Get Started Without Leaving Home. Learn More

Member of:
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
America's top 100
Justia Lawyer Rating
Avvo
Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association

Wrongful Death

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Tenn. Code Ann. Section 20-5-113 defines a wrongful death as a claim “[w]here a person's death is caused by the wrongful act, fault or omission of another and suit is brought for damages.” Our Knoxville wrongful death lawyers have taken numerous death cases.

What Damages can be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The damages that can be recovered include: the mental and physical suffering, loss of time and necessary expenses resulting to the deceased from the personal injuries. It also includes the damages resulting to the parties for whose use and benefit the right of action survives from the death consequent upon the injuries received. In other words, the lost value of the life. When something as emotional as the loss of life occurs, you want one of our Knoxville wrongful death attorneys to go after every harm and loss that was suffered.

How is the Financial Recovery Distributed in a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Tennessee, wrongful death proceeds are distributed according to the laws of intestate succession. This means that the proceeds are distributed to the person’s heirs as if he or she died without a will.

“[A] wrongful death lawsuit may be filed ‘by the personal representative of the deceased or by the surviving spouse in the surviving spouse’s own name, or, if there is no surviving spouse, by the children of the deceased or by the next of kin.’” Spires v. Simpson, 539 S.W.3d 134, 141 (Tenn. 2017) The lawsuit is filed on behalf of the deceased person. You need a Knoxville wrongful death lawyer on your side that understands how these cases are different from other claims.

The Lawyers of Brown and Roberto have experience with wrongful death claims. We have taken wrongful death claims all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court. In one Tennessee Supreme Court case, we were able to establish that after a husband’s wife died in a car wreck, it was the husband that has the right to control the wrongful death lawsuit.

Under Tennessee law, if the deceased person leaves both a surviving spouse and children, the surviving spouse receives one-third of the deceased share or a child’s share, whichever is greater. Tenn. Code Ann. § 31-2-104(a) (2015). If the deceased person has no surviving spouse, the recovery is distributed to the decedent’s children according to their degree of kinship. “If the decedent has no surviving spouse and no issue, the entire intestate estate passes ‘to the decedent’s parent or parents equally.’” Spires v. Simpson, 539 S.W.3d 134, 141–42 (Tenn. 2017).

How are Wrongful Death Claims Different From Other Personal Injury, Car Accident and Other Negligence Claims?

Besides the emotional toll of wrongful death claims, the primary difference between them and other types of claims is how they are filed. The claim must be properly named. Proving damages in the claim may be more complicated than a typical personal injury or car accident claim. You will have to prove the lost economic value of the life that was taken. You prove this with the assistance of experts that will show the life expectancy of the deceased and the expected remaining earnings of the deceased. Our Knoxville wrongful death lawyers have experience putting the right team of experts together.

Should I Try to Settle My Wrongful Death Claim on My Own?

No. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in settling a wrongful death claim without an attorney that could leave you owing money. You will need to make sure that all medical liens are paid. You will also need to make sure the that money is distributed properly according to the Tennessee intestate succession laws. Give yourself peace of mind in knowing that our Knoxville wrongful death attorneys did their best to recover as much for you and your family as possible.

What do Wrongful Death Attorneys’ Charge?

We do not charge any money unless we get money for you.

Contact the Lawyers of Brown and Roberto at (865) 691-2777 today for your free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"We tried to go through the insurance company ourselves, but they basically just laughed at us. So I got in touch with The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto. The insurance company's attitude really changed, and within a week we had our car replaced and rehabilitation going for my wife. The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto stuck in there and fought for us." J. Felver
★★★★★
"Had it not been for The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto, I would be in a mess. I would not have been able to handle the paper work or things that would have been required to stand in a court of law myself. They got the most that I could have gotten for any injury that I had. I was more than pleased with the settlement. They handled my case promptly and very professionally." D. Blakeman
★★★★★
"I would recommend The Lawyers of Brown & Roberto because they are for the client. They are extremely tough when they go to court, they keep you well informed, and they treat you as a person. They are extremely good attorneys. They changed my life. They helped my life because they believed in me. They fought for me. I thank God for them." C. Scarbrough