The premier Jackson wrongful death attorneys at Brown, Bass & Jeter provide compassionate representation and steadfast advocacy for those seeking justice following the untimely death of a loved one. You didn’t choose to face this difficult experience, but you don’t have to face it alone.
Jackson Wrongful Death Lawyers — Representing Grieving Families Throughout Mississippi
The pain of losing a loved one due to an accident is immeasurable. This pain can be magnified if the accident resulted from someone’s negligent actions.
You may understandably be wondering how you’ll move on. The wrongful death attorneys at Brown Bass & Jeter want to help you secure the financial support you need and hold the at-fault parties accountable for their misdeeds.
We understand you may have mixed emotions about filing a wrongful death lawsuit. We also understand that no amount of money will bring back your loved one or ease the pain and grief you’re experiencing.
The only remedy the law can offer in these situations is a monetary award against the person or company to blame. Our Jackson, MS, wrongful death lawyers will review the evidence in your case to determine the cause of your loved one’s fatal accident and who to hold responsible.
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, a wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the direct actions, negligence, or omission of another individual or entity.
Mississippi Code Ann. § 11-7-13 defines wrongful death as a death caused by “any real, wrongful, or negligent act or omission,” and/or “unsafe machinery, way, or appliances,” and/or “the breach of any warranty” of any item intended for human consumption.
There are many different reasons a wrongful death can occur. The following are some common types of accidents that can lead to a wrongful death claim:
- Premises liability accidents
- Automobile accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Commercial truck, 18-wheeler, or other large truck accidents
- Abuse or negligence in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Medical mistakes
- Workplace injuries
- Product liability
If you’re unsure whether the circumstances of your loved one’s death warrant a wrongful death claim, it can be helpful to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who has experience with these complex cases.
What’s the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Criminal Case?
A wrongful death claim differs from a criminal case in two key ways.
First, a wrongful death claim is filed by the personal representative or the surviving family members, whereas a criminal case is filed by the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Second, liability in a wrongful death claim is expressed solely in terms of monetary damages paid by the defendant. In a criminal case, a conviction may include a sentence to jail or prison time, probation, or other penalties.
Get Your Questions Answered
There’s no obligation. There’s no cost. There’s no reason not to call a Mississippi wrongful death lawyer to pursue financial compensation for your loss. Contact Brown, Bass & Jeter today to find out what your case is worth.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim. The main difference is that the injured party isn’t alive to bring their own case in a wrongful death claim. Instead, another party must take the case to court on the deceased person’s behalf.
In determining the class of wrongful death beneficiaries, Mississippi’s wrongful death statute closely follows the state’s scheme for intestate distribution.
The wrongful death statute, Miss. Code. Ann. § 11-7-13, gives the highest priority to the surviving spouse, children, and other relatives of the deceased — in other words, those who typically receive support from the deceased.
Under Mississippi’s wrongful death law, the following persons can bring a claim on behalf of the deceased:
- Personal representatives of the deceased’s estate
When the surviving spouse of a deceased person files a wrongful death claim, the damages are split equally between the spouse and the deceased’s children.
If there is no surviving spouse or children, a parent or sibling may bring the claim to court. In this scenario, any damages awarded are divided between the surviving parents and children.
If the deceased had no will, has no surviving family members, and left no instructions for naming a personal representative, the state may bring an action known as a survival action.
The damages awarded in a survival action are first used to pay the deceased person’s creditors; any remaining damages are distributed to the deceased person’s heirs at law.
Mississippi Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
In Mississippi, a wrongful death action based on negligence must be filed within three years of the date of death. In cases where the claim arose from an intentional tort, such as assault and battery, the suit must be filed within one year of the date of death.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
To establish a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff’s legal team must prove several key elements.
First, a death must have occurred. Second, this death must be the result of another person or entity’s negligence or intent to harm. Third, the surviving family members or beneficiaries must have suffered monetary injury due to the death. Lastly, a personal representative for the deceased’s estate must be appointed.
Together, these elements form the foundation of a wrongful death claim.
Can There Be More than One Wrongful Death Claim?
No. Mississippi wrongful death law stipulates that there can only be one wrongful death lawsuit. That being said, all interested parties may join the lawsuit once it’s officially filed.
To join a wrongful death lawsuit, you must file paperwork with the civil court asking permission to join. The assistance of a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney is therefore indispensable to ensure that all the required court filings are correct and that the appropriate legal arguments are made depending on the specific facts of the case.
Get the Compensation Your Family Deserves
Brown, Bass & Jeter’s wrongful death lawyers in Jackson have the knowledge, ability, and resources to handle your wrongful death claim successfully. We can take your case to the insurance company or fight it out in court to recover compensation to help you cope with your loss.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Wrongful Death?
Accountability in a wrongful death case can be assigned to any number of parties, depending on the circumstances and cause of the death. Potentially liable parties include:
- Individuals: If the death resulted from the negligent or intentional actions of a single person, that person may be held accountable.
- Companies: Businesses can be deemed liable if their products, such as faulty machinery or toxic substances, lead to someone’s death.
- Medical Practitioners: In cases where mistakes or oversights by a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider result in death, the professional in question might be found guilty of medical malpractice.
- Government Agencies: A government agency could be liable if the death results from some type of procedural negligence (for example, if the victim dies in a car crash on a road that hasn’t been properly maintained).
- Employers: An employer may be to blame in a workplace accident where safety protocols aren’t elucidated or enforced.
- Property Owners: A property owner may be held liable if someone dies due to a negligent act or hazardous conditions on their property that weren’t addressed.
- Automobile Manufacturers: If a vehicular malfunction or design flaw leads to a fatality, the manufacturer can be the target of a wrongful death suit.
When you retain a wrongful death attorney, they’ll identify the party responsible for your loss and take the necessary steps to seek justice.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The damages that can be recovered in Mississippi wrongful death claims typically fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. The specific damages can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case.
Here’s a breakdown of the types of damages that are commonly sought in wrongful death lawsuits.
Plaintiffs can typically recover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of the deceased person’s injuries or illness leading to their death. This includes hospital bills, doctor’s fees, medication costs, and other medical-related expenses.
Funeral Expenses and Burial Costs
The expenses associated with the deceased person’s funeral and burial can also be recovered. These costs may include funeral home fees, burial plot expenses, casket or urn costs, and related services.
Lost Income and Benefits
If the deceased person was an income earner, you can seek compensation for the wages and benefits they would have provided had they not died. This will involve calculating lost pay, bonuses, retirement contributions, and other employment-related benefits.
In cases where the deceased person provided valuable household services, such as childcare, homemaking, or home maintenance, you may be able to recover the value of those services.
Pain and Suffering
Surviving family members may be eligible to seek compensation for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress they’ve endured due to the death. The amount can vary widely based on the circumstances and the impact on the survivors.
Loss of Companionship
Damages can be sought for the loss of companionship, care, and emotional support the deceased person provided to their family members. This is often significant in cases involving spouses or children.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium refers to the loss of spousal or familial benefits, including companionship, affection, and intimacy, due to the wrongful death of a spouse or family member.
Survivors may seek compensation for the mental anguish, grief, and emotional suffering resulting from the death of their loved one.
Loss of Inheritance
Surviving relatives may be able to recover the value of the inheritance they would have received if the person had lived out a normal life expectancy.
Punitive damages may be awarded when the responsible party’s actions were especially reckless, malicious, or intentional. These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.
Why Choose Brown, Bass & Jeter?
While every wrongful death claim is different, the experienced Mississippi wrongful death lawyers at Brown Bass & Jeter know how to ensure that you receive the financial security you need.
When you choose our law firm, you receive the following benefits:
- Over 40 years of experience: Take advantage of our extensive legal knowledge and proven track record;
- Consummate professionalism: Experience a high level of service characterized by clear communication and a dedication to excellence;
- A hard-earned reputation: Trust in our reputation for integrity, results, and client satisfaction;
- Transparent fees: Enjoy peace of mind knowing that you’ll only pay if and when we achieve a successful outcome for you.
We’re proud to offer reliable legal counsel and ongoing support to families that have suffered the tragic loss of an untimely death.
Let Us Fight for Justice on Your Behalf
Nothing can fill the void that the death of your loved one has left in your life, but we can help you file a wrongful death claim and recover compensation to cover the resulting expense and grief. Contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation.
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