When an individual or company acts willfully or negligently and causes a person’s death, this may be considered Wrongful Death.
Many situations can result in wrongful death: drunk driving, motor vehicle accidents, plane crashes, medical malpractice, defective products, fire, and construction site accidents, etc. The cause of death may be an intentional or premeditated action, a reckless or negligent act, or a failure to act.
Legally, wrongful death is a specific type of personal injury. It is a civil action rather than a criminal one. This is an important distinction. Criminal prosecution determines whether a person has committed a criminal offense and thus deserves legal punishment. In contrast, a civil lawsuit seeks compensation for the victim. In this case, it seeks to compensate the family for their emotional pain and financial loss.
Of course, loss of life goes far beyond mere injury. Nothing can make up for the pain of losing a loved one. But if your loss was caused by someone else’s negligence, malpractice, or inaction, you may have legal rights to compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.
Who can bring a Wrongful Death lawsuit?
In a typical personal injury case, the lawsuit is filed by the injured person. In a wrongful death case, of course, the injured person is no longer able to act for themselves. Someone else must stand in their shoes to bring the lawsuit for them.
In Arkansas, that person is the “personal representative” for the deceased person’s estate. If no personal representative exists, then the “heirs at law” can file the wrongful death claim. Arkansas law designates these people as possible heirs at law:
- 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)
Each state establishes its own laws regarding wrongful death claims. This includes who may file a lawsuit on behalf of the victim.
For more about wrongful death laws in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas: Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for Wrongful Death?
The deadline to file a lawsuit is determined by the “statute of limitations.” This may vary from state to state. In Arkansas, the statute of limitations is three (3) years from the date of death.
Do I need a lawyer for a Wrongful Death claim?
Proving a wrongful death claim is rarely simple or easy. Your family may still be in the process of grieving while also dealing with funeral expenses, insurance companies, and medical bills. You don’t have to shoulder this burden alone. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help relieve that burden by handling the legal process for you.
At Taylor King Law, we have the experience and skill to ensure your family receives the compensation you deserve. We go the extra mile to thoroughly investigate and build your case. No amount of money can replace your loved one, but you shouldn’t have to suffer financially because of another person’s harmful actions.
Questions? Call Taylor King Law.
If your loved one was wrongfully killed, you may have legal rights to file a wrongful death claim. Taylor King Law has 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, and it will be our commitment to you.
We have offices across Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas. Call 1-800-CAR-WRECK today or Contact us Online to begin your FREE consultation.