The sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one is devastating and painful. It can be even more challenging to cope with this loss when another person’s negligent, reckless, or intentional acts caused their death. A wrongful death claim can help get surviving family members the financial support needed to move forward after such a catastrophic experience. No amount of money could ever fill the irreplaceable hole left by this loss. However, getting compensation from the responsible person can help ease the remaining financial and emotional burdens. Read on to learn more about these claims and how a Jackson wrongful death lawyer can help you. Contact us today to speak with a Jackson wrongful death lawyer!
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death action in Arkansas arises when someone dies due to the fault of another person, company, or corporation. The death may result from negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior. The most common types of wrongful death cases include the following:
- Car accidents,
- Medical malpractice,
- Workplace accident,
- Product liability,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Bicycle accidents,
- Commercial truck accidents,
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Dog attacks, and
- Nursing home abuse and neglect.
Wrongful death claims are civil cases filed by the deceased person’s surviving family members. If you believe you have a claim to recover after losing a loved one, speak to a wrongful death attorney in Jackson and explore your options for compensation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Arkansas, wrongful death claims may only be filed by the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate. A personal representative is one of the victim’s heirs at law and can include the following individuals:
- The deceased person’s spouse,
- The deceased person’s children,
- The deceased person’s mother or father,
- The deceased person’s siblings,
- Individuals who acted as the deceased person’s parents when the victim was still alive, and
- Individuals that the deceased person cared for and provided for.
When multiple people wish to come forward to serve as the personal representative, it may not be easy to understand the priority of individuals permitted to take on this role. Knowing whether you have a right to file a wrongful death claim requires the help of a wrongful death attorney in Jackson.
How to Prove Wrongful Death?
Your wrongful death lawyer in Jackson knows that succeeding on a wrongful death claim requires establishing and proving the four elements of negligence.
- Duty of care. You must establish that the wrongdoer owed your loved one a duty of care. For example, a driver owes a duty of care to everyone on the road to operate their car reasonably.
- Breach. A breach occurs when a person violates their duty of care. In the above example, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs would represent a breach of a driver’s duty of care.
- Causation. Causation requires proving that a person’s breach caused your injuries. For example, causation would be established if the drunk driver collided with your loved one because of their intoxication and caused their death.
- Damages. Surviving family members must prove they suffered damages due to their loved one’s death.
Your attorney undertakes an intensive investigation to establish the required elements of negligence. These elements may appear straightforward; however, interviewing witnesses, accident reconstruction, reviewing cell phone records, and examining medical records are necessary to prove this vital part of a wrongful death claim.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Claim?
The statute of limitations for any claim is the statutorily defined time a party has to file their claim. Failing to file their claim within this period can bar the person from ever filing their claim again. Different statutes of limitations apply to various claims. The Arkansas statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of death. Few exceptions exist to this law; therefore, speaking to an attorney as soon as possible is essential to begin filing your lawsuit and holding the proper party responsible for your loss.
What Can a Jackson Wrongful Death Attorney Help Me Recover?
The amount of damages that a victim can recover in a wrongful death claim varies from case to case. Generally, a personal representative may recover economic and noneconomic damages for surviving family members. These include the damages that the deceased person could have recovered had they survived and the losses suffered by the family.
Economic damages include calculable losses directly resulting from a loved one’s death. Recoverable economic damages represent the following:
- The deceased person’s lost wages and benefits,
- The deceased person’s loss of future earnings,
- Funeral and burial expenses, and
- The monetary value of the household chores the deceased would have contributed.
It’s difficult to accurately calculate and prove some of these damages without the help of a qualified Jackson wrongful death lawyer.
Noneconomic damages compensate surviving family members for the subjective and emotional harm of losing a loved one. These damages typically include the following:
- Loss of a loved one’s affection, company, care, help, protection, and emotional support;
- Loss of consortium or loss of an intimate relationship; and
- Mental anguish and grief due to the loss.
Due to their intangible nature, noneconomic damages are challenging to establish and recover without the help of a qualified wrongful death attorney.
The time it takes to resolve a wrongful death claim depends on several factors, including the complexity and value of your case. While many cases are settled outside of court, it’s vital for surviving family members to get the compensation they need and deserve after suffering such an unimaginable loss.
For over 40 years, Harris Law Firm has worked tirelessly to achieve justice for our clients. Our experienced legal team takes a deep interest in each case and never treats our clients as just another file. We take the time to get to know our clients personally and determine the best way to help you. Our practice focuses solely on individuals suffering from severe injuries due to someone else’s negligent behavior. We provide every client with aggressive and experienced representation while utilizing the best state-of-the-art technology and access to the most qualified experts available. Our small but mighty firm can handle even the most complex matters. Contact us today online or by phone to learn how Harris Law Firm can help you. We want to hear your story.