How to Prove Fault in a Tennessee Wrongful Death Claim

Losing a loved one is a tragedy, especially if the careless or negligent actions of someone else caused their death. In Tennessee, certain family members are allowed to file wrongful death lawsuits in order to recover compensation from the liable party in these situations. However, proving that another individual or entity caused the death is challenging, and families need to work with an attorney to successfully handle these claims. Here, we want to discuss how to prove fault in a Tennessee wrongful death case. 

Working With a Tennessee Wrongful Death Attorney

After losing a loved one, it is not uncommon for family members to think they can handle these cases by themselves without legal representation. This is especially true if the cause of death seems fairly straightforward. However, no matter how straightforward these cases seem in the beginning, the reality is that they become incredibly challenging.

The defendant in these cases (the at-fault party, their insurance carrier, and their legal team) will put up a fight in order to pay out as little compensation as possible. They may even try to blame the incident on the deceased. Families in these situations need to have an attorney who has extensive experience handling Tennessee wrongful death cases. An attorney will be able to handle every aspect of these claims, including investigating what happened to prove fault.

Gathering Evidence to Prove Liability for a Tennessee Wrongful Death Claim

Proving fault for a wrongful death case in Tennessee is going to revolve around gathering as much evidence as possible. For these cases, the most common types of evidence used to prove what happened include the following:

  • Statements from eyewitnesses who saw what happened
  • Photos taken at the scene of the incident
  • Video surveillance from nearby cameras
  • Safety records of the at-fault party
  • Any police or accident reports pertaining to the incident

It is not easy to obtain this evidence. An attorney will likely have to go through the court system to obtain subpoenas to recover much of the evidence needed to prove what happened.

For wrongful death cases where liability may not be entirely clear, it may be necessary to bring in accident reconstruction experts who can evaluate the incident and apply scientific methods to determine exactly what happened. An accident reconstruction expert can put together their report, which can then be presented to the insurance carriers. Additionally, accident reconstruction experts can testify in front of wrongful death lawsuit juries if needed.

What Type of Compensation is Available for These Claims?

Family members of those who lose their lives as a result of the negligent actions of others may be entitled to various types of compensation for their losses. For a Tennessee wrongful death claim, the following types of damages are typically available:

  • Coverage of any medical expenses arising due to the incident
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost wages, including the value of income the deceased would have earned, had they lived
  • Physical, emotional, and psychological pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death
  • Loss of the deceased’s love, guidance, society, care, and companionship

The total amount of compensation available in these cases will vary depending on the facts surrounding each particular incident. A Nashville wrongful death attorney will work with trusted economic and financial experts who can properly calculate expected losses.