In Tennessee, vehicular homicide occurs when someone is killed because of another person’s reckless operation of a motor vehicle. Such deaths can produce many hardships for victims’ families.
Fortunately, after a vehicular homicide in Tennessee, the victim’s family can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault motorist. There are several categories of monetary damages that can be recovered. However, cases must be filed by the appropriate parties. Our attorneys can help victims’ families take the appropriate steps toward compensation.
If your family member was the victim of vehicular homicide in Tennessee, get help obtaining the payment you deserve. Get in touch with our experienced Tennessee wrongful death lawyers by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357. Our lawyers will review your case for free.
Suing for Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee
In Tennessee, vehicular homicide is defined by T.C.A. § 39-13-213. Vehicular homicide occurs when there is a reckless killing of another by the operation of an automobile, motorboat, airplane, or other motor vehicle. Specifically, vehicular homicide refers to situations involving the following forms of recklessness:
- The defendant engaged in conduct that created a significant risk of serious bodily injury or death to a person,
- The defendant was intoxicated when the accident occurred,
- The defendant was drag racing at the time of the accident, or
- The defendant caused a fatal accident in a construction zone where the victim was a highway construction worker or an employee of the Department of Transportation.
After a vehicular homicide, the state should file a criminal lawsuit against the perpetrator. Sentencing possibilities can vary from case to case. Some killers will face jail time, while others may be eligible for judicial diversions.
In addition to facing criminal lawsuits, those guilty of vehicular homicide may also face civil penalties through wrongful death cases filed by victims’ families. A wrongful death is one that occurs because of another person’s negligent or intentional act. Accordingly, deaths that occur because of vehicular homicides will constitute wrongful deaths.
Victims’ families can face immense emotional anguish and financial distress because of their loved ones’ wrongful deaths. The monetary damages available through wrongful death cases can provide crucial support during periods of hardship. If your loved one was killed because of a vehicular homicide, our Nashville wrongful death lawyers can help build your case against the at-fault driver. Our team will help fight for the full range of compensation available to you.
How Long Does a Victim’s Family Have to Sue for Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee?
The time limit to file a wrongful death case after a vehicular homicide in Tennessee is set forth by T.C.A. § 28-3-104. Typically, a victim’s family will have one year from the date of wrongful death to bring their case to court. This one-year time window is one of the strictest filing deadlines for wrongful death cases in the country. Failure to adhere to this deadline could cause you to miss out on important compensation.
Furthermore, crucial evidence needed to support your claim can become difficult to collect and preserve as time goes on. For example, eyewitnesses can forget details pertaining to crashes and physical evidence can deteriorate. The sooner a victim’s family reaches out to our experienced Tennessee wrongful death lawyers, the more easily we can gather the information needed to recover payment from the at-fault parties. Therefore, you should call our attorneys as soon as possible after losing a family member because of vehicular homicide.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case for a Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee?
According to T.C.A. § 20-5-07, only certain family members of the deceased will be permitted to file a wrongful death case after a vehicular homicide in Tennessee. Initially, the deceased person’s surviving spouse will be able to file the case. If there is no surviving spouse, then the following parties may file, in order:
- The deceased person’s child or next of kin
- The deceased person’s parent
- The deceased person’s personal representative
The assistance of our attorneys can be highly valuable when taking the appropriate steps toward compensation. If your family member was killed because of vehicular homicide, you should call our Knoxville wrongful death lawyers right away. Our team can help locate the right party to bring your case to court.
What Types of Damages Can a Victim’s Family Sue for After a Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee?
After a vehicular homicide, victims’ families can suffer in several ways. The monetary damages available through a wrongful death case can help compensate a victim’s family for the many damages associated with their loved one’s passing. There are multiple categories of compensation that may be awarded:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost financial support
- Lost love, guidance, care, and companionship
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
During your free case review, our experienced Tennessee wrongful death lawyers can help determine which of the aforementioned damages may be sought in your case.
Settling a Wrongful Death Case vs. Taking a Wrongful Death Case to Trial After a Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee
In a wrongful death case, the plaintiff will usually have to choose between reaching a settlement agreement or taking their case to trial. When parties to a case reach a settlement agreement, the defendant pays a certain amount of compensation to the plaintiff and their lawsuit is dismissed. There can be multiple advantages to settling early. Plaintiffs who settle early can recover payment sooner. Furthermore, parties who reach settlement agreements may save on several costs associated with going to trial.
Still, settling early is not always the right decision. Defendants often attempt to settle cases cheaply and quickly. Accordingly, not all settlement offers reflect the true value of plaintiffs’ claims. By going to trial, plaintiffs have the chance to recover additional damages. However, if they are unsuccessful, they may receive nothing. Our Tennessee wrongful death lawyers can help evaluate any settlement offers made in your case, so you can confidently decide if going to trial is the right choice for you.
If Your Family Member Was Killed Because of a Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee, Our Attorneys Can Help
If your family member was the victim of a vehicular homicide, seek support from our experienced Tennessee wrongful death lawyers by calling Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to review your case for free.