Whether through an unfortunate accident or someone’s terrible act of violence, a loved one’s wrongful death can be difficult to process. An attorney can help you take legal action against those responsible and bring your family justice.
Wrongful deaths might occur under a variety of unfortunate circumstances. While we often think of violence or negligence as causing wrongful deaths, many other possible cases exist. Generally, a wrongful death case may be filed by the deceased person’s personal representative, but the case is for the benefit of many family members. In certain circumstances, immediate family members can file the case as well. You can not only claim damages that the deceased person could have claimed themselves but also funeral expenses, loss of services, and personal losses like companionship or consortium. Plaintiffs must file their claims within a 3-year deadline or lose their right to sue.
If you believe your loved one’s death was wrongful, our Mississippi wrongful death lawyers can help you explore legal options for compensation. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
How Wrongful Death Cases Might Happen in Mississippi
It is sometimes hard to tell if your loved one’s death was accidental or resulted from wrongful actions. There are a variety of circumstances under which a person’s death might be considered wrongful. If you are unsure about your case, discuss it with our Mississippi wrongful death attorneys.
If you lost a loved one to violence, you almost definitely have a wrongful death case on your hand. In these cases, plaintiffs must also contend with criminal trials, as the defendant is likely facing homicide-related charges. Although this can delay your case, it might also benefit you, as we can use a guilty plea or verdict as evidence in your civil lawsuit.
Negligence and accidents are very common reasons behind many wrongful death lawsuits. Car accidents are perhaps one of the biggest reasons why people file wrongful death cases. Although accidents are unintentional, and defendants did not mean any harm, they may still be liable for their negligence.
One reason for a wrongful death case that people sometimes overlook is product liability. These cases involve defective goods and products that were so dangerous that somebody passed away. For example, when the brakes in a car are faulty, a driver might be unable to stop, and they might be fatally injured in an accident. In that case, the company that manufactured the brakes may be held liable for the wrongful death.
Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim in Mississippi?
When a person passes away, they might leave a whole host of loved ones behind who might demand justice if the death was wrongful. However, only certain people can file a wrongful death claim. Even so, multiple parties might be beneficiaries of a wrongful death case. Our Mississippi wrongful death lawyers can help you determine who should file your case.
According to Miss. Code Ann. § 11-7-13, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by the deceased person’s personal representative or a certain family members. A personal representative is someone placed in charge of the deceased person’s estate and legal affairs. Often, the personal representative is a family member, but they might also be a close friend or attorney.
When a family member files the case, only filings by certain family members are allowed. A spouse may file the case for the wrongful death of a spouse, a parent for a child, and a sibling for a sibling. Even so, all these parties may join the lawsuit even though they were not the ones to file. So, if a spouse files a wrongful death case for their deceased spouse, the deceased person’s parents, children, and siblings may also take part and claim damages in the lawsuit.
Possible Damages in Mississippi Wrongful Death Lawsuits
There are many potential damages in wrongful death claims, which are often very high. You can claim damages on behalf of the deceased person and your own losses and damages. Our Mississippi wrongful death lawyers can help you review the potential damages in your case and get an accurate idea of how much your claims should be worth.
The statute mentioned above explains that plaintiffs in wrongful death cases may claim damages on multiple fronts. First, you can claim damages for the injuries and losses the deceased person could have claimed themselves had they survived. This includes medical expenses, pain, suffering, and any other damages your loved one might have experienced prior to passing away. In cases where a person does not pass away immediately, these damages may be quite high.
Second, you can claim losses your family experienced because of the wrongful death. Families can claim funeral and burial expenses. If the deceased person contributed income to the household, you can claim their lost income as part of your damages. If they provided necessary services (e.g., maintenance, caregiving, childcare), you can claim the value of those lost services. You can also claim personal losses, like the loss of companionship and consortium between spouses or parental guidance for a child.
When You Should File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Mississippi
Statutes of limitations are laws that impose time limits on plaintiffs filing lawsuits. Under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49(1), plaintiffs have no more than 3 years to file wrongful death lawsuits. Statutes of limitations are rigid but not totally inflexible. Under certain circumstances, the statute of limitations may be tolled, and plaintiffs might have extra time to file the case. Out Mississippi wrongful death lawyers can help you file your case as quickly as possible before the deadline passes.
Normally, statutes of limitations may be tolled for minors until they turn 18. However, this is not necessarily the case in all cases. In the 2015 case of Pioneer Community Hospital of Newton v. Roberts, the court ruled that the statute of limitations is not tolled for minors if another qualified family member (i.e., an adult) can and has filed a claim. However, there may be unique circumstances where there is no qualified adult to file a case, and the deceased person’s minor children may have additional time to file a claim after they reach the age of majority.
Contact Our Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys for Help
If you have lost a loved one and believe their death was wrongful, contact our Mississippi wrongful death lawyers for help right away. Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free case review.