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Can a Claim Still Be Pursued If a Person Dies from a Car Accident?

A claim can still be pursued if the person who initially filed it later dies from a car accident. The deceased individual’s family members can continue the personal injury claim through a “survival action.” Family members can also file a wrongful death claim for losses they suffered because of their deceased family member.

Surviving family members can benefit from having a lawyer help them pursue these claims and recover compensation for their losses and their loved one’s damages.

What Is a Survival Action?

Under Tennessee Code § 20-5-102, a survival action allows a personal injury claim to survive the death of the person who filed it. The action allows the deceased individual to recover damages—through his or her survivors—that the individual would have recovered had he or she not died. The individual’s damages may include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Is a Survival Action the Same as a Wrongful Death Claim?

There is a difference between a wrongful death claim and survival action. A wrongful death claim allows the survivors of the deceased individual to file their own claim. Tennessee Code § 20-5-106 defines wrongful death as one caused by the “wrongful act, omission, or killing by another.” Under this law, a deceased individual’s survivors can seek compensation for the financial and emotional losses they suffered because of their loved one’s death.

Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Tennessee allows the following parties to file a wrongful death claim:

  • The surviving spouse
  • The deceased’s children
  • A parent of a deceased minor child
  • Next of kin
  • The executor of the deceased’s will
  • An appointed administrator of the deceased’s estate

What Do Survivors Have to Prove in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Surviving family members bringing a wrongful death claim must prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused an accident that resulted in their loved one’s death. A lawyer can help you collect evidence to build a solid claim on your behalf.

Our law firm has the resources to collect the type of evidence needed to hold the at-fault driver legally responsible for your loved one’s death. We may collect evidence that includes the following:

  • A police report of your loved one’s accident
  • Surveillance video of the car accident
  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Your loved one’s medical expenses resulting from the accident

What If the Other Driver Does Not Admit Fault for the Accident That Resulted in My Loved One’s Death?

In car accidents involving death, it is not unusual for the other driver and the driver’s insurance company to deny fault. A skilled attorney will help you counter the defendant’s claim through solid evidence that proves negligence.

What Type of Damages Can Survivors Receive in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Survivors can recover damages for their loved one’s medical bills related to the car accident injury. Physical injuries and medical expenses can help to increase the value of a claim. Family members can receive compensation for such damages as:

  • Medical bills resulting from the accident
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of services the loved one provided for the family
  • Loss of consortium for the surviving spouse
  • Loss of love, affection, society, and guidance for surviving children
  • Loss of earning capacity from the date of injury to the date of death
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering

Survivors may also pursue punitive damages, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

Tennessee’s Statute of Limitations gives survivors one year from the date of their loved one’s accident—not death—to file a wrongful death claim.

Keep in mind that it takes time to conduct a thorough investigation of your loved one’s car accident and gather solid evidence to support your wrongful death claim. The sooner family members to decide to pursue a claim, the sooner a lawyer can begin working on the case.

We Can Help You File a Wrongful Death Claim

We know that no amount of money can compensate for the unexpected death of a loved one. However, filing a wrongful death claim can help to alleviate the financial strain placed on a family after a loved one’s death. A claim can still be pursued if a person died from a car accident, and we can help.

If your loved one died because of a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, contact the OEB Law, PLLC at (865) 546-1111 to schedule an appointment with one of our car accident lawyers.

Car Accidents

Do I Have a Case if There Was No Damage in a Car Accident?

Even if you do not see any damage following an accident, you may have a case. There could be damage under the hood, especially if your car starts making noises. It is important to take your vehicle to a mechanic to get it checked out right away.

You may also develop physical injuries days or weeks after the seemingly “no-damage” car crash. However, you may have difficulty proving your case if there was no visible damage to your car. Should this happen, you may want to talk to a car accident lawyer.

At OEB Law, PLLC, we can investigate your car accident and help you build a claim to pursue compensation for your injuries or damages. Call us at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers.

What Type of Hidden Damage Can My Vehicle Have After a Crash?

Not all vehicle damages are visible right away. Your vehicle may have damage to its frame, or your battery may fail because of the impact of the crash.

Your car’s mechanical components may have been damaged, or you may have an oil or another type of fluid leak. Your car could be totaled without you even knowing it.

Should I Report a Car Crash If There Was No Damage?

Yes, call the police to report the crash to get an official record of the accident. An officer may not respond to a non-injury car accident. So, you may have to go to the police station to report the accident.

You should also exchange personal and auto insurance information with the other driver in case you need to file an injury claim in the future.

What If the Other Driver Asked Me Not to Report the Crash Since There Was No Damage?

If you do not report the crash, you may leave yourself unprotected if the other driver files a claim against you or your insurance company. For instance, what if the other driver claims they suffered injuries from the crash? The driver may even blame you for causing the accident and demand that you pay all the damages.

On the other hand, what if the other driver caused the crash and you later develop physical injuries? By failing to report the crash, you may be unable to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

What If the Other Driver’s Insurer Does Not Believe I Sustained Injuries from the Crash?

It is not uncommon for an auto insurance company to question whether you can sustain injuries from a crash with no visible vehicle damage. Insurers use a variety of strategies to save money, and one strategy is to minimize claims.

To prove your claim, you could provide your medical records to prove your injuries. Even in a crash with minor damages, you could suffer a:

  • Back injury
  • Neck injury
  • Brain injury
  • Head trauma
  • Internal injury

We can help you collect evidence to prove that your injuries were a result of your car accident.

What Type of Evidence Should I Collect for a Car Accident with No Visible Damage?

The evidence that supports a claim for injuries and damages may include:

  • Your medical records
  • A police report of the accident
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Car repair or replacement costs
  • Your lost wages
  • Video footage of the accident

If you were in a vehicle accident, we can help you recover damages. Call a car accident attorney at 865-546-1111 for a free evaluation of your case.

What Type of Damages Can I Recover from My Car Accident?

The damages you can recover primarily depend on the severity of your physical injuries and financial losses. The most common damages accident victims sustain include:

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses include costs for your visits to your doctor and medical specialists, surgeries, prescription medications, and more.

Lost Wages

Lost wages include the amount of income you lost because you could not work after the accident.

Property Damages

This includes the damages to your car, laptop computer, camera, smartphone, and other personal property you lost in the accident.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering involve the physical, mental, and emotional damages resulting from an accident.

Let Us Help You with Your Car Accident Case

You may still have a case if there was no damage in a car accident. OEB Law, PLLC, can help you pursue the compensation you deserve from an accident. 

Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free case evaluation.