When a death occurs due to an unexpected accident that could have been prevented, the impact on the decedent’s loved ones is sure to be traumatic. If you believe your loved one lost their life due to the negligence of another party, a wrongful death lawyer in Horn Lake may be capable of helping you recover compensation that is representative of their end-of-life expenses and the estimated value of their life. A personal injury lawyer in Horn Lake can evaluate your case and make a claim, get in touch with Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC today.
Understand What Wrongful Death Means
“Wrongful death” is a legal term that describes any instance wherein a person’s death occurs due to crime, criminal actions, negligence, or property that was manufactured with defects. In summary, a wrongful death case can be filed whenever a person’s death is caused by another person, organization, or entity.
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How Does Wrongful Death Happen?
Wrongful death cases can arise from a variety of scenarios, including:
- Malpractice committed by a medical professional
- Incidents of negligence, such as motorcycle accidents
- Fatal accidents that involve defective products
- Criminal behaviors that caused the death of another person
What caused your loved one to die will dictate the process of recovering compensation from the party you believe to be at fault. Even if you are unclear on exactly how your loved one died, it may be worth investigating. To get more insight into whether a wrongful death claim is warranted, have your case evaluated by a Horn Lake wrongful death lawyer.
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Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
When someone dies in an incident that could be deemed a “wrongful death,” certain family members can pursue a wrongful death claim against the party they believe caused their relative’s death. To succeed in their lawsuit, plaintiffs must show compelling evidence that the defendant intentionally or unintentionally caused their relative’s death.
The evidence that could prove valuable varies depending on the circumstances of the fatal incident. If the decedent died in a car accident, any evidence showing that the defendant was at fault in the accident would be helpful. In other incidents, such as a medical malpractice death, proof that the health care provider was negligent or made a mistake that led to death would be critically important.
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These Relatives Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Horn Lake
Being the decedent’s family member is not the only requirement for filing a wrongful death claim. You must fall into one of several categories of family members. These categories include:
- The decedent’s current spouse
- The decedent’s child
- The decedent’s parents
- The executor of the decedent’s estate
There is an order of operations when considering who is eligible to file. If the spouse survives, the child may be unable to file a wrongful death claim. When adult children are present, the decedent’s parents may not be able to file either. The exception to this rule is that only the estate executor can file a claim for financial losses related to the decedent’s death.
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Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Through a wrongful death lawsuit, plaintiffs seek to recover compensation for two primary categories of losses. The total value of these losses will be assessed and confirmed during the negotiation phase or, if the case goes to court, during the trial. The types of losses that can be claimed as damages include:
The Value of the Decedent’s Life
If a preventable incident killed someone, their life could have continued had someone not caused their death. Through this loss of life, a range of opportunities and experiences have been lost. Wrongful death laws seek to compensate family members for this loss by providing them with financial resources representing the value of the deceased person’s life.
Lost wages are a common loss covered in this category of damages. Because the person died, their family can no longer benefit from having them as an income earner. Without them around, that compensation has to be replaced somehow. Likewise, the loss of the decedent may have also caused family members to lose the companionship, care, and counsel that they may have received had the victim survived.
Financial Losses Caused by the Death
When someone dies, there are actual expenses that will arise. This includes medical bills and other final expenses, like funerals, burials, and cremation. Other relevant costs may develop as well. These additional costs can potentially be included in this category of damages.
Please note that only the estate executor is eligible to seek compensation for this category of losses.
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Wrongful Death Claim Time Limits
You do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations prevents people from filing after a certain amount of time has passed. This statute of limitations is not uniform across the country. Instead, each state has a unique statute of limitations for wrongful death claims.
The statute of limitations on wrongful death claims in the areas we serve are:
- Mississippi – Three years
- Tennessee – One year
- Arkansas – Three years
Your Time to File a Horn Lake Wrongful Death Claim
We understand that you may still be recovering from the loss of your relative. But, do not let your grief prevent you from getting the compensation that your family is due. With a Horn Lake wrongful death attorney representing your interests, you can recover the money your family needs to replace your loved one’s income.
If you wait too long, the statute of limitations may run out. That is not the only reason you need to take action now. Waiting will give the defendant more time to prepare their defense or cover up evidence. Acting now gives you the best chance of winning compensation.
Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC is ready to hear from you. To have your case evaluated for free, use the contact form on this page.