If you lose a loved one in a car accident, the driver responsible for the crash might be charged with and convicted of manslaughter or homicide offenses. In such cases, family members may sue the other driver for the wrongful death of their loved one.
Family members may sue negligent drivers for the wrongful death of their loved one in a vehicular homicide case. The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate or certain immediate family members may file a wrongful death claim. Regardless of who files the case, various family members may be parties to the case and recover damages. Damages are somewhat complex in wrongful death cases. You may claim damages that the deceased person could have claimed themselves if they survived the crash in addition to damages for your family’s losses. How damages are distributed depends on what family members are parties to the claim.
If you recently lost a loved one in a car accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit related to vehicular homicide. Our Mississippi wrongful death lawyers can assist you in getting justice for your loved one and family. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
Filing a Lawsuit for the Loss of a Loved One in a Vehicular Manslaughter Case in Mississippi
Losing a loved one under any circumstances is incredibly painful. If the loss resulted from someone else’s wrongful behavior, such as a car accident, you might naturally feel compelled to seek justice for your loved one and family. While surviving family members of someone lost to vehicular homicide cannot bring criminal charges, they may pursue civil justice.
Criminal cases are separate from civil lawsuits, and criminal charges are out of your control. However, you can sue the negligent driver in your case for wrongful death. According to Miss. Code Ann. § 11-7-13, a wrongful death results from a real, wrongful, or negligent act or failure to act on the defendant’s part. Vehicular homicide cases are common in wrongful death claims, as many accidents result from driver negligence. Remember, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action. If you win the case, you may recover financial compensation from the defendant, but they do not face penalties like incarceration in civil court.
If you want to pursue civil action against the person responsible for your loved one’s wrongful death, you must act quickly. According to Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49(1), the statute of limitations in many wrongful death cases is 3 years. This statute of limitations applies to cases of negligence and accidents, like vehicular homicide accidents.
A different law applies if the accident was intentional and not the result of driver negligence. Intentional torts must be filed within 1 year, according to Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-35. While intentional car crashes are less typical, they are not unheard of. If your loved one passed away in an accident due to the other driver’s road rage, you might be dealing with an intentional tort rather than a case of negligence.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case for Vehicular Manslaughter in Mississippi?
One of the trickiest parts about filing a wrongful death claim is figuring out who should file it. Wrongful death lawsuits tend to be complex because multiple people are involved. If you lost a loved one in a vehicular homicide incident, you and many other family members might want to be a part of the case. Our Jackson wrongful death lawyers can help you and your family get the case started.
Under the law, a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate and certain family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally, only immediate family members can file the lawsuit. The statute for wrongful death states that a surviving spouse may file for the death of a spouse, a parent for a child, a child for a parent, or a sibling for a sibling. This means that even if you are very close with extended family members (e.g., grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins), you might not be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Although one person usually files the case, multiple family members may join the lawsuit. If your sibling passed away after a car accident and their spouse filed a wrongful death claim, you may still join the lawsuit and claim damages for your losses. Personal representatives often file wrongful death cases when there are no surviving family members to do it themselves or if the only family members are minor children who cannot sue on their own.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases for Vehicular Manslaughter in Mississippi
Assessing damages in a wrongful death case is extremely important and a bit complicated. Plaintiffs can claim two broad categories of damages: damages that the defendant could have claimed if they lived, and damages related to the family’s losses. What kind of damages are available depends on your unique losses and how the vehicular homicide occurred. Our Valdosta wrongful death lawyers can help you go over the possible damages in your case.
Your Loved One’s Losses
The law regarding wrongful death claims states that plaintiffs may claim damages that the deceased person could have claimed if they survived the car accident. These damages may include ordinarily available in many personal injury cases. For example, medical bills your loved one incurred from the accident before they passed away may be claimed. You can also claim the value of your loved one’s damaged vehicle. If your loved one did not pass away immediately, they might have experienced significant pain and suffering, which may be claimed as part of the non-economic damages in your case. On top of all this, you can claim funeral and burial expenses.
Your Family’s Losses
You must also consider the losses experienced by you and your family members. Your family’s losses depend on their relationship with the deceased person. For example, if the deceased person was your spouse, you can claim lost consortium and companionship in addition to the value of the income your spouse would have contributed to the household. Children can often claim the loss of valuable personal guidance.
You should also consider valuable services the deceased person provided that are no longer available. For example, if the deceased person provided caregiving services for their parent, the parent may claim the loss of those services.
Call Our Mississippi Wrongful Death Lawyers for Help with a Vehicular homicide Case
Losing a loved one to vehicular homicide is tragic, and you and your family deserve justice and closure. Call our Murfeesboro wrongful death lawyers to begin a lawsuit against the person responsible for your loved one’s death. Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free case evaluation.