FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUITS
If the death of your loved one was due to negligence or an unjustified attack, you deserve compensation for your loss. We understand the chaos and fog of grief that surround the loss of a loved one, but there are time limits to filing a wrongful death claim. To learn more about who qualifies to file a wrongful death claim and how the process works, read through the frequently asked questions below.
When is a death considered a “wrongful death” in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, a wrongful death lawsuit is similar to a personal injury claim in that the cause of death must be negligence, a defective product or unsafe conditions. If the deceased party would have been able to file a personal injury claim if they had not died from their injuries, the case would most likely qualify as a wrongful death case.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Mississippi law allows only the estate of the deceased person or one of the following family members to file a wrongful death claim:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased
- The surviving parent or child of the deceased
- Surviving siblings of the deceased
When the wrongful death claim is filed by the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse and children all get equal shares of the settlement. In the event that there is no surviving spouse or children, the deceased’s surviving parents or siblings may file a wrongful death claim. In this case, the surviving parents and siblings of the deceased all get equal shares of the settlement.
Is there a time limit on how long after the wrongful death I can file a claim?
Mississippi law establishes two different time limits on filing a wrongful death lawsuit based on the cause of death. If the death resulted from a negligent act, the claim must be filed within three years of the date of death. If the death resulted from an attack or another intentional act, the claim must be filed within one year of the date of death.
What kind of compensation is awarded in a wrongful death claim?
Compensation is divided into economic and noneconomic damages. There are “capped” maximum amounts for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, but there is no limit on economic damages such as loss of future income.
Mississippi wrongful death claim monetary award limits include:
- $500,000 for medical malpractice claims
- $1,000,000 for products liability claims
- $1,000,000 for pharmaceutical claims
Economic damages that are not limited include compensation for things such as:
- Medical expenses related to the fatal injury
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Costs of damaged or destroyed property