Nashville Wrongful Death Lawyers

Protecting families’ futures after negligent accidental deaths throughout Tennessee

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve the loss of a loved one. Some people suffer great sadness; others become angry at the deceased or at the world. Some people make themselves numb, while others grapple with serious questions and concerns about what to do next. These feelings, already so complicated, can become even more pronounced when the death is the result of the negligent action of another person or entity.

The loss of a loved one is emotionally devastating. While our wrongful death lawyers know we can’t make this experience any less painful, we can provide you with a compassionate ear and help you to relieve the financial stress the loss has caused you. We can help you hold the negligent parties responsible for their actions. The team at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm helps you find the answers you want, the closure you seek, and the compensation you need to protect your family during these difficult times. Our dedicated wrongful death attorneys in Nashville are here to help you get through this difficult time.

"When I was a teenager, Dad got hurt. Insurance company wouldn't pay. We lost our house. But, Dad got a lawyer and we got justice. That's the moment I decided to become an attorney. As a lawyer, I have dedicated my life to helping injury victims."

~ Rocky

What conduct can lead to a wrongful death claim?

There are certain tragic circumstances that tend to lead to the wrongful death of our loved ones. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Nashville wrongful death attorneys have worked with people who have lost families members because of:

  • Auto accidents. A negligent driver – one who is reckless, who is drunk, who is speeding – may be named in a wrongful death claim if their actions behind the wheel caused the death of another person. Our personal injury lawyers represent families when loved ones die in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, Uber or Lyft accident, or any other type of vehicle accident.
  • Work-related accidentsUnfortunately, some jobs are dangerous by nature. However, when another employee or an employer is negligent, accidents are far more likely to occur. Families of employees who are injured while doing their job do have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for death benefits.
  • Defective products. Design and manufacturing defects can lead to the unintended death of consumers. Just because the death was unintended, however, does not mean that the company that created these defective products is not accountable. Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are generally liable for defective vehicle parts, medications, tools, equipment, electronic products, and other defective products – that cause the death of a loved one.
  • Medical malpractice. From anesthesia errors to failure to warn to surgical mistakes, if your loved one dies because of the actions of a negligent or incompetent medical professional, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
  • Catastrophic injuries. Sometimes, a person who suffers a catastrophic accident succumbs to those injuries later. A person who sustains a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord trauma, or catastrophic burns may survive the immediate incident, but die within weeks or months from complications.

Other types of accidents that may cause the death of a loved one include:

When accidents or events like these result in death, families are left without a spouse, parent, and provider. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Nashville wrongful death lawyers make it our business to hold these negligent parties responsible for the accidental death and loss of your loved one.

Who is entitled to benefits for a wrongful death claim in Tennessee?

Under Tennessee law, a wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of:

  • The spouse
  • The children
  • A personal representative named in a will
  • Natural or adoptive parents

Our Nashville wrongful death lawyers can explain the rights of adoptees, stepchildren, and others.

At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm our wrongful death lawyers in Tennessee help grieving families through the process of filing a claim with compassion and dignity. We understand that you have a lot to think about, and that worrying about your future or your children’s future only adds to the stress.

What are the damages in a wrongful death case in Nashville?

Wrongful death compensation is awarded to families in Tennessee for the purpose of raising children, providing a college education, as well as food, clothing, and other necessities of life. Damages in wrongful death cases include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Any medical expenses for the care of your loved one before they died
  • The lost wages and benefits your loved one would have earned had they survived
  • Any physical and mental suffering experienced by the deceased
  • The survivors are also entitled to compensation for the value of the care, guidance, society, companionship, and society the deceased would have provided the surviving family members

Generally, the wrongful death damages are not subject to the claims of creditors of the decedent.

How does a civil case differ from a criminal charge?

Wrongful death claims are considered civil claims. Negligence that results in death is not always criminal negligence. The most famous example of this in the US is the OJ Simpson case. He was acquitted of criminal charges but found liable in a civil court. Under Tennessee law, you can pursue a claim regardless of whether or not the individual is found responsible for the death of your loved one by a criminal court. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family is entitled to compensation based on the life expectancy and occupation of the deceased.

Generally, it is easier to find a defendant civilly liable in a wrongful death claim than criminally liable in a prosecution by the government. This is largely because the burden of proof is lower.

  • In a civil case, the burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence means more likely than not or just over 50 percent.
  • In a criminal case, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that if the defense lawyers can show any reasonable doubt, such as concerns about the credibility of a police officer, then the government will lose its case.

Our Nashville wrongful death lawyers do coordinate your civil wrongful death case with the government’s criminal prosecution. For example, a criminal conviction in a DUI case can help show a driver is civilly responsible for the accident that killed your loved one.

What is the time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Tennessee?

A plaintiff – the person bringing the lawsuit – has up to a year to file a wrongful death claim in Tennessee, and possibly longer in other states. If this seems like a long time, remember that every case is different, and sometimes it is not obvious at first that your loved one’s death was the result of another person’s negligence, a defective product, or an act of malpractice, for example.

The best course of action is to contact our experienced Nashville wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible. We need to investigate the accident site, examine the physical evidence, speak with witnesses, and do many other tasks to help show the defendants are liable for the death of your loved one. In fact, because your loved one is not able to speak for themselves, a prompt review is critical to present the strongest case possible.

Do you have a wrongful death lawyer near me?

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has four convenient locations:

Nashville Location
545 Mainstream Dr #105
Nashville, TN

East Nashville Location
615 Main St., B21
Nashville, TN

Hendersonville Location
475 Saundersville Rd.
Hendersonville, TN

Clarksville Location
2197 Madison Street, Suite 103
Clarksville, TN

Call the Nashville wrongful death attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm today

If you have lost someone you loved due to someone else’s negligence, call Rocky McElhaney Law Firm today at 615-425-2500 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our no-nonsense brand of tough legal representation can help you and your family navigate the rough waters ahead. Call today to discuss your options and to put our Gladiators in Suits in your corner. We fight for you!