More than 30,000 people across the country die in traffic accidents annually. While losing a loved one is never easy, it’s especially hard when you don’t even get the chance to say goodbye.
Thankfully, when the deceased wasn’t to blame for the crash, their family is usually entitled to compensation. Although pursuing a payout doesn’t erase what happened, it can yield the funds needed to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.
If you’re planning on filing a wrongful death claim over the loss of a loved one, here’s what you should know before getting started:
1. Who Can Actually Bring a Wrongful Death Action in Mississippi?
When someone dies in a car crash, it might impact dozens of people, but only a few of them have the legal right to take action. Potential plaintiffs include the victim’s surviving spouse, children, parents, and siblings.
The personal representative of the deceased’s estate is also entitled to bring a suit on behalf of qualified beneficiaries. Should the claim be successful, the funds that result will be distributed among eligible heirs, which might include immediate family members and/or those who relied on the victim financially.
2. Can a Family File Multiple Wrongful Death Claims?
In Mississippi, only one suit can be filed for each wrongful death. That means everyone who has a stake in the outcome of the action must be part of the same lawsuit. After the case has been filed, interested parties may submit a request with the court to join it. It’s wise to turn to a car accident attorney for help with this request to prevent any unnecessary delays.
3. What Kinds of Damages Can Families Seek by Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
When it comes to wrongful death actions, Mississippi recognizes both economic and non-economic damages. Recoverable economic damages include medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost income, loss of support and services, and lost benefits. Non-economic damages that can be recovered, on the other hand, include any conscious pain and suffering that the deceased experienced prior to passing and loss of society and companionship.
It’s important to remember that you can only include the damages you can prove you actually incurred in the settlement negotiations. As such, it’s imperative to preserve any and all documentation that corresponds to your economic damages. Examples include bills, receipts, invoices, insurance statements, paystubs, and prior tax returns. As for demonstrating non-economic damages, a car accident lawyer can share a number of strategies for illustrating their extent.
Call 601-487-8448 for a Free Consultation with a Jackson Wrongful Death Attorney
At Brown Bass & Jeter, PLLC, we know how devastating traffic crashes can be, especially when they result in death. If you lost a loved one to a drunk, distracted, or drowsy driver, we can help your family pursue compensation for the associated losses.
Our resourceful team is equipped to investigate motor-vehicle collisions thoroughly and to log all recoverable damages diligently, so we can help clients pursue every dollar they deserve. To set up a free case review with a wrongful death lawyer in Jackson, call 601-487-8448 or fill out our Online Contact Form.