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Is a Wrongful Death Case Part of the Public Record?

Is a Wrongful Death Case Part of the Public Record?The loss of a loved one is devastating within itself. The tragedy can become more severe emotionally if the victim died as a result of someone else’s negligence. According to Tennessee law, families that have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for damages. These settlements by themselves are not normally made public. The settlement and its amount are kept private between the parties.

In wrongful death cases, the settlement amount is known to the wrongdoer’s insurer and those who recover compensation in the case. If the case happens to make it to trial, then the records of that will be open to the public, including the amount the jury awards the plaintiff in the verdict.

In most cases, injury claims settle before they make it to trial. Those that make it to trial only do so because a settlement could not be agreed upon by the parties.

Out-of-court settlements are private; rulings in court are public

If you decide to settle your case privately, the results of the case will not see the light of day to the general public. However, if any case is decided by a jury or judge, the results will be publicized. This public sharing of a case includes every piece of information that was provided to the judge or jury. This includes all the details of the injury the victim suffered, all witness testimonies, all of the arguments and communications in court from both sides, and the amount of the verdict awarded to the plaintiff.

In Tennessee, a wrongful death case must be filed with one year of the occurrence which resulted in the death of the loved one. Some exceptions may apply, including if your loved one happened to live for a period greater than one year prior to passing away from his or her injuries. An experienced attorney who handles wrongful death cases in the state can advise you on the timeframe you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, our Chattanooga wrongful death lawyers have a sharp understanding of how these cases work. We offer compassionate and strong legal representation to guide your case to the best outcome possible. Our team is here to fight for your right to recover compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one. We serve Chattanooga, Cleveland, other parts of Tennessee, and North Georgia. To set up a free consultation, call us today at 423.454.3394 or use our contact form.