Representing the Families of Wrongful Death Victims in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama
When an accident leads to a victim suffering fatal injuries, their family members and loved ones will be forced to deal with immeasurable emotional and personal losses in addition to devastating financial consequences. In situations where the death was caused by the negligence or carelessness of someone else, families of the deceased can take legal action to seek compensation and hold responsible parties accountable.
Our compassionate Chattanooga wrongful death lawyers have nearly a century of collective legal experience and are prepared to help your family seek justice. Our team at The Hamilton Firm will fully investigate all aspects of the fatal incident to ascertain liability and build a strong claim. With over $100 million recovered in settlements and verdicts, we have what it takes to win these cases, and we will always strive to obtain the maximum recovery possible. We make it our mission to provide aggressive yet ethical legal representation to families placed in these unthinkable situations, and you will have the full attention and support of our attorneys from beginning to end.
We are prepared to take on wrongful death cases in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. You owe our firm nothing unless we prevail, so call (423) 454-3288 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today.
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“Wrongful death” refers to the avoidable death of an individual caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing of another person or organization. These fatalities are often the result of car accidents, truck accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, or dangerous premises. Because the victim cannot seek damages through a personal injury claim, qualifying parties have the right to bring a wrongful death claim on their behalf. Each state has rules on how these cases are handled.
When someone passes away due to fatal injuries sustained in a workplace accident, qualifying parties do not typically have the right to file a wrongful death claim against an employer, as the incident will likely be covered under workers’ compensation. But, a third party may bear some responsibility, so the circumstances must be thoroughly investigated. For instance, if defective machinery causes a fatal workplace accident, the manufacturer of the machine could potentially be sued.
If you are not sure whether you or your family has a wrongful death case, we encourage you to reach out to The Hamilton Firm. Our Chattanooga wrongful death attorneys can assess your situation and walk you through your legal rights and options.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Not all family members and loved ones of a wrongful death victim have the right to take legal action on their behalf. Each state enforces laws governing who can initiate a claim.
In Tennessee, the victim’s closest surviving relative has the exclusive right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This may be the victim’s surviving spouse, child, or parent. If there are no surviving relatives available to pursue the claim, the personal representative of the victim’s estate (decided by the victim’s will or the court if there is no valid will) can bring a claim.
In Georgia, the wrongful death victim’s surviving spouse, parent, and children all have the right to take legal action. Again, if no qualifying surviving relative exists, the personal representative of the victim’s estate can file a lawsuit.
In Alabama, only the personal representative of the victim’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit if the victim was an adult at the time of their passing. If the victim was a minor when they died, their parents have a six-month window to bring a wrongful death claim, after which the exclusive right to take legal action reverts to the personal representative.
If you are not sure whether you have the right to file a lawsuit, get in touch with our Chattanooga wrongful death lawyers. We can quickly determine whether you have standing, and, if you do not, advise who does.
What Is the Deadline for Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim?
The time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit will depend on where the victim passed away, as the deadlines vary by state. If someone is killed in a truck rollover accident that occurs in Georgia, for example, Georgia’s statute of limitations will apply.
In Tennessee, you only have one year from the date of the victim’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Georgia and Alabama, you have two years from the victim’s date of death to start the legal process.
It is important to note that, no matter the state, the pertinent deadline is tied to the date the victim passes away, not the date of the incident that caused fatal injuries. In other words, if someone suffers catastrophic injuries but does not die until weeks later, the clock does not start ticking until they pass away. If the cause of death is not immediately apparent, the relevant deadline can also sometimes be tied to the date the negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing was discovered (or reasonably should have been discovered).
What Damages Can a Family Recover for Wrongful Death?
No level of compensation can replace a lost loved one. Holding responsible parties accountable for their actions is important, however, as is getting the compensation you need to cover the losses that unavoidably come with the unexpected death of a family member. The exact damages you can potentially recover varies by state, but, generally, you can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages suffered by the victim as well as their survivors.
We will fight to get you just compensation for all applicable losses, including:
- Your loved one’s final medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering
- Mental anguish sustained by you and other survivors
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium and companionship
Do not hesitate to call (423) 454-3288 or contact us online if your loved one died due to another person’s or entity’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing. We will act quickly but be meticulous in our investigation of your case.
To exhibit the highest degree of ethical conduct in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.
To preserve the client’s confidences learned during the lawyer-client relationship.
To work with other participants in the legal system to make it more accessible and responsive.
To respect the client’s decision on the objectives to be pursued in their case, as permitted by law and the rules of professiona
To keep clients informed and provide them with copies of important papers.
To return phone calls promptly.
To charge a reasonable contingency fee and to explain in advance how that fee will be determined and how expenses will be paid.
To handle their legal matters competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the legal profession.
To treat clients with respect and courtesy.