What will happen to the person responsible for a fatal accident in Tennessee?

Nashville, TN – Some accidents are serious enough that one or more victims will sustain fatal injuries. When this happens, the injured party is not available to file a lawsuit against the person responsible, so there are various laws that allow their family members to do so. The family may be compensated for expenses associated with the person’s death, as well as any future projected losses based on the victim’s earning potential. 

Wrongful death laws

Tennessee has a wrongful death statute that allows certain parties to file a lawsuit when a person passes away due to the negligence, neglect, or default of another person or entity. This is usually limited to immediate family such as a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. There are exceptions where extended family members can file the case in rare situations if none of these other parties are available. Other situations may arise where a financial beneficiary or someone who was dependent on the victim can file a case as well. 

Damages and compensation

The money that is available to a family member who is brought the case depends on the costs associated with their loss. This can include specific costs tied to burial, a funeral, and final medical treatment. There can also be a projection of the victim’s future lost income, lost wages, and other similar issues based on their prior earnings and career trajectory. Non-economic damages for the family’s trauma, emotional pain, and suffering throughout the event are available as well. 

Anyone who has questions about the state’s wrongful death laws should get in touch with an attorney to get more specific information, as damages and the rights of certain individuals to sue can be complex issues. 

Criminal charges

It is possible that the state can choose to bring criminal charges against the person responsible based on the results of their investigation. Usually, the victim’s family and others who witnessed the incident have little to do with this process or control the outcome. Whether the defendant is sentenced or not, the victim’s family is not compensated, as criminal cases are meant as a form of punishment rather than restitution. There is a possibility that a court does order some kind of financial restitution as part of a sentence, but the family will usually not be compensated a substantial amount.  

Local accident attorneys in the Nashville area

The Law Office of George Fusner handles various kinds of accident and injury lawsuits throughout the state of Tennessee. Anyone who needs help with a wrongful death case or other types of cases can contact the firm for more info about scheduling an initial meeting.  

Firm contact info:

The Law Office of George R. Fusner

7104 Peach Court, Brentwood TN 37027



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