Surviving family members endure profound pain from losing a loved one due to a tragic accident, compounded by such loss’ suddenness and preventability. They live on asking how things could have been if their loved one pulled through.
Tennessee’s wrongful death law recognizes the unimaginable suffering of surviving spouses, children, and natural or adoptive parents by allowing them to file a claim against liable parties on behalf of the decedent.
One of the damages they may pursue is loss of companionship. Understanding how to prove this is crucial so they may recover compensation for their emotional suffering and obtain the closure they long for.
Establishing loss of companionship
Loss of companionship is the deprivation of benefits, such as care, comfort or affection, that the decedent used to provide in the relationship. Since it is intangible and difficult to quantify, the following are ways to help surviving families validate their claim:
- Define the nature and extent of the relationship: If the plaintiff is a spouse, they can show how stable and loving the marriage was. An existing marriage certificate, photos and videos of shared activities, and witness statements can attest to the relationship’s strength.
- Demonstrate living arrangements: Highlight the significant adjustments they need to make since the decedent is no longer living with them. For example, a spouse and their children might have taken counseling sessions to cope with their new situation.
- Determine the decedent’s life expectancy: Provide medical documentation or expert testimony to reveal how long the decedent could have lived on to provide emotional and financial support to their family.
Preparing for a legal battle while grieving is a challenging task. However, surviving families can find comfort in knowing they do not have to take this on alone.
Pursuing the path to healing
No amount can replace the void a decedent leaves. However, fair compensation can aid surviving families in their healing journey. A legal team can guide them in articulating the depth of their loss and sending their loved one to a peaceful rest.