When You Should File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Death is hard on any family, but it is especially hard when a loved one has died due to someone else’s carelessness. A wrongful death case can be filed when someone’s death was caused by negligence, misconduct, or carelessness. There are several circumstances where wrongful death can occur, and there is a certain amount of time you have to file a case. Keep reading to learn more about when you should file a wrongful death lawsuit:
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Car accidents are one of the most common situations that lead to wrongful death claims. Typically when these accidents occur, it is because of negligence of one or more people driving. Some examples of this negligence include speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence. The person who caused the accident would be liable for the wrongful death. If an accident occurs because of road issues, then the city, county and/or state may be liable.
If someone dies due to a product malfunction, then the company who made the product is liable for the person’s death. This is the reason why companies spend a significant amount of time testing products before they are released. Some examples of common products that are related to wrongful death cases include cars and car parts, children’s toys, and consumer products.
Medical malpractice is defined as a doctor, medical practitioner, or other healthcare worker who deviates from their standard of practice, and their actions cause injury or death to the patient. It could be caused by misdiagnosing a condition, failure to diagnose a condition, surgery errors, or errors during treatment. This is another circumstance where you should file a wrongful death claim.
If a loved one was murdered or killed during a criminal activity, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Civil court and criminal court operate independently. The key difference between the courts is the person convicted in a criminal case would face incarceration or probation, while a civil case would result in that person who caused the death paying out damages.
Statute of Limitations
When someone you love has passed away, you may not be thinking about filing a case against the liable party. However, if the circumstances fall into the wrongful death category, you do have a limitation of when you can file a case.
Each state has different laws about how much time can pass between the death and the filing of a lawsuit. The amount of time ranges from 1 year to 6 years, depending on which state you live in and where the wrongful death took place. In Tennessee, you have 1 year to file a wrongful death lawsuit from the day the person passed away.
Are you still unsure if you have a wrongful death lawsuit? Set up a free case review with one of our attorneys, and they will speak with you to review your case.