Harrison, AR Wrongful Death Lawyer

Harrison, AR Wrongful Death Lawyer

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    Few things are more painful than losing a loved one far too soon. That pain might be much worse if the death was wrongfully caused by another person’s negligence.

    When the unthinkable occurs, our lawyers will be here to help you file a lawsuit and get justice for your losses. If you were the close relative of the deceased, you might have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Victims of wrongful death do not lose their right to sue after succumbing to their injuries. Instead, the right to recover compensation transfers to the family and estate. Our firm can help assess the losses your loved one could have claimed had they survived. We can also evaluate your and your family’s damages now that you are deprived of your loved one’s support.

    For a free case assessment with our wrongful death attorneys, contact us at (479) 316-0438.

    What is Wrongful Death in Harrison, AR?

    Wrongful death occurs when a loved one is taken from you by another person’s or company’s intentional or negligent act. Ark. Code § 16-62-102(a)(1) gives family members the right to recover compensation if the deceased would have had a right to sue had they survived. Essentially, the deceased’s right to file a lawsuit survives them and is transferred to others who can then pursue damages on their loved one’s behalf and for themselves.

    Wrongful death claims also allow the victim’s surviving family to recover compensation for their own losses, in addition to the damages the deceased would have recovered had they lived. These damages would compensate you for the loss of your loved one’s support and guidance, and many other damages.

    For instance, if a negligent driver injured someone in a car accident, they would usually be able to file a claim against them. If the victim died in the accident, that right would not disappear because of that fact. The negligent driver can still be held accountable by the deceased’s estate.

    This rule also applies to wrongful deaths that were intentionally caused. For example, a murder victim’s family will retain the right to sue the offender after their criminal prosecution.

    Our wrongful death attorneys can gather the evidence you need to prove your loss, no matter how the defendant caused it. We can still help you get justice if the potential defendant also died in the accident. Under Ark. Code § 16-62-102(a)(2), we can sue the defendant’s estate if they did not survive the accident.

    People Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Harrison, AR

    Where wrongful death cases can get confusing is determining who can actually file a claim for their family member’s death. The person who can file a wrongful death claim can be broken down into two groups: a personal representative of the deceased’s estate and the deceased’s heirs.

    According to Ark. Code § 16-62-102(b), the personal representative must be the one to file a claim on behalf of the victim’s heirs. However, an “heir at law” can bring their own claim if no personal representative was selected. In many cases, a personal representative will be named by the deceased in their will. When someone dies “intestate,” meaning they had no will, a personal representative will likely not have been chosen.

    Who Can Get Compensation for Wrongful Death in Harrison, AR

    Our attorneys can also help you determine if your relationship with the deceased gives you the right to recover damages in the case. Ark. Code § 16-62-102(d) gives “beneficiaries” the right to recover compensation awarded after the claim has concluded. Ark. Code § 16-62-102(d)(1) defines beneficiaries as surviving spouses, children, parents, and siblings of the deceased.

    However, those considered in “loco parentis” to the victim might also be entitled to compensation under Ark. Code § 16-62-102(d)(2). Loco parentis is simply a legal term of art to describe someone who acted as a parent. If the deceased was like your own child, we can help you see if this rule applies. Ark. Code § 16-62-102(d)(3) also allows someone to get compensation if the deceased was like a parent to them. You typically need to submit evidence with your wrongful death claim to prove your relationship to the deceased, which our team can help you gather.

    Compensation You Can Recover for Wrongful Death in Harrison, AR

    You are entitled to recover numerous damages for the wrongful death of your loved one. Ark. Code § 16-62-102(f)(1) allows victims of the deceased to recover not only financial losses but also the loss of companionship and services the deceased would have provided. Victims can also claim grief as mental anguish under Ark. Code § 16-62-102(f)(2). While only one wrongful death claim will be filed, the types of compensation you can get will be split by what the estate can claim and what the family can claim.  are split between different claims.

    the personal representative can file an “estate” claim, as it is sometimes referred, seeks damages for economic losses and the deceased’s pain and suffering. Basically, this claim allows the estate to recover damages that the deceased could have sued for had they survived their accident. If there is no personal representative, the “heirs at law” can file the lawsuit instead.

    Damages sought in these claims often include funeral and burial costs, as well as any medical expenses the deceased incurred before succumbing to their injuries. The personal representative can also claim lost wages the victim would have earned throughout their life and the pain and suffering and decreased quality of life the deceased likely would have endured.

    Beneficiaries can also get damages for their own pain and suffering in the “family” claim aspect of the case. These claims allow the beneficiaries described above to get compensation for the loss of financial support your loved one’s wrongful death has caused.

    For example, surviving spouses can be compensated for their loss of consortium. These damages recognize the incredible loss your family and romantic life have suffered now that your spouse is gone. This also includes the loss of support your spouse would have given your children and their help maintaining the household. Nothing can replace the care and advice your loved one would have provided, but these damages can help you get some small measure of justice.

    When You Should File a Wrongful Death Claim in Harrison, AR

    While the gravity of a wrongful death claim is heavy, you will still only have a limited amount of time to file your claim. According to Ark. Code § 16-62-102(c)(1), you only have three years from the date of your loved one’s death to file any of the actions mentioned above. This timeframe is known as the “statute of limitations.” Of course, the date of death might be different from the date of the accident if the deceased was hospitalized before passing. Our team can help you determine exactly what day you need to file.

    One exception to this rule is if the deceased is a murder victim. Under Ark. Code § 16-62-102(c)(1)(A)-(C), surviving family members are given the same time to file their claim as the state is given to file charges for the type of murder listed. Fortunately, Arkansas law does not limit when charges can be filed for capital murder, first-degree murder, or second-degree murder, meaning you can file a claim at any point after the prosecution.

    Our Harrison, AR Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help You Get Justice for Your Devastating Loss

    Call us at (479) 316-0438 today to get a free case review with our wrongful death lawyers.