Wrongful Death occurs when a person dies as the result of the intentional action or negligence of another person or company. Most states agree on this legal definition. However, each state has its own set of laws that govern wrongful death claims.
Learn more about the basics of wrongful death lawsuits in your state: What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Who can bring a Wrongful Death lawsuit?
Personal injury claims are typically filed by the injured party. In the case of wrongful death, of course, the deceased person cannot speak for themselves. Instead, a representative must take action on their behalf; this civil action usually takes the form of a wrongful death lawsuit.
To answer the question of who can file the lawsuit, it’s important to take a look at the wrongful death laws in your state.
Arkansas law calls for wrongful death actions to be filed by a “personal representative” for the deceased person’s estate. If the victim does not have a specific personal representative, then his or her “heirs at law” can take action.
The following people may be considered heirs at law in Arkansas:
- Surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings
- Individuals who acted in loco parentis (as parents) for the deceased
- Individuals for whom the victim acted in loco parentis (as a parent)
Learn more about wrongful death civil actions in the 2018 Arkansas Code.
In Mississippi, a number of people may pursue a wrongful death claim for their loved one. Like Arkansas, the personal representative of their estate is one party who can file the claim.
Other surviving parties who may take wrongful death action in Mississippi:
- Parents or children
- A combination of the above parties, if they have all been impacted by the death
Texas law states that wrongful death claims should start with any surviving immediate family members. This includes the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased.
The family members should begin the civil action within 3 months of the victim’s death. If they don’t, there’s another party who can pursue the wrongful death lawsuit: the executor of the victim’s estate.
The Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code has additional information on filing a wrongful death suit in your state.
Questions? Call a Wrongful Death attorney today.
Have you lost a loved one due to the action or negligence of another person? If so, you may have legal rights to file a wrongful death claim.
You don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. At Taylor King Law, we have the experience and expertise needed to get justice for your family. We have been serving the families of victims for more than 25 years. “On your side–by your side” is more than a slogan. It’s our commitment to every client.
We have offices across Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas. Call 1-800-CAR-WRECK today or Contact us Online to begin your FREE consultation.