In terms of emotional pain, little compares to the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one in an accident. When the accident was completely preventable and caused by the negligent actions of another party, though, the pain and anguish are even worse. In such instances, many Tennessee residents choose to seek some form of justice and restitution through a wrongful death claim, but not everyone will be legally entitled to such damages. Generally, the people who can pursue wrongful death claims are limited to spouses, parents and children.
Spouses can make claims relating to the loss of companionship and emotional anguish they experience after losing their husbands and wives. Although the damages are difficult to quantify in financial terms, Tennessee courts have methodologies to evaluate such abstract damages in civil proceedings. Furthermore, spouses may have the right to pursue damages relating to lost family income and lost future inheritance.
When it comes to children, it is only minor children who tend to have the right to claim wrongful death damages. These damages will relate to the loss of parental guidance, comfort and companionship. Damages pursued by children could also relate to lost future inheritance.
Finally, parents can make wrongful death claims if their children were minors when they died. These claims usually relate to the intense level of pain and turmoil experienced when a parent loses a child. Again, these kinds of damages are highly abstract, but Tennessee courts have methodologies for calculating them.
Death is final and absolute, and no amount of litigation will ever bring back a loved one who died as a result of another party's negligence. However, at Logan-Thompson PC, we recognize how pursuing a wrongful death claim can be an important part of the grieving process for families, and we know that more often than not, it is not about the money. Still, for families who are suffering economically after losing a primary breadwinner, a wrongful death claim can help them get back on sound financial feet so they can persevere through this economically and emotionally difficult time.