Six Arrested in Hanging Death
Six men are likely to face charges ranging from wrongful death to murder in the death of a Tennessee man. The man was found shot and hanging from a tree after the men attacked him near his home. He was shot in the leg during his attempt to escape, after which the men pursued and hung him.
Wrongful Death Charges
Wrongful death in Tennessee includes any death resulting from another’s actions, even if unintentional, so long as their actions were wrongful or could have reasonably foreseen that damage would result from their action or lack thereof. Typically, there is a one-year statute of limitations on wrongful death suits, meaning that the claim has to be brought within one year of the death in question. However, when the actions are also illegal, criminal charges can be added to the mix and the statute of limitations is extended to two years. In the case above, for example, kidnapping and murder charges would increase the statute of limitations to two years.
Because wrongful death is a civil claim, it is focused on seeking compensation for the death, including expenses such as:
- Funeral costs
- Pain and suffering of both the deceased and his or her family
- Loss of wages
- Other necessary expenses incurred by family members as a result of the death
Recovering these expenses does not require proof that the defendant is solely responsible for the death in question. Instead, you only need to prove that the defendant was mostly at fault for the death or injuries leading to death. If the court finds that the defendant is 60 percent at fault for the death, then the defendant will be required to pay 60 percent of the damages you seek in the case.
Simultaneous Civil and Criminal Charges
In some cases, both civil claims, meant to assist the surviving family, and criminal charges, meant to punish the offender, will be brought. In the event that a civil charge, such as wrongful death, and criminal charges arise in the same case, both cases can be tried simultaneously. Ensure that your lawyer has full information on both cases, as some information from the criminal trial can be used in the civil case. For example, if the defendant pleads guilty to the criminal charges, this can be utilized as proof that the defendant committed the crime which resulted in the wrongful death.
The fact that the defendant is facing both civil and criminal charges can complicate the cases further. For instance, the Fifth Amendment guarantees the defendant the right to remain silent, rather than incriminate himself or herself in criminal cases. This can make proving that the defendant caused the death a bit more difficult. However, your attorney will work to ensure that your case can be proven even if the defendant invokes his or her Fifth Amendment rights.
Contact an Attorney
If you or your loved one is involved in a wrongful death case with criminal charges, don’t wait to contact an attorney. The Nashville attorneys at Calhoun Law, PLC can assist you in navigating these difficult cases and receiving the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.