My sons father was murdered and the perpetrator then took his own life. Can i sue his estate or any of his family for wrongful death. This happened in Tennessee.
Contact the Tennessee Bar Association for a free referral to a pre-screened wrongful death atty. right away. They have a referral office in East, West and Middle Tennessee and will give you the phone number you need. Just google the words Teenessee Bar Association. You can also address this question to a Tenn. wrongful atty. here on Avvo.
In Georgia, an action for wrongful death needs to be brought by or on behalf of someone who is the next of kin to the deceased. In this instance, your son would be at least one of the next of kin, and a suit could be brought on his behalf if he is a minor or under guardianship, and by him directly if he is of majority. However, you should check with a lawyer in Tennessee to see if the same rules apply there. Also, depending on where he was killed and the residency of the parties, the case may need to be brought where it happened or even in Federal Court, so we would need more details to determine that.
Finally, a successfully prosecuted wrongful death claim can result in a large judgment, but it would do you son little good and a lot of costs if the defendant was insolvent. In other words, does the defendant's estate have any value? If not, you may be going to a lot of trouble for nothing.
the previous lawyer answers are correct and i too am sorry for your and your son's loss. i just want to add that if the murder occured at a buisness , depending on the circumstances there may be a claim against the buisness for negligent security or if the father was on the job then a workers comp claim.
I am sorry to hear of this strategy. In theory the estate of the perpetrator can be sued for wrongful death. The problem often is, does the estate have any money? Also, wrongful death cases are highly technical and generally have short statutes of limitations. Speak to a personal injury lawyer about the specifics of your case. Such consultations are generally free.
You've received a lot of good information already, and I'll echo what others have said. Leaving aside the issue of who has the right to bring suit, the bigger question is whether the decedent (murderer) has any assets that would make a suit worthwhile. All of us (wrongful death attorneys) work on a contingency basis, so we earn our fee only when we recover funds. If the decedent has nothing to recover from, you would essentially have to pay an attorney his hourly rate upfront to get him to accept your case, or he would have to do it for free.
If the decedent has assets and assuming you can prove he murdered your son's father, it is an easy case to prove.