Who Can Sue for a Wrongful Death in Tennessee?

sue wrongful death tennessee

When coping with the untimely and preventable loss of a family member, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be an important part of the recovery process. Not only can legal action provide closure, but it can also provide much-needed relief from the financial strain stemming from your loved one’s death. While filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Tennessee is important, it is not easy. In addition to proving the at-fault party’s liability, family members have strict rules they need to follow, including the family members’ eligibility to file a claim and recover damages. For more information on who can sue for wrongful death in Tennessee, please read on, then contact an experienced Memphis wrongful death lawyer today.

Who is eligible to sue for wrongful death in Tennessee?

Tennessee law allows only certain family members to file a wrongful death claim. Initially, the right belongs to the deceased person’s surviving spouse. If the deceased person did not have a spouse, the following parties may file the lawsuit, in order:

  • The surviving children
  • The surviving next of kin
  • The personal representative, executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate
  • The surviving parent or parents, if the deceased was dependent on his or her parent at the time of death

What can an executor sue for in a wrongful death case in Tennessee?

In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, the court orders the defendant to pay damages to the deceased person’s survivors. Depending on the facts of the case, damages available in a Tennessee wrongful death case can include compensation for losses such as:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages, including the value of wages and benefits the deceased would likely have earned if he or she had lived
  • Physical and mental suffering the deceased experienced
  • The deceased’s loss of time and necessary expenses resulting from the injury
  • Survivor’s loss of the deceased person’s love, care, guidance, society and companionship

How do you prove a wrongful death case in Tennessee?

In  order to recover compensation for their loved one’s death, the plaintiff must prove that:

  1. The defendant owed the now-deceased person a duty of care
  2. The defendant breached that duty of care to the now-deceased person
  3. The defendant’s particular actions directly caused the wrongful death

Please reach out to a skilled Memphis personal injury lawyer if you have any further questions or would like to begin preparing your case. While you may have up to one year to file a wrongful death suit, our firm knows that you should never wait.

Contact Our Experienced Memphis Firm

If you need assistance with a personal injury, criminal, or business litigation matter, contact Ballin, Ballin & Fishman, P.C. today to schedule your free initial consultation with our experienced legal team. 


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