their death, including the following:
- Costs relating to the injury that the decedent would have incurred if they survived the injury, including mental and physical suffering and loss of time
- Costs associated with the death, such as funeral expenses
- Loss of future support and benefits
Tennessee wrongful death law can be complicated and confusing at this stressful period in your life. Compassionate attorneys can guide families in Blount County and elsewhere in the region through the complex legal process. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers handle the details to allow families the time they need to grieve.
For a free consultation, contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Maryville
If you lose a loved one due to injuries sustained because of negligent or willful acts of others, you need a wrongful death lawyer with extensive legal skills and the compassion to provide sensitive support. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call us at 865-982-8060 or fill out the contact form. We regularly represent clients in Madisonville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City and throughout East Tennessee.
We handle personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. You pay no attorney fees until we successfully obtain compensation for you.