Notification to Next of Kin - Serious Accidents

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Sheriffs, sheriff’s deputies, and employees of sheriff’s offices are required to make a reasonable effort to promptly notify the next of kin of any person who has been killed or seriously injured in an accidental manner before any statement, written or spoken, is delivered or transmitted to the press by the sheriff, sheriff’s deputy or employee, disclosing the decedent's or seriously injured person's name. For the purposes of the notification requirement, the investigating officer is responsible for making the determination, based upon the officer's personal opinion, as to whether a person is "seriously injured." Neither the officer nor the officer's employer shall incur any liability based upon the officer's opinion as to whether or not a person is seriously injured. T.C.A. § 38-1-106.