No one wants to learn about the unexpected death of a loved one. It can be all the harder to contend with that loss if you know that someone else’s diligence could have prevented your loved one’s death.
If your loved one was the victim of a wrongful death accident, you can still hold negligent parties responsible for their injuries. When you want to fight for the justice that your loved one deserves from their accident, you need a Southaven wrongful death attorney from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, to help you fight on your loved one’s behalf.
How a Wrongful Death Accident Can Happen
The most frightening fact about all personal injury accidents is that they can instantly become wrongful death accidents. If your loved one worked as a construction worker and died in a trench collapse, that is an example of a wrongful death accident.
If your loved one visited an amusement park and died due to a defective rollercoaster ride, that is an example of a wrongful death accident.
If your loved one was hit in a serious car accident and passed away days later, that is an example of a wrongful death accident. If your loved one was involved in a personal injury accident that resulted in their death, that accident might be classified as a wrongful death accident.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Southaven, call (901) 526-2126
The Difference Between Wrongful Death and Homicide
One of the reasons why survivors whose loved ones were killed in accidents do not file lawsuits is because wrongful death claims are often confused with criminal murder charges.
Many survivors may assume that the requirements for a criminal homicide charge apply to a lawsuit. These lawsuits are a different form of holding negligent parties responsible for your loved one’s death.
If your loved one’s accident was grossly negligent, there may be additional homicide charges that the party could face in addition to a lawsuit. However, for the most part, the defendant will be responsible for recovering the financial damages you and your family must cover due to your loved one’s death.
Burden of Proof
Another crucial difference between a homicide charge and a wrongful death lawsuit is the burden of proof that each charge requires you to prove. A homicide charge requires you to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is responsible for committing the alleged homicide.
Your lawsuit requires you to provide a preponderance of the evidence. This means that you would be responsible for proving that, more likely than not, the defendant’s careless actions led to the death of your loved one.
Southaven Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (901) 526-2126
Negligence in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Another important legal factor that you must prove in a personal injury lawsuit is negligence. Negligence is a legal measurement of the defendant’s liability in an accident. The more likely you can prove the defendant’s negligence against your loved one, the greater your chances of being rewarded the maximum compensation in your lawsuit.
Negligence can be proven through these four elements:
The first element you must prove is that the defendant owed your loved one a particular standard of care. This standard of care can be a duty to drive their vehicle in a safe manner or the duty to provide reasonably safe premises depending on the type of accident.
Violation of that Reasonable Care
The second element you must prove is that the defendant’s actions were a violation of the reasonable care they owed your loved one. An example of this element being proven is if your loved one was a nursing home resident and the nursing home staff denied your loved one adequate home care.
The third element must be proven as the direct link between the negligent party’s actions and your loved one’s death. This element can be proven by showing that the defendant’s lack of care towards his loved one in a nursing home contributed to their death or serious injuries leading up to their death.
This last element must be proven by displaying the damages that your loved one suffered from the accident. Your loved one’s death can serve as an example of the damages suffered from the accident.
Wrongful Death Cases as Personal Injury Cases
Wrongful death cases operate as a subset of personal injury cases. If you want to take legal action after the unexpected loss of a loved one, you have to go through the same negligence-identifying steps that you would if you were pursuing compensation for most other types of accidents.
This means that provided you can prove the evidence’s role in your case, you have the right to take wrongful death legal action after relevant:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Recorded incidents of nursing home abuse
- Truck accidents
- Accidents involving defective products
That said, you must serve a particular role in the deceased’s life if you want to file for fair compensation on their behalf. You must indicate that you either serve as the deceased’s personal executor or are related to the deceased as their spouse, parents, or sibling to move your case forward.
Your Filing Deadline
Similarly, your wrongful death lawsuit is bound by the personal injury statute of limitations. In the face of both non-fatal personal injury cases and personal injury accidents resulting in a loved one’s untimely passing, you have three years to act on your losses. You can find more information about these statutes in Mississippi Code §15-1-49.
That said, Mississippi law also states that if the negligence resulting in your loved one’s passing was deliberate, you only have a year to take your case to civil court.
You can work with an experienced attorney in Southaven, MS, to brainstorm the legal action needed to hold an at-fault party accountable for their misconduct, be that via settlement negotiations or a wrongful death trial. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation for more information about the next steps you can take toward fair compensation.
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Demanding Compensation For a Loved One’s Passing
Contending with the unexpected loss of a loved one forces you to contend with more than emotional stress. The financial stress of facilitating a loved one’s funeral, contending with an abrupt loss of income, and addressing additional losses faced in a recent accident can see even the most stalwart of families go through the financial wringer.
Depending on the nature of your loved one’s accident and the bills generated in the wake of that loss, you and your attorney may have the right to demand compensation for:
- Accident-related medical expenses
- Expenses generated in the pursuit of care for your loved one prior to their passing
- Lost income, wages, and/or opportunities to work
- At-home assistance throughout your recovery
- Property damage and its restoration/replacement
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Funeral expenses
- Non-economic wrongful death losses
Depending on the severity of your case, a judge may choose to award you punitive damages. These damages can compensate for an at-fault party’s gross negligence or recklessness.
Negotiating for Settlements with Insurance Companies
Establishing the liability of the defendant will already be a difficult task. Attempting to reach a middle ground with insurance companies will make the task even more difficult. Instead of providing you with the compensation you deserve for your loved one’s death, insurance companies will blame your loved one for their accident.
Even worse, it will be up to you to defend your loved ones against ridiculous assumptions because they are no longer alive to defend themselves.
Instead of negotiating these complex relationships and accusations alone, you can turn to a wrongful death attorney in Southaven for help. We can communicate your needs to insurance providers and ensure that you’re not taken advantage of.
How a Personal Injury Attorney in Southaven Can Help You
You want to give yourself the best legal protection when seeking justice on behalf of your loved one. Because this is probably the first time you have filed a lawsuit, you may not be familiar with the damages you can recover or the types of tricks that insurance companies will use to prevent your loved one from being rewarded compensation.
Our legal team can offer you the legal protection you need to fight for your loved one’s rights. Personal injury lawyers can assist with every aspect of your lawsuit, from filing your wrongful death claim to calculating the worth of your claim to negotiating for your loved one’s best interest.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Southaven, MS, Today
At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC, we understand that no amount of money will replace the presence of your loved one. We also understand that, as survivors, you deserve to grieve the loss of your loved one without worrying about any financial matters.
Our wrongful death lawyers in Southaven, MS, can help ensure you receive the maximum compensation to settle all financial matters related to your loved one’s accident. Call our office, or submit our contact form today.