What Defines Wrongful Death in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, entitled parties who have lost loved ones due to the actions of another person are able to take legal action against a negligent party. Claims surrounding the death of a person are referred to as wrongful death suits. These cases are civil lawsuits that are filed after families endure the loss of a loved one. This type of lawsuit seeks to recover compensation for various damages that families face after enduring an unexpected loss. Wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed after a person loses their life due to someone else engaging in reckless, negligent, or malicious actions.
- The breach of a warranty of fitness of any item that is intended for human use or consumption.
- Unsafe ways, machinery, or appliances.
- Any wrongful, negligent, or real act or omission.
Wrongful death claims are commonly attributed to motor vehicle accidents, defective products, and drugs, or any action, or inaction, of a third party that led to the loss of life. It is important to understand the applicable statute of limitations when it comes to pursuing legal actions.
There are two separate time limits that apply to cases surrounding wrongful death that are filed in courts in the state of Mississippi. These include:
- A one-year statute of limitation is applied to any claim that involves a death caused by an intentional act.
- A three-year statute of limitations is applied to any claim where a victim lost their life as a result of another party’s negligence.
By using our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers, you can rest assured knowing your legal rights and best interests are protected after enduring the loss of a loved one. Our Jackson wrongful death lawyers will fight to maximize your recoveries.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, there are various parties who can file wrongful death claims following accidental or intentional death. Entitled parties include:
- The surviving spouse of the decedent.
- The surviving parent or child of the decedent.
- The surviving siblings of the decedent.
- Any person specifically designated to represent the estate of the decedent.
The majority of wrongful death claims that we handle in Jackson are filed by the spouse of the deceased party. If the decedent had any children, the awards for damages are generally split equally between the spouse and any children. If the decedent was single and was not legally married, then a surviving parent or sibling will be able to pursue a wrongful death action against the negligent party.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death in Jackson
When entitled parties pursue legal actions against wrongdoers after enduring the loss of a loved one, they do so to recover compensation for various damages they face. In Mississippi, plaintiffs are able to recover compensation for various economic and non-economic damages they face.
Economic damages are meant to compensate the family of a victim for calculable losses. Some of the most common types of economic damages awarded in wrongful death claims include:
- Lost earnings and other income/benefits
- The loss of inheritance
- Funeral expenses
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Burial expenses
Additionally, families can recover non-economic damages which are aimed to provide relief to entitled parties for other types of harm they endure that are more difficult to assign a direct dollar value to. Some of the non-economic damages families may recover include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
In Mississippi, some claimants may be able to recover punitive damages after enduring a loss. These awards are provided in cases where the defendant acted with actual malice, gross negligence which evidences a willful, wanton, or reckless disregard for the safety and wellbeing of others. Other cases involve victims of fraud. After a court determines that compensatory damages are to be awarded to the claimant, the court will then commence an evidentiary hearing to determine whether an award for punitive damages is to be considered.
The type of damages and the amount of compensation that you are able to recover for a wrongful death claim will depend on the circumstances of your loved one’s accident. The best way to determine what type of outcome you can expect from your claim is to speak to a wrongful death lawyer in Jackson as soon as possible.
Wrongful Death Following an Auto Accident
According to the Mississippi Department of Public Transportation
, nearly 700 people lose their lives in auto accidents across the state of Mississippi every year. There are various types of auto accidents that can have fatal results. These include:
Many accidents take place due to the negligence of drivers. Some of the leading causes of crashes in our state include:
- Driving while impaired: Nearly 18% of fatal accidents in our state each year involve a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Distracted driving: Nearly one out of every twelve motor vehicle collisions deaths in our state involve a driver who is distracted. Texting while operating a vehicle is 23 times more dangerous than driving while not distracted.
- Speeding: Drivers who are speeding are the cause of nearly one out of every three crashes we see in our state. Nearly 15% of all fatal accidents in our state involve a driver who is speeding.
If your loved one lost their life in an accident as a result of a negligent driver, our wrongful death lawyers in Jackson can help you pursue legal action against those at fault.
Wrongful Death Following a Workplace Accident
Every year, more than 60 people lose their lives in accidents while on the job in Mississippi. These accidents can often be attributed to some form of negligence. While slip and fall accidents at the workplace are the leading cause of fatal injuries, we see many other types of accidents take place with severe consequences. Some of the leading causes of fatal accidents on the job include:
- In-between accidents
- Falling object accidents
- Defective machinery
- Electrocution injuries
- Accidents stemming from inadequate training
If your loved one has lost their life while on the job, you must take legal action quickly. Waiting can jeopardize your chances of getting justice.