FAQs About Wrongful Death Claims in Mississippi
Losing a loved one is always challenging, especially when the untimely death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act. In the wake of such a loss legal claims are often the last thing on a family’s mind, nonetheless it is important to know that families who have experienced such a loss are often entitled to file wrongful death claims under Mississippi law. While no amount of financial compensation can bring back a loved one, winning a wrongful death claim lawsuit may help your family move forward with their lives. Therefore, some frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims in Mississippi are answered below to help give you an idea if filing a wrongful death claim is the right move for you.
Q: What constitutes a “wrongful death” in Mississippi?
A: Under Mississippi Code section 11-7-13 a “wrongful death” is any death that is caused by a (a) real, wrongful, or negligent act or omission, (b) unsafe machinery, way, or appliance, or (c) breach of any warranty of fitness of a commodity intended for human consumption, that would have entitled the deceased individual to recover damages under a personal injury lawsuit for his or her resulting injury or illness had they survived. In other words, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought in Mississippi on behalf of a deceased individual if that individual would have been entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived.
Q: Who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Mississippi?
A: Under Mississippi law, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by a qualifying deceased individual’s surviving spouse, parent (either biological or adopted), child, or sibling. Additionally, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is also eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit to benefit the deceased’s family members who are entitled under the law to recover.
Q: Under Mississippi law, who is entitled to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: Which family members are entitled to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Mississippi depends on whom the deceased leaves behind when he or she passes. Consider the following examples:
- A married man or woman who has no children → damages for the injury and death of the individual go entirely to the surviving spouse.
- A married man or woman who has children → damages for the injury and death of the individual are equally distributed between the surviving spouse and the children.
- A man or woman who is not married but who has children → damages for the injury and death of the individual are equally divided between the children.
- A man or woman who is not married and does not have children → damages for the injury and death of the individual are equally divided between the individual’s surviving father, mother, brothers, and sisters.
Q: What damages are available in a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: Each wrongful death case is unique, but there are several categories of damages that are commonly awarded to the deceased’s estate and beneficiaries, respectively. For example, the estate will often recover compensation for the medical expenses incurred due to the deceased’s fatal illness or injury and expenses related to the deceased’s funeral and burial. On the other hand, beneficiaries are often able to recover compensation that the deceased would have been entitled to had he or she survived (for example, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.) and compensation for their own loss of companionship. Please note that this list of damages is not exhaustive, however, an experienced wrongful death attorney will be able to evaluate your case and estimate the types and amount of damages that would likely be recoverable in your case.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act all of us here at Derek L. Hall, PLLC are very sorry for your loss. If you would like assistance filing a wrongful death claim in Mississippi feel free to contact our Jackson office at (601) 202-2222 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyers.