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Wrongful Death in TN; dived among adult children, and of the adult children that has expire previously the parent..

Memphis, TN |

My question is, how are wrongful death dived among adult children and have 1 of the adult child that has expire before the parent..
And if the person that initiated the lawsuit is entitle to be compensated for time and gas used to perused the lawsuit

Attorney Answers 3


This would depend on whether the decedent had a will or not. Generally there would not be compensation for the party who pursued the lawsuit but the children can agree to compensation. It would be best to discuss this with a probate attorney.

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The law in Tennessee, T.C.A. § 20-5-106, et seq. provides “that in a wrongful death suit only one right of action exists: the action that the decedent would have had, absent death, against the negligent wrongdoer . . . [t]he decedent is the sole party who holds a right of action or claim in a wrongful death suit.” In other words, “[i]n Tennessee, a wrongful death action belongs to the deceased person and not to his survivors.”
There will be two lawsuits in this situation. The first is the wrongful death suit itself, which is against the negligent person(s) who caused the death. That suit is brought by the surviving spouse or other next of kin. There should also be a probate case opened to properly distribute the proceeds, if any. Time and expenses are usually not recoverable in the wrongful death suit, but might, at least partially, be reimbursed under the right circumstances in the probate action. Your question and this answer are very general, and an attorney can help you with all the specifics. Find a qualified personal injury attorney and a qualified probate attorney in your area.

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I agree with Attorney Dupler. In my experience, those persons who have made claims in the wrongful death suit can agree on a distribution. If they fail to do so, the judge determines the distribution. A Will may or may not be relevant, because the proceeds of the suit may pass outside of the estate, directly to the beneficiaries.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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