When you and your family are grieving over the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is the legal framework of receiving compensation for wrongful death.
Harris Law Firm can handle all the details of your wrongful death claim. We are dedicated to helping families throughout the State of Arkansas.
What Is the Arkansas Wrongful Death Statute?
Wrongful death arises when a person dies due to the negligent or intentional act of another person or company. The Arkansas wrongful death statute is AR Code § 16-62-102.
This statute outlines the rules for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Arkansas and the rights of those who have lost a loved one to wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arkansas?
Under the Arkansas wrongful death statute, the claim for wrongful death must be brought by the representative of the deceased’s estate. If there is no representative, then the claim may be filed by an heir. Acceptable surviving heirs include:
- Sister, or
The term “in loco parentis” refers to a person serving the role of a parent. The “in loco parentis” of the deceased or person to whom the deceased stood “in loco parentis,” may also bring a wrongful death claim.
What Compensation Is Available for Arkansas Wrongful Death?
No amount of money could ever compensate for the loss of a loved one, but your family should not have to endure financial hardship because of someone else’s negligence. Two types of claims can be filed.
Wrongful Death Estate Claim
An estate claim seeks to recover expenses associated with the death of the deceased and financial losses suffered as a result of the death.
These damages may include actual economic compensation and compensation for the pain and suffering of the deceased, much as if they had incurred a life-altering injury, but remained alive. Damages may include:
- Burial and funeral costs;
- Medical bills acquired during the illness or injury that resulted in death;
- Pain and suffering of the deceased;
- Loss of wages of the deceased; and
- Reduced quality of life.
The estate’s personal representative files this type of claim.
Wrongful Death Family Claim
Surviving members of the deceased’s family may be entitled to compensation for their suffering due to the loss of their loved one. When someone dies, it can affect many lives. Some of these damages may include:
- Loss of financial support from the deceased;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Loss of help with the household.
These damages are paid directly to the family in a lump sum and not to the estate. If the family members cannot agree on how to divide this compensation, the court will provide guidance.
Arkansas Wrongful Death Claim Statute of Limitations
Though taking time to grieve is understandable, claims must be filed within a certain time period. According to the Arkansas wrongful death statute, you have one year from the date of death to file a claim. The sooner you set this legal process in motion, the more likely you are to have a successful outcome.
Why Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?
One of the most difficult and painful parts of a wrongful death case is proving negligence. Insurance companies will try to shift the blame away from their client. Proving negligence will often mean an in-depth review of your loved one’s death.
Investigations and interviews will likely be part of the process, which can be both painful, stressful, and difficult.
The experienced wrongful death and personal injury attorneys at Harris Law Firm understand the emotional and financial hardship of losing a loved one and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve through assertive and professional representation. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.