When an auto accident occurs in Tennessee or any other state, injured passengers are generally entitled to collect from the driver of the vehicle they occupied, but only if their injuries were caused substantially by that driver's negligence. The same applies, of course, if the passenger dies as a result of the car crash. In that event, the decedent's estate is entitled to make a claim on behalf of the decedent against the negligent driver. If more than one driver is negligent, each negligent contributor to the injury or death may be liable for damages, generally in proportion to the degree of fault of each.
In a Tennessee accident occurring on Nov. 21 at about midnight, the driver of a single-vehicle accident died after losing control of his car on Interstate 75. The car suddenly veered off to the left side of the road and hit a tree in the median. The two passengers in the vehicle were hospitalized with undisclosed injuries. They survived, but the extent of each victim's injuries is unknown at this time.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol took blood samples of the deceased driver to determine if alcohol or drugs were involved. With two passengers surviving, the authorities will likely wait for statements from them prior to issuing a final report. The injured victims will be entitled to make claims against the estate of the deceased driver as soon as they are able to do so.
In some cases, where a victim of a car crash is severely injured and incapacitated, his or her next of kin may find it advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the event. It is helpful for the injured person's representative to visit the scene of the accident and take photos immediately after the event. There may be witness statements or other elements of proof that should be pinned down and memorialized as support for the claim. These general considerations are applicable in Tennessee as well as in other states.
Source: clevelandbanner.com, "2 die in Saturday interstate accidents", Christy Armstrong, Nov. 21, 2015