Mississippi Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations Overview
Was your loved one a victim of wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence?
If so, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to compensate you for the loss of your loved one.
However, many grieving family members don’t file their lawsuit in time since they may not realize that a statute of limitations applies to wrongful death lawsuits.
If you’re thinking of filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you should act fast. Here’s what you need to know about Mississippi’s wrongful death statute of limitations.
What Is a Wrongful Death and Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
What is the Mississippi wrongful death statute of limitations? Here is the short answer: The Mississippi wrongful death statute defines wrongful death as “the death of any person or of any unborn quick child” caused by the following (Miss. Code Ann. § 11-7-13):
- Any real, wrongful or negligent act or omission
- Unsafe machinery, way or appliances
- Breach of any warranty of products intended for human consumption
An unborn quick child refers to an unborn child that the mother can feel moving. It is an ancient phrase that roughly corresponds to the modern “age of viability,” which occurs around 22 weeks.
Mississippi wrongful death statute entitles family members closest to the victim to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving child
- Surviving parent
- Surviving siblings
- Personal representative of the victim’s estate
All these surviving members of the victim’s family may join together in one wrongful death lawsuit. Alternatively, the family member with the closest legal standing may file separately.
What Are Wrongful Death Damages?
Wrongful death damages attempt to reimburse the victim’s family for the loss of their loved one. There are several categories of wrongful death damages.
These damages result from money paid or lost as a result of the wrongful death. Economic damages include medical expenses, burial expenses, reimbursement for damaged property, and lost wages.
These damages include the emotional aspects of wrongful death, such as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages attempt to compensate the family for their loss of the victim’s companionship.
Mississippi wrongful death statute caps non-economic damages in these categories:
- Medical malpractice at $500,000
- Product liability at $1,000,000
- Pharmaceutical liability at $1,000,000
These damages caps do not apply to economic costs like medical expenses, burial costs, and lost wages.
What is the Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
How long you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit depends on what caused your loved one’s death.
- Intentional acts causing death, like assault or battery, carry a one-year statute of limitations.
- Negligence carries a three-year statute of limitations.
So, you have either one or three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Act on a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Today
The Mississippi wrongful death statute of limitations does not give grieving family members much time to contemplate a lawsuit. If you think someone else’s action or inaction caused your loved one’s death, you must act immediately.
We understand that it may feel difficult to discuss the details of your loved one’s death. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys offer compassionate understanding and expert legal advice.