Getting the Full Story: Investigators and Discovery in Wrongful Death Claims in Tennessee

When a loved one dies due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, the surviving family members may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. However, these cases can be complex and challenging to prove. Thorough investigation and discovery are essential to getting the full story and building a strong case.

Why Might a Wrongful Death Claim Arise?

Wrongful death claims in Tennessee often arise from motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk or reckless driving. Medical malpractice, such as surgical errors and misdiagnoses, is another common cause if it results in a preventable death. Defective products and dangerous premises conditions also frequently lead to wrongful death lawsuits. Workplace accidents due to negligence are another leading source, especially in hazardous industries. Wrongful death can also occur from nursing home abuse or neglect. Finally, some claims allege wrongful death due to excessive police force or other intentional acts of violence.

The key is establishing negligence or misconduct that caused the death.

Conducting a Prompt and Thorough Investigation

The first step is to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. This is crucial in order to preserve evidence that could be lost over time and identify all potentially liable parties. An experienced wrongful death attorney in Tennessee will work with professional investigators to gather physical evidence, take photos and video, locate and interview witnesses, and piece together all the facts.

Information to Uncover Through Investigation

Key information uncovered through investigation can include:

  • The cause and manner of death: Autopsy and medical reports can reveal the physical trauma and precise physiological cause of death. Investigators will gather all medical records to understand the victim’s injuries and any care received.
  • Unsafe conditions: Investigators will examine the accident scene to identify hazards, defects, or other dangerous conditions that may have contributed to the death. In a premises liability case, this can demonstrate negligence.
  • Protocol violations: If protocols and safety standards were not followed, investigators can uncover this through interviews, documents, and expert reviews. This evidence can establish a breach of duty.
  • Previous incidents: Evidence of previous similar incidents can help demonstrate knowledge of a danger and failure to take corrective actions.
  • Statements and accounts: Interviews with first responders, witnesses, family members, and the liable party can provide often crucial information.
  • Background information: The victim’s background, character, work history, earnings, and family relationships may be relevant to determining damages.

Using Discovery to Uncover Additional Evidence

The formal discovery process provides additional tools for obtaining evidence from the defendant and other sources. This can include:


Putting the defendant and other key witnesses under oath during depositions can reveal inconsistencies or admissions of guilt. Skilled attorneys know how to ask the right questions to uncover contradictions or doubts in the defendant’s story. Depositions also allow the attorney to assess the witness’s demeanor and credibility face-to-face.


Requesting relevant documents, records, internal communications, and more through requests for production can uncover critical evidence. Internal emails and memos may contain incriminating statements acknowledging risks or negligent conditions. Maintenance records can reveal failure to properly service dangerous equipment.

Expert opinions

Retaining qualified experts to review records and provide opinions on issues like safety standards and causation is key. Experts can analyze evidence to determine if protocols were followed and standards were met. Their testimony also strengthens causation arguments connecting the defendant’s actions to the death.

Site inspections

Gaining access to any accident sites, machinery, or other evidence sources allows closer expert examination. Experts can identify design flaws, maintenance issues, or hazards that may not be obvious to a lay person. Hands-on inspection often reveals even more evidence than documents or testimony.

Building the Strongest Case Through Diligent Investigation and Discovery

Thorough investigation and discovery help ensure your wrongful death attorney from Monge & Associates obtains a complete understanding of the circumstances and events leading to the untimely death. This allows them to establish the negligent or wrongful conduct, resulting damages, and the defendant’s liability.

By leaving no stone unturned, Tennessee families can get the closure, justice, and compensation they deserve through a successful wrongful death claim. With an in-depth investigation and discovery, the attorneys from Monge & Associates can build the strongest case possible.

The statute of limitations in wrongful death cases in Tennessee is one year from the date of the injury that caused the person’s death. If a loved one has died due to negligence, contact us as soon as possible. We have offices in 32 locations and 19 states, including Tennessee, Maryland, and Illinois.

You call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.