Wrongful Death Lawyer Memphis, TN

Wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN

If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, consider talking to a wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN respects. You may be entitled to compensation for your grief and suffering. Although you can file a wrongful death lawsuit by yourself, working with an experienced attorney may increase your chances of getting fair compensation. When one tries to resolve a situation by themself, regarding a loved one dying due to the negligence of an individual, they are often met with a roadblock on how to proceed.  However, in difficult situations, this is where professional help comes in.  The lawyers at Patterson Bray work to help our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.

Meet Patterson Bray: A Wrongful Death Lawyer Memphis, TN Families Rely On

As a Memphis wrongful death lawyer, Patterson Bray is the kind of law firm you can count on. For decades we have been representing clients from a diverse range of backgrounds and legal matters. Rated 10/10 on AVVO and 5/5 by the prestigious Martindale Hubbell, we have built our firm on a multitude of successful cases. Having won millions of dollars, our lawyers have been able to give closure to friends and families who tragically lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence.

When you need a wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN families should consider Patterson Bray. As soon as you call us for a complimentary consultation, we may ask you about your particular situation and let you know what legal options might be available to you. The integrity of our lawyers will be immediately noticeable as will be their support, compassion, and transparency. We understand how sensitive these claims can be and will do our utmost to make this process as easy as possible.

Why People Like Patterson Bray

A wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN provides, such as Patterson Bray, should be able to offer you a pleasant experience. People throughout Tennessee come to our firm because they know we can be with them each step of the way. When you choose us, you can benefit from things like:

  • Frequent communication and updates about your claim;
  • Ongoing legal and emotional support; and
  • Honest answers to your questions or concerns.

We also have a Rolodex of valuable expert witnesses including medical doctors, forensic analysts, researchers, private investigators, and so forth. Furthermore, you can feel peace of mind knowing that if we are unable to come to a resolution with the negligent party (and their insurance), we can be ready to go to trial. Regardless of what happened, our lawyers can fight for the maximum compensation that may cover losses such as:

  • Medical bills prior to the death occurring;
  • Funeral costs;
  • Lost companionship;
  • Emotional trauma;
  • Lost wages; and
  • Punitive damages when applicable.

A wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN respects can explain what damages may be available to you during a free consultation. Moreover, something that is also important to consider, is that variables related to emotional trauma, wages, and more, depend on the negligence incident that occured.  For example, while emotional trauma would be applicable in any negligence case, funeral medical bills and wages, would depend on the severity of the situation. For example; if a brother ended up dying at the hands of a drunk driver, while he was out taking the family car, wages would focus on not just the emotional trauma, but also the damage to the family car as well. Call our firm today to speak to one of our lawyers. Keep in mind that there are statutes of limitations in wrongful death claims. These time limits vary by state and may depend on who was involved in the accident. Because such cases take time to build, it is advisable to contact a wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN has to offer as soon as possible. This can assure your claim is looked after as well as possible.

Which Types of Compensation Can You Request in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

When a Memphis loved one dies due to another’s negligence, you may feel like you have nowhere to turn. Different expenses can mount quickly, leaving you to struggle with grief and debt. Speaking with a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN, can help you understand how to file a lawsuit and which types of compensation you can request based on your individual case. 

Funeral Costs 

The unexpected death of your loved one can generate a great deal of debt, especially when it comes to funerary and burial costs. The average cost of a funeral in Tennessee may eclipse $7,000, along with other end-of-life expenses. You can ask your attorney if you can include the total cost of these expenses in your lawsuit and provide him or her with receipts related to cremation, burial and internment. 

Lost Wages 

If your loved one was the main breadwinner for your family, a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN, can help you calculate the amount of any future lost wages the deceased may have earned had the negligent act not occurred. The state does not cap these losses, so it is important that you provide your attorney with accurate and current information regarding your loved one’s wages. 

Emotional Pain 

The unexpected loss of a spouse or companion causes a great deal of emotional pain, particularly if the accident that took his or her life was especially traumatic. Assigning a dollar amount to this type of pain is not easy; however, your attorney may be able to include the cost of therapy, counseling and other mental health costs in your lawsuit. 

If the act that caused your loved one’s death was especially negligent, you can request punitive damages along with any emotional pain and suffering. For example, if the defendant purposefully and knowingly got behind the wheel of a car after drinking and caused an accident that killed your loved one, this could be considered extremely negligent and entitle you to punitive damages. 

Medical Bills 

If your family member did not pass at the scene of the accident and spent time in the hospital before passing, the resulting medical bills may total in the thousands of dollars. You can add the cost of medical care to your lawsuit, including any emergency surgery, medications and other procedures. Track these costs carefully so your wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN, can calculate the value of your case with accuracy. 

The unexpected loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can overwhelm you both emotionally and financially, but help is available. Contact an attorney today for further information and assistance. 

 

Wronful Death infographic

Wrongful Death FAQs

At Patterson Bray, we frequently receive calls pertaining to accidents that involve wrongful death. Many calls are from family members or close friends who do not understand how these claims work. The following are some of the most frequent questions about a wrongful death claim. Due to the complexity and uniqueness of each case, it may be in your best interest to speak directly with a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit that is filed when a person’s death is caused by another party’s negligence. These claims can involve several types of accidents, including medical malpractice and vehicle accidents. If another party is found legally at fault for a person’s death, they may be required to pay the victim’s family for the damages. Moreover, while vehicle accidents are the most common, it is important to also go into detail about medical malpractice.  This is defined as an individual suffering severely (sometimes even resulting in death), due to the poor practices of a nurse. For example; let’s say that an individual gets open heart surgery.  However, some of those that are doing the operation, are not as experienced as they could be, with such a serious procedure. As such, the open heart surgery appears to go well, but due to unforeseen complications, the man who got the surgery, ends up dying shortly after.  This is an example of negligence.   

Who Can Be Sued in a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN may file a lawsuit against many types of people, companies, and government agencies. For example, if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, a wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN trusts may file a wrongful death action against the driver, the driver’s insurance company, and the person or company that served alcohol to the driver.

When Must a Wrongful Death Claim Be Filed?

The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim depends on the state that you live in. It may not be wise to wait too long to have a wrongful death lawyer Memphis, Tennessee relies on to file your claim. You deserve compensation for the pain you have gone through, and waiting too long may negatively affect your chances of getting the settlement you deserve.

How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help You?

When you are mourning the death of a loved one, you likely aren’t thinking clearly and may have difficulty handling the case on your own. That’s why hiring an experienced Memphis TN wrongful death lawyer may be so beneficial. While you take time to grieve your family member’s death, a wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN offers may locate witnesses and records that provide proof that your loved one’s death was due to someone else’s negligence. What a lawyer understands, is how serious grief is and how one needs time to mourn the loss of a loved one.  As such, they ensure that while one is grieving, lawyers can take care of the negligence needs. This is so that when one is thinking more clearly after the sudden death of a loved one, they can have the negligence case resolved, in an efficient manner.   

A qualified wrongful death lawyer may also help you fill out the paperwork required to file a lawsuit. Preparing these documents can be quite complicated, and making one mistake may hurt your chances of getting your claim approved. If you have a lawyer to take care of all the paperwork, you may avoid errors, and file the documents in a timely manner.

Questions to Ask Your Memphis, Tennessee Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your loved one was killed because of the neglect or misconduct of someone else, you may be able to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit with the help of a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN and obtain compensation for the financial support the deceased had been providing to you or your family along with other damages entitled to you per the conditions of the wrongful death claim.

Hiring a personal injury attorney knowledgeable in wrongful death lawsuits is critical to presenting and winning your case. A wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN relies on Patterson Bray to help answer your questions and advise you of the best course of action to take.

You undoubtedly will have many questions concerning how the wrongful death lawsuit works. Here are basic questions to ask your Memphis, TN wrongful death lawyer during your initial consultation.

Can you explain just what is a wrongful death claim?

Wrongful death is defined as the loss of life by someone else because of their misconduct, negligence, or wrongful act. The lawsuit is filed to pay damages to family members who were financially and emotionally supported by the deceased. It is also to recover expenses incurred because of the death including, funeral expenses, medical expenses, and lost wages. Examples of reasons for wrongful death lawsuits include:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Murder
  • Assault
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Drowning
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Fire Accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Negligence in a nursing home or assisted care facility
  • Animal bites


What is the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

The time you have to file a claim for wrongful death varies from state to state, but generally, the time is two years from the date of the death. Your wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN will be aware of all the state-specific regulations concerning a wrongful death lawsuit.

Can Anyone File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

It is the estate of the deceased who files the wrongful death lawsuit. A representative for the estate is selected, usually a spouse, child, or parent. If the deceased had a will, the court may appoint the executor of the will to represent the estate.

What kind of damages can be awarded in a successful wrongful death lawsuit?

There are two categories of damages a wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN trusts will pursue in a wrongful death lawsuit. The first allows the estate to recover damages that happen from the time of the negligent act until the victim dies. Damages may include:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses
  • Reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and Suffering the victim endured
  • Wages lost by the deceased

The second category is damages awarded to family members who were affected financially and emotionally by the death of their loved one. These include:

  • Future lost wages based on how many years the deceased would have been able to work until retirement
  • Compensation to minor children through the age of 18 and through college if the deceased had planned on the children continuing their education
  • Compensation for the widow until the age of retirement
  • Loss of consortium, meaning the loss of the deceased companionship and love.
  • If the victim was a minor, the parents can recover damages for emotional trauma

Choose a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN that you feel will have your family’s best interests at heart. The attorneys at Patterson Bray will work with you to create the most sound case possible for your wrongful death claim.

Can I sue for wrongful death if I lost a loved one in a plane crash?

Patterson Bray’s wrongful death lawyer assists those in the Memphis community who have lost a family member in a plane crash and who are interested in getting justice for their loved one. Pursuing a lawsuit against the liable parties responsible for the fatal crash may result in a large settlement. A settlement can pay for funeral and burial costs, and provide the dependent heirs with the income the deceased can no longer earn. When children are left behind, this is especially important as it can make it possible for them to pay for college tuition and other costs. If your family lost a loved one in a plane crash, contact us at Patterson Bray to speak with our wrongful death lawyer in Memphis about your circumstances. We offer grieving families a complimentary consultation so that we can determine if our law firm is a good fit for your situation. We are committed to protecting the rights of our fellow community members and a successful wrongful death lawsuit can send the message that negligence is not acceptable when it puts lives at stake.

What is the responsibility of commercial airline companies toward their customers?

Commercial airlines and charter companies have the legal, ethical, and moral responsibility to provide the highest level of care to their customers and passengers when they are transported on their aircraft. Safety for their passengers should be their priority. Our wrongful death lawyer in Memphis will consider every aspect of the crash in determining what went wrong, and how the crash could have and should have been avoided. 

What parties might be held responsible for the plane crash and the fatality of our loved one?

Not only does the airline have the responsibility to keep their operations safe, but the manufacturer of the aircraft also does as well. In addition, the aircraft maintenance facility does as well, along with any other company that has meaningful contact with the operation of the plane. An air traffic controller may have been negligent. It could have been the pilot who erred. In fact, there may be more than one party that should share responsibility for what went wrong. Our wrongful death lawyer in Memphis has the experience necessary to handle multi-party lawsuits should the truth reveal that more than one party is liable for your family’s damages.

What if there were no surviving witnesses of the plane crash—how does that affect our case?

In today’s high-tech world, there are several methods for determining how and why a plane suffers a catastrophic incident. Most commercial planes of some size carry cockpit voice recorders and a device that automatically records the movements of a plane right up to the moment it crashes. Radar information can also be retrieved as well as communications with the control tower last contacted by the crew. Your wrongful death lawyer in Memphis may hire a forensic plane crash investigator who can analyze all of this information along with other data in order to paint an accurate picture of what went wrong and who should be held responsible.

If you would like to know more about wrongful death lawsuits and if this is the right path for your family, contact our wrongful death lawyer in Memphis today for a free consultation.

Wrongful Death on The Job

If you are grieving the loss of a loved one who died as the result of an injury related to their job, you may be wondering if there is any kind of legal action you can take. Dealing with funeral, medical, and burial expenses after your loved one has passed may cause a huge financial strain on your life, and seeking legal help for your loved one’s wrongful death may be the best thing you can do to get compensation for those expenses. If your loved one died while working, call our office to see if there are legal steps you can be taking. 

Should I file a legal claim or try workers’ compensation? 

Typically, if a person is injured while working, they would probably file a workers’ compensation claim to get compensated for the injuries that happened while they were on the job. It is possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are a family member whose loved one died in this manner.

What happens if I file a workers’ compensation claim? 

If you choose to file a workers’ compensation claim, you may get:

  • ⅔ of your loved one’s earnings if there are also children involved, or if it is just you, 50% of your loved one’s earnings. 
  • Your loved one’s medical expenses covered that were related to their injury and passing
  • Money o help cover the cost of your loved one’s burial


What if I want to file a wrongful death lawsuit? 

If you are interested in pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit instead of filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to get more compensation aside from the economic damages. It is possible to also receive compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • PTSD

If you would prefer to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will have the burden of proving that negligence was involved in your loved one’s death. With workers’ compensation, you are not required to show that negligence is involved in order to get compensation. 

Deciding which avenue to pursue is not always easy. However, if you confidently believe that someone’s negligence at your loved one’s workplace caused them to become injured and pass away, then you should speak with a lawyer who is willing to fight on your behalf. Call our office to see how we can help you with your wrongful death lawsuit.  

Choosing the Right Wrongful Death Lawyer

There are many wrongful death lawyers out there, so choosing the right one can be tricky. Here are a few tips for hiring a lawyer to handle your loved one’s estate:

  • Ask about his or her experience with wrongful death claims. Ideally, you may want to work with a lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours in the past.
  • Find out how much time he or she can devote to your wrongful death lawsuit. If a lawyer has a big caseload, he or she may not be able to put enough focus on your case.
  • Ask about fees. Some wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency basis, while others charge an hourly rate. Before hiring a lawyer, make sure his or her fees align with your budget.

You and your family deserve justice for your loved one’s wrongful death. If you are looking for an experienced wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN respects to assist you with your case, contact Patterson Bray at (901) 372-5003.

7 Things To Bring With You to Your Appointment With a Wrongful Death Lawyer

When a loved one dies because of the negligence or willful act of a person or entity, it is called a wrongful death. As such, you can file a claim against the appropriate parties for financial compensation. While no amount of money will make up for your loss, you may feel a measure of satisfaction that the person or organization has been made to pay for what they did. Here are seven things to bring with you with your first meeting with a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN such as Patterson Bray.

1. Medical Records

Bring any and all medical records for your deceased loved one, including doctors’ notes, copies of charts, and medical bills. These will help your wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN see the medical costs associated with your wrongful death claim.

2. Eyewitness Accounts and Police Records

Witness accounts and police records will give your wrongful death attorney a good picture of exactly what happened to your loved one. 

3. Photos or Black Box Recordings

If you have access to photos of the scene of your loved one’s injuries or death, or to the black box recording of the car or plane your spouse or parent was in, bring them to your appointment with a wrongful death attorney. These records can help piece together the events that lead up to your relative’s passing. 

4. Financial and Work Records

Be sure to bring records of lost work and lost wages to your appointment with a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN such as Patterson Bray. These records will help your attorney determine the monetary value of the life that was lost.

5. Insurance Paperwork

Insurance paperwork may include insurance policies, any insurance claims you may have made and any correspondence from insurance companies.

6. Funeral Expenses

The costs of burying your loved one may be able to be recouped in a wrongful death case. Caskets, burial costs, funeral home charges and church donations can all be included in this category.

7. Records of Damaged or Destroyed Property

In some cases, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the loss of property in the incident in which your spouse or parent died. 

Putting a monetary value on the loss of a loved one may feel strange, but a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN can help you do just that, to ensure that whoever took your spouse or parent from you pays for what they’ve done.

Common Myths About Wrongful Death Cases

Losing a family member to someone else’s negligence can be absolutely devastating. While nothing can bring your loved one back, you may pursue compensation for your financial losses through a wrongful death claim. Here are some common myths about wrongful death cases that you shouldn’t believe.

  • There is no time limit to file a wrongful death claim. This is one of the most damaging myths about wrongful death claims. The truth is that you don’t have all the time in the world to bring a claim against the negligent party. In Tennessee, you only have one year from the date of death to file a claim. After that deadline has passed, your family will no longer be eligible to receive compensation. Therefore, you should consult a wrongful death lawyer in Memphis, TN as soon as possible.
  • People who file wrongful death claims just want money. It is true that family members of wrongful death victims seek financial compensation. After all, the costs of medical bills, funeral and burial expenses and other losses can be very high. However, that’s not all they’re after. A wrongful death claim also holds negligent parties accountable for their actions.
  • If the deceased has life insurance, filing a wrongful death claim isn’t necessary. Life insurance policies are always a good thing to have. They financially protect family members if someone dies suddenly. However, a life insurance settlement still might not be enough to cover all the financial losses that resulted from the wrongful death. That is why it is still in your best interest to file a wrongful death claim.
  • If the death was an accident, you can’t file a wrongful death claim. Some people assume that you need to show intent in a wrongful death claim. This isn’t true. Even if the at-fault party didn’t act intentionally, the family of the deceased can still sue for damages. For example, if your family member was killed by a drunk driver, you may file a wrongful death claim.
  • You don’t need to hire a lawyer. Although you are required to hire a wrongful death lawyer, it’s in your best interest to do so. Wrongful death cases can involve many complexities, so it pays to have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. Additionally, your lawyer will handle all the legwork so that you can properly grieve.

Oftentimes insurance adjusters are going to try to give claimants the impression that they do not need a lawyer to process the claim. They may say something like you can hire a lawyer if you want to do this when I change the amount your settlement is worth. This is an implication that you are better off not hiring an attorney and it is only partially true. The truth lies in the fact that yes, there is going to be a certain amount that your claim is worth that you are far less likely to be offered a full and fair compensation without your lawyer. Insurance adjusters are professional negotiators to deal with insurance claims all day long. They’ve seen it all. Unless you are also a seasoned negotiator, you have an inherent disadvantage when you are dealing with an adjuster in the new situation and they are going to use this to their advantage. If you are not working with the lawyer the adjusters going to be fairly certain that you will not take the case to trial and takes away a lot of your leverage and   the adjuster far less incentive to offer a fair settlement

Right after an injury, the injured party is shaken up and trying to get organized and they may not know the extent of their injuries and they may not have gotten in touch with the lawyer yet. This is one of many reasons that insurance adjusters often call claimants immediately. They are going to be very friendly on this call and ask you how you are doing, wish you well and provide general reassurances that you will be taken care of. The main purpose of this call is to earn your trust. The secondary purpose is to contact you in a time when you might let your guard down and admit to some fault for the incident, so no matter how friendly adjusters are you must remember that they work for the insurance company and their loyalties do not lie with you.

Shortly after a claim is filed, you might be asked to provide a recorded or written statement about what happened by the insurance adjuster. This may seem like a reasonable request and the adjuster may imply that this is necessary to get your claim process. It is not a good idea to provide these types of statements because if you do not know how badly you were injured, how much medical treatment you require and other important details, your phrasing can be twisted when you go to court. You should remember that insurance adjusters’ loyalty is with their insurance firm and they want to lower the settlement that you may receive. You should simply be polite and let the adjuster know that you are not comfortable providing a statement at this time.

After an injury, medical bills are going to pile up in time. This from work tends to put a financial strain on the entire household. This puts injury victims in a very vulnerable position in which they are often motivated to be paid very quickly. Insurance adjusters know this and they are going to seek to capitalize on this by making a lowball settlement offer shortly after the claim is filed. In exchange we are going to ask you to sign a release or provide a verbal release of the claim and it is not a good idea to accept the first offer after the insurance company gives you because it is going to be far less than your claim is actually worth.

Speaking with Insurance Company Representatives

If you have lost a loved one due to another’s reckless, negligent, or intentionally harmful actions or inactions, it is important to speak with a wrongful death lawyer Memphis, TN residents trust—and to do so (ideally) before you speak with any insurance representatives about your situation. This guidance applies whether you are in a position to speak with auto insurance, medical insurance, or even workers’ compensation insurance representatives. Why? Insurance companies are for-profit enterprises and, as such, they try to protect their profits when they can. If an insurance representative is in a position to devalue or reject your claim, chances are that they will do so.

Working with an experienced Memphis, TN wrongful death lawyer will better ensure that all communications with insurance representatives concerning your case are handled in ways that will not unintentionally compromise its value. Our firm has extensive experience dealing with all kinds of insurance companies and we know what to say—and how to say it—in ways that promote the overall value of a case. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to the tactics of insurance representatives and the stresses of navigating the insurance claims process. Allow us to speak on behalf of your interests and to efficiently pursue the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to under the circumstances.

Considering a Wrongful Death Settlement Offer

If you have already been offered a wrongful death settlement by anyone involved in your loved one’s fatally injurious circumstances, it is critically important that you have a reputable Memphis, TN wrongful death lawyer review this document before you accept or reject it. Many surviving loved ones are unaware that accepting the terms of a settlement offer can result in a bar on seeking any additional compensation—even if that compensation is rightfully owed. Additionally, it can be difficult to discern whether a settlement offer is properly valued and fairly extended if an attorney does not review the papers associated with the offer.

If you have been extended a settlement offer recently, connect with our office as soon as you possibly can. You may only have days to accept or reject the offer and our team will need time to review the document and related circumstances before we can provide you with objective guidance concerning the offer in question.

The Time-Sensitive Nature of Exploring Your Legal Options

If you have recently lost a loved one as a result of another’s actions or inactions, you may be—very understandably—so overwhelmed by both grief and the practical consequences of your loss that exploring your legal options may be a low priority at this time. If your loss occurred very recently, you may have some months before you need to make a decision under the statute of limitations relevant to your circumstances. However, it is important to schedule a risk-free consultation with the experienced Tennessee team at Patterson Bray PLLC as soon as you can for two reasons. First, speaking with us now can allow us to preserve potentially critical evidence on your behalf before it becomes compromised. This will allow you to preserve your legal options for the future. Second, consulting with us now will allow you time to think about your options in an informed way so that you can execute whichever option is right for you when you’re ready to act. We look forward to speaking with you.