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Wrongful Death Lawyers Helping Families in Bristol, Tennessee

Fatal Accidents in upper East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia

The loss of a family member often leads to unimaginable grief. Other emotions, such as anger and confusion, can arise when the death could have been prevented. At Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C., our wrongful death attorneys help you find answers and hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions. Our Bristol personal injury firm has proudly served the Tri-Cities since 1909, and our current team of lawyers possesses more than 75 years of combined legal experience.

Seeking justice after a fatal accident in the Tri-Cities or Southwest Virginia

A “wrongful” death occurs when a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. Wrongful death cases can arise from accidents involving:

  • Automobiles
  • Bicycles
  • Motorcycles
  • Pedestrians
  • Trucks
  • Slip and fall

A wrongful death action allows family members to seek monetary damages from the negligent party.  The suit is intended to provide compensation to relatives who relied on the accident victim for financial and emotional support.

Only certain people may bring a wrongful death claim. The victim’s surviving spouse, children and parents are generally first in line to assert an action. If the deceased had a will, the executor is entitled to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent’s estate. However, a single wrongful death action must be brought on behalf of all potential beneficiaries.

Compensation for a wrongful death

Wrongful death claims can yield much-needed stability to families in the wake of a tragic death. Under Tennessee law, spouses, children, parents and other close relatives of the deceased are entitled to the proceeds of a wrongful death lawsuit. Potential damages for those left behind include:

  • Economic damages — Economic damages include medical bills related to the victim’s injuries, funeral expenses and loss of the deceased’s expected earnings and benefits.
  • Non-economic damages — Less tangible non-economic damages include mental anguish and emotional pain and suffering. Other damages include loss of society, companionship, comfort, protection, marital care, parental care, attention, advice, counsel, training, guidance or education.
  • Punitive damages — Punitive damages are available for reckless or intentional misconduct. They are intended to punish the responsible party and deter others from committing similar acts.

At Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C., we understand firsthand the complexity of a wrongful death lawsuit. In addition to proving liability, calculating damages can be very complicated and generally requires the testimony of several expert witnesses. To ensure that you and your family are fairly compensated, you should consult with an experienced and knowledgeable wrongful death attorney.

The deadline for filing a wrongful death suit

For families dealing with the death of a relative, legal action is likely not a top priority. However, Tennessee law establishes a strict deadline (called a statute of limitations) for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, family members have one year from the date of death to initiate a claim. Therefore, it is imperative to contact a reputable personal injury law firm as soon as possible.

Contact a Tri-Cities wrongful death lawyer for compassionate legal advice

Wrongful death claims can put stress on family members when they are least equipped to deal with it. The attorneys of Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, P.C. are sensitive to your needs and work tirelessly to ease the burden on you and your family. For a free initial consultation, call us today at 423-797-6022 or contact us online.