Car Wreck Injuries: Fatalities
Car accidents are often caused by driver negligence. In many cases, they are preventable. Tragically, some car wreck injuries in East Tennessee are so severe that they may result in fatalities. While nothing can bring back a loved one, there are often major financial considerations after someone dies. Many people find that they are not able to afford funeral or medical bills while keeping up with a mortgage, groceries, and other basic living expenses without the second income of the victim. It may often be financially helpful to file a wrongful death claim to hold the party responsible for the car wreck accountable for those costs and losses. Knoxville car wreck lawyer Mark Hartsoe can vigorously fight for a family’s rights throughout this process.Establishing Liability for a Fatality in a Car Wreck
In Tennessee, you may bring a wrongful death action against a party who was at fault for a car accident that killed your loved one or so severely injured your loved one that they eventually died from the injuries. The wrongful death action may be filed in civil court even if criminal charges have already been filed or will soon be filed in connection with the same matter.
In a criminal case, the prosecution must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The standard of proof is more lenient in a civil case. This means that a defendant may be acquitted of criminal charges filed by a prosecuting attorney's office but still be liable for the financial damages caused by the negligent or wrongful actions that resulted in your loved one's death. Most car wrecks are caused by driver error rather than intentional wrongdoing, so you will need to establish negligence in addition to establishing your right to file suit. In some cases, an at-fault driver or its insurer will claim that your loved one was at fault for an accident in an effort to reduce the amount of compensation that it owes, so it is important to consult injury attorney Mark Hartsoe before discussing the matter with the other driver's insurance company.
In Tennessee, specific surviving family members may recover damages for their losses when a loved one suffers a wrongful death. Damages may include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of earning capacity, lost wages that would have been earned had your loved one lived, loss of enjoyment of life, the mental anguish of the victim during the period between the injuries and the death, and the loss of the victim’s love, society, and companionship. If the lawsuit obtains damages to compensate a minor, such as a child of the person killed in the car wreck, those damages may be put in a trust for safekeeping until the child is an adult.Retain Knoxville Lawyer Mark Hartsoe After a Car Wreck
Generally, you only have one year from the date of a loved one's death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. When a claim is not filed within the appropriate time period, the court generally will dismiss the case, and you will not have an opportunity to recover your financial losses. This makes it crucial to consult Knoxville car wreck attorney Mark Hartsoe as soon as possible after the accident so that you can discuss your legal options. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm at (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form to schedule a free consultation. Hartsoe is ready to represent families who need a motor vehicle collision attorney throughout East Tennessee, including in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, and Jefferson Counties.