When a person’s life is taken as a result of someone else’s intentional, reckless, or negligent act in Meridian, Mississippi, the victim’s family may be eligible for compensation. While nothing could ever make up for the loss of a loved one, securing accountability from responsible parties might make a difference in allowing a family to get started on their path to recovery. If you have recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you must contact an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Talk to Experienced Meridian, MS Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
We provide a sympathetic yet aggressive approach to families who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Our law firm is dedicated to ensuring that liable parties are held accountable and obtaining the highest compensation possible to safeguard your family’s future.
We have significant expertise in dealing with complex cases at Richard Schwartz & Associates. We prioritize our clients’ well-being with compassionate and respectful communications throughout the challenging legal proceedings — don’t worry, we’ll guide you through this emotional time.
Schedule a FREE consultation with one of our law firm’s experienced attorneys. At Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyers, P.A., our clients are like family and receive accessible hands-on service 24/7. Contact us online today or give us a call at 601-988-9888.
Wrongful Death Claim Basics
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit brought on behalf of a deceased person who could pursue a personal injury claim against the liable party if they were alive. Wrongful death claims are classified as civil actions, and the appropriate party must bring them to court.
What’s the Difference Between a Civil Case and a Criminal Case?
In a criminal case, a prosecutor can bring a charge of homicide that may result in the defendant receiving a prison sentence. However, it’s only possible to obtain financial compensation in a civil case. Be aware that even if a criminal prosecution is already underway, you can still file a wrongful death claim.
The following are the most frequent types of negligent acts that might result in Wrongful Death claims:
- Car and truck accidents
- Accidents on someone else’s property due to negligent upkeep
- Accidents caused by an unsafe product
- Workplace accidents involving hazardous working conditions
- Medical malpractice
Whatever sort of negligent behavior caused your loved one’s untimely demise, our wrongful death attorneys will work tirelessly to safeguard your family’s interests and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Who Can File a Claim?
In Mississippi, only certain people are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
- The surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children
- The parents of the decedent (if there is no spouse or children)
The families of persons killed by another’s negligence can pursue their claims against everyone involved with the event that caused death. Depending on the circumstances of the case, legal responsibility might fall on any of the following individuals:
- The at-fault driver
- The designer of a defective road
- The person who served alcohol to an individual who caused an accident
- The owner of the establishment where alcohol was served
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Case?
Within three years of the death of a person, the proper parties must file a wrongful death claim. If no claim is filed within this time period, the family could lose their chance to get justice for their lost loved one since the court will most likely refuse to hear the case.
Common Negligent Acts
A wrongful death claim’s chances of success hinge on whether the plaintiff can show that another person’s carelessness caused or contributed to the death of a family member. To establish negligence, surviving family members must produce proof that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- The breach led to the death of the plaintiff’s family member
If a family can show that another person’s or entity’s carelessness caused their loved one’s death, they may be able to recoup some of their financial losses. A victim’s relatives may be able to claim two sorts of damages in a wrongful death suit, including:
Special damages are costs suffered by the deceased person, their family, or their estate. Monetary compensation can be sought for the following:
- Final injury or illness-related medical expenses
- Expenses for a funeral and burial
- Loss of wages and future income, including money that the deceased person might have earned in their remaining years
- Property damage caused by the event that resulted in the victim’s death
- Loss of benefits to surviving heirs
- The suffering and agony of the surviving family members
- The deceased person’s suffering before death.
In some situations, a jury may award punitive damages to a victim’s family, which are not meant to compensate the deceased person’s relatives but are meant as punishment for intentional and reckless behavior.
Determining Pecuniary Loss
While submitting receipts and bank account statements to prove particular expenditures like funeral expenses and medical bills might be simple, demonstrating a loss of future income may be considerably more difficult. A few variables must be considered to figure out how much money the victim would have contributed if they had not died:
- Health and physical condition
- Life expectancy
- Earning capacity
- Circumstances at the time of death
The expert testimony of an economist might help a jury understand the monetary value of a family’s losses. This is especially beneficial when the victim was a housewife with no steady income. In these cases, an economist may be able to show how a family’s income will not be affected, yet it will have to spend a significant amount of money to make up for the services that are no longer available, such as child care, cleaning, education, transportation, and cooking.
In wrongful death cases, juries determine the amount of compensation that a victim’s family is entitled to. However, if the court concludes that insufficient evidence of the decedent’s earnings was presented, it may increase or decrease the compensation. As a result, a judge might order a new trial.
Proving Fault in Wrongful Death Accidents
Insurers take us seriously since we make every case ready to win in court. Our team of wrongful death lawyers has deep, firsthand knowledge of the tactics insurances companies employ to avoid compensating families who have lost their loved ones in accidents.
We tackle this problem by taking a hands-on approach. At Richard Schwartz & Associates Injury Lawyers, P.A., our MS workers’ compensation attorneys collaborate with accident reconstruction experts and safety engineers to thoroughly analyze skid marks and property damage left at accident sites. In addition, we take a more comprehensive approach to investigating deadly vehicle accidents by examining police reports and witness statements. We gather as many facts as possible to determine the cause of fatal accidents, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Drunk driver accidents
- Taxicab accidents
- Nursing home neglect
- Negligent security
- Medical device defects
- Distracted driving accidents
- Defective products
Investigations into allegations of wrongful death may be lengthy and time-consuming, requiring:
- Copies of photographs and official records
- Testimony from medical experts and qualified professionals such as accident reconstructionists
- Going through the probate process
- Consultation with an economist that specializes in assessing the total value of the damages
It’s critical to follow the appropriate procedures in a wrongful death case. Failing to follow these standards can significantly delay a case or harm a claimant’s chances of obtaining compensation. At Richard Schwartz & Associates, we are well-versed with Mississippi court procedures. Our committed and experienced legal staff will work quickly and effectively on your behalf to get your case resolved.
Why Work With Wrongful Death Attorneys from Richard Schwartz & Associates?
You’ll never have to wonder what comes next when choosing Richard Schwartz & Associates. We’ll walk you through the stages of obtaining the highest settlement for your injuries and any concerns or practices to avoid while your case is being handled. We are here to assist you with any questions about the different factors involved in your case. We will not charge you any fees until you receive compensation for your case, which means you can retain our services no matter your financial situation. Call our experienced wrongful death attorneys in Meridian, Mississippi, today for your free consultation.