The days and weeks after the death of a loved one can seem endless. Although the world continues to turn, the idea of waking up without your spouse, parent, or child seems impossible. When an investigation shows that someone else’s negligence or recklessness is to blame for the pain you’re in, you may find it even harder to move on. Knowing that your loss was preventable may make it more challenging to move forward with your life.
While no amount of money can ever give you back what you have lost, it is the only way for the court system to compensate surviving loved ones. It may also give you a sense of justice to know that the negligent party is forced to compensate you for what you have lost. If you’re considering a wrongful death claim after the death of a family member, we’re here to help you. Call Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151 to set up a free consultation right away.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is, in essence, a personal injury claim. The burden of proof is lower than in a criminal case, but you do still have to provide evidence showing what you have lost and how the other party’s actions are responsible for your losses.
If your family member’s death was caused by another person’s negligence, it’s likely that you have a valid wrongful death claim. Another way to figure this out is to ask: Had my family member survived, would they have been able to bring a personal injury claim against the negligent party for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs? If they would have, a wrongful death claim could be your next step.
Legally, wrongful death in Mississippi is one caused by a negligent act, a piece of unsafe machinery, or an unsafe product designed for consumers. Some accidents that may result in wrongful death claims include:
- Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
- Bike and pedestrian accidents
- Defective products
- Nursing home abuse
- Slip and fall accidents
- Animal attacks
- Medical malpractice
- Certain workplace accidents
Wrongful Death Laws in Mississippi
Mississippi’s wrongful death laws outline who is allowed to bring a claim forward, how long you have to file a claim, and how much you can collect. The people allowed to file a wrongful death claim include:
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
- The decedent’s spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- Surviving siblings
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Mississippi is three years from the date of your loved one’s death. As is the case with any law regarding the statute of limitations, there are some exceptions. You shouldn’t wait to file a claim, just in case your case is one with a shortened statute of limitations.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death
The compensation varies quite a bit between cases, so a lot depends on the circumstances of your loved one’s passing. Be wary of any attorney who’s quick to give you a huge, impressive number that your claim is worth—your attorney will need to know the details of your claim before telling you approximately how much it may be worth.
A wrongful death claim can provide compensation for a wide range of losses, including expenses related to:
- Medical expenses of the deceased
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of childcare and household assistance, and the cost of hiring help for those tasks
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Loss of quality or enjoyment of life
- Loss of the deceased’s income and expected financial contributions for the rest of their career
Your case may also entitle you to punitive damages, although this is uncommon. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and discourage them and others from engaging in similar behavior in the future. These damages are only awarded for claims that go to court and show gross negligence or malice.
In certain cases, your non-economic damages may be capped. This includes losses like pain and suffering. Economic damages, like medical expenses and lost wages, are not included in this category. For a death caused by medical malpractice, non-economic damages are capped at $500,000. The cap is $1,000,000 for deaths related to defective products or pharmaceutical medications.
How Reeves & Mestayer Can Help
Wrongful death claims are among the most difficult for victims. Not only are our clients grappling with immeasurable grief, but they’re also faced with financial hardships that they never expected. Our goal is to approach every single wrongful death case with the tact, empathy, and patience it deserves. Our clients need all the support they can get as they go through one of the hardest times of their lives.
That doesn’t mean that we go soft on the negligence party. Since our clients have lost so much, they deserve to be made whole in any way possible. While we know that the liable party’s insurance company will likely push back against our claim, deny liability, or try to drive down the cost of the settlement, we are ready to fight aggressively for everything you are owed.
As you adjust to life without your loved one and strive to find a new normal, the last thing you need is incessant calls from insurance companies and the stress those calls bring. While you concentrate on finding joy where you can in your new normal, let us handle your legal needs.
We’ll be with you every step of the way. Through an exhaustive investigation, we’ll learn more about how your loved one’s death occurred, link it to the negligent party’s actions, and calculate the value of your claim. We’ll negotiate on your behalf with the liable party’s insurance provider and fight for a fair settlement. If they refuse to negotiate fairly, we are ready to take your case to court and fight for you there.
Set Up Your Consultation with Our Team Today
Don’t wait any longer to seek justice for your loss. With the help of our team of experienced attorneys, you can concentrate on healing and working through your grief while we address the legal side of your loss. Call us at 228-374-5151 or fill out our contact form to get started.