Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?February 7th, 2017
Losing a loved one is always devastating, and losing someone to an easily preventable illness or injury can be downright unbearable. Everyone mourns in their own way, and some people may never find closure following an accidental death, but they can take comfort in the fact that they are not alone.
According to The Washington Post, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. If you lost a loved one due to medical malpractice, a wrongful death attorney cannot ease the pain, but he or she may be able to help you restore financial stability.
Mississippi Code 11-7-13 defines wrongful death as a death that occurs as a direct result of any wrongful or negligent act, any unsafe machinery, or the breach of any warranty. Essentially, the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death suit if the death resulted from an act or a lack of action that would have made the deceased eligible to file a personal-injury claim.
If you think your family has a valid claim, turn to a wrongful death attorney at The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation with a Jackson medical malpractice lawyer.
Let’s explore the regulations governing wrongful death claims in Mississippi:
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In the state of Mississippi, only certain parties can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Your eligibility to file a claim depends on your relationship with the deceased. The following parties can file a wrongful death claim in a Mississippi court:
The surviving spouse of the deceased;
A surviving parent of the deceased;
A surviving child of the deceased;
Any surviving siblings of the deceased; or
The personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate.
Who Receives Compensation from a Wrongful Death Suit?
If the surviving spouse of the deceased files a wrongful death lawsuit, the court will divide any compensation equally among the spouse and any surviving children. A parent or sibling may only file a lawsuit if there are no surviving dependents, like a spouse or child. In such a case, the court would divide the damages equally among the surviving parents and siblings.
What Damages Might Be Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the court can award damages to either the estate of the deceased or to the beneficiaries directly. Damages that the court awards to the estate include:
Funeral and burial costs; and
The value of damaged or destroyed property.
Damages that the court awards directly to beneficiaries include:
Pain and suffering;
Loss of companionship; and
Lost wages of the deceased.
If your loved one received substandard medical care and died as a result, you may have a valid wrongful death claim. Talk to a medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your options.