The death of a loved one is a tragic event but also incredibly devasting if caused by another person’s negligence or harmful act. Recovering compensation after losing a loved one can be difficult, especially when you are grieving.
A skilled Jackson wrongful death lawyer can be helpful during this challenging time. When you lose a loved one, you do not just lose their companionship but everything they would have contributed to your life together. Fortunately, the law allows victims of the deceased to pursue damages against the person responsible for their loss. Only certain family members can file a claim, but the compensation that can be awarded could be significant.
If you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, our Jackson wrongful death lawyers can help you recover compensation for your untimely loss. Contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free case evaluation.
Wrongful Death Law in Jackson, MS
Under Miss. Code Ann. § 11-7-13, wrongful death is defined as a death that is caused by:
- Wrongful or negligent acts
- Unsafe machinery and appliances
- Breach of a Product’s Warranty
This definition can account for many different situations. For instance, another driver could negligently cause the death of a loved one in a car accident. Many other wrongful deaths result from workplace accidents and medical malpractice cases.
Mississippi’s wrongful death definition also includes criminal acts, such as murder or manslaughter. Our Jackson wrongful death lawyers are here to offer support if you have lost a loved one because of the acts of another person.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Jackson, MS
Only a few parties are permitted to file a wrongful death claim under Mississippi law. Miss. Code Ann. § 11-7-13 allows the following family members to file a lawsuit for compensation in Jackson:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- Surviving siblings
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate.
In most cases, a wrongful death lawsuit will be brought by the deceased’s spouse. If children are involved, the damages awarded by the court are split equally among the spouse and the children. If the deceased is unmarried and without children, parents and siblings can still recover for their loss.
Sometimes a person names a personal representative to oversee their estate in the event of their death. A personal representative can also join a family’s wrongful death claim. If the deceased did not select a personal representative, the state might appoint one to pursue compensation for the deceased’s creditors and heirs at law.
Remember that Mississippi’s wrongful death law allows only one lawsuit to be filed after a loved one’s passing. However, all qualifying family members and the personal representative can bring all their claims in one lawsuit. Our Jackson wrongful death lawyers can help you file a claim to recover compensation for the loss of your family member.
Damages Available in a Jackson, MS, Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Family members of the deceased can recover compensation to cover various damages. The statute listed above authorizes damages “of every kind,” including economic or non-economic damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate the deceased’s family members for quantifiable losses. Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, lost benefits the deceased would have earned if they lived, loss of assistance with children and household duties, and other income lost to the family.
In most cases, the deceased’s personal representative will also join the family’s claim to recover damages intended to pay the final economic costs the estate incurred because of the person’s death. Damages paid to the estate include medical expenses related to treatment for the deceased’s injuries, funeral and burial costs, and payment for property damage.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate the deceased’s beneficiaries for losses that are more difficult to calculate a direct value. Non-economic damages can include the pain and suffering from their loss, emotional distress, loss of companionship and society, and loss of consortium. Non-economic damages can be difficult to prove because of the subjective nature of the losses. Our Jackson wrongful death lawyers can help you understand what damages might be available to you so you can recover the compensation you deserve.
Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Jackson, MS
The time limit to file your wrongful death lawsuit in Jackson is known as the statute of limitations. While every state has a statute of limitations for wrongful death claims, Mississippi has a few peculiarities to its rule that can seriously impact your case.
In Mississippi, two different deadlines apply to wrongful death cases. Under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-35, a wrongful death claim must be filed within one year of the date of the victim’s death if the death was caused by an intentional act, like a tort or criminal act. If the death was the result of another person’s negligence, Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49 allows three years for a family member to file a wrongful death claim.
The statute of limitations is a strict rule, however. In most cases, the court will dismiss your lawsuit if you fail to file before the deadline passes. However, if the only family member permitted to file is a child, the clock on the statute of limitations will not start until the child turns 18. Another exception is if new evidence emerges after the deadline has passed regarding how your loved one died. This could be the late detection of medical malpractice, a defect in a product, and even an injury discovered years later. The clock will not start running in these situations until the harm is known. Our Jackson wrongful death lawyers can help you ensure that your claim is filed promptly.
Our Jackson, MS, Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help
If you have recently lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence or wrongful action, our Jackson wrongful death lawyers can help you hold them accountable. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.