Losing a loved one because of someone’s negligence is heartbreaking. It can be a difficult time for the entire family. While no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, you can still receive financial compensation so that you don’t struggle during this time.
Wrongful deaths from car accidents, construction accidents, medical negligence, animal bites, and more are preventable. With the help of a Little Rock personal injury attorney, you can secure your future and make it less financially burdensome.
Each state has its own definition and statutory provisions for wrongful death claims. These statutes describe wrongful death, what qualifies it, the type of damages one can recover, and the deadline to file. In this article, we discuss what could qualify as wrongful death.
What Is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim arrives when a victim who would have had a personal injury claim is killed due to the negligence of another. Unlike a personal injury claim in Little Rock, surviving family members bring wrongful death claims. In a personal injury claim, the injured person will bring the lawsuit.
A wrongful death claim will be handled in a civil court. Notably, you can file a wrongful death claim even when a criminal case is underway for the same event. A criminal case only seeks to punish the guilty party, while a civil lawsuit aims to get you the compensation you deserve. It can be complicated, and that’s why you need an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Little Rock by your side.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death in Arkansas?
Arkansas Statute 16-62-102 states that wrongful death arises from personal injuries which are inflicted by another party’s negligence. So if someone intentionally or negligently commits acts that directly lead to the death of a loved one, then it would be considered wrongful death.\
Some wrongful death cases may be deliberate killing, motor vehicle accidents, nursing home cases, etc. If you are unsure if you have a wrongful death claim, talk to our Little Rock wrongful death lawyers for information. The experienced attorneys will help you understand the case and create a plan for wrongful death damages.
What Are Some Examples When a Wrongful Death Claim Is Applicable?
Several instances can lead to a wrongful death claim in Arkansas. It can be filed against individuals, companies that manufacture and develop products, medical professionals, doctors, and government agencies.
If a doctor misdiagnoses a condition or carelessly provides care to a patient and the patient dies as a result, the doctor may be charged with wrongful death. A car accident fatality may also lead to a wrongful death claim.
However, there’s an exception if the death arose from work injuries. This will be handled exclusively through a workers’ compensation system. You shouldn’t scratch your head if you don’t know if your case qualifies as wrongful death in Arkansas. Enlist the help of a personal injury attorney in Little Rock who has the experience to handle both personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Little Rock?
Only a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. But if the person didn’t have a personal representative – for instance, if it’s a child with no estate – it could be filed by the deceased person’s heirs at law. This could be:
- The surviving spouse, parents, children, spouse, or siblings
- Individuals standing in loco parentis
- Persons the deceased stood in loco parentis
What Are the Main Elements of a Wrongful Death Case in Arkansas?
Your wrongful death lawyer in Little Rock will have to prove these four elements for you to win the case:
- Death occurred – your lawyer must prove that someone lost his/her life. This can be a direct death like in a car accident case, or indirect death like in a bartender who gave someone alcohol and the person went to drive and died.
- Negligence – the second element is to prove that an aspect of negligence was present. For instance, your personal injury lawyer will have to show that the defendant was negligent or was driving recklessly, thus leading to the death of your loved one.
- Losses – your wrongful death attorney must also prove that you and your family have suffered or will suffer due to the loss of your loved one. If the deceased was the sole breadwinner, you might have lost the financial contributions to the family and non-economic benefits like companionship.
This can be such a complex process. It will also depend on your unique circumstances. Your wrongful death attorney in Little Rock will take the necessary steps to gather the evidence to prove negligence to win the case in your favor.
What’s The Statute of Limitations for Arkansas Wrongful Death Claims?
The deadline to file a wrongful death claim in Arkansas is one year from the date of the decedent’s death. Because you have a small window, get started immediately by speaking to an experienced wrongful death attorney in Arkansas.
What Is the Difference Between Wrongful Death Vs. Survival Claims?
After someone’s death in Arkansas, two types of claims are filed: wrongful death claims and survival claims. Wrongful death claims will compensate the surviving family members for their losses, while the survival claim will compensate the estate for the losses the deceased suffered before death.
The survival claim is essentially a personal injury claim that goes to the victim’s estate. If you want to know more about this, consult with a skilled law firm specializing in wrongful death claims.
Learn Your Legal Pathways with Skilled Attorneys in Arkansas
When facing such a difficult period, you need all the support you can get. No amount of damages can bring back your loved one, but it can help you offset any medical bills, funeral expenses and make your grieving period less stressful. Therefore, you need a partner in this situation who can offer you advice.
At Denton & Zachary, we will walk with you and protect your interests in and out of court. You don’t need to suffer financial burdens due to someone else’s negligence. We’ve been aggressively fighting families for years. Talk to us today to learn how we can meet your legal matters.