Little Rock Wrongful Death Attorneys
If a loved one died due to the negligence of another, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be the best way to protect your family’s financial future.
The Little Rock wrongful death attorneys at the Minton Law Firm understand that going to court is probably the last thing you want to do following the death of a loved one.
That’s why we work hard to take the burden of a lawsuit off your shoulders and allow you to focus on what’s important: moving forward with your family.
What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death case is a civil suit intended to compensate family members or other loved ones the deceased individual left behind.
Since it is not a criminal case, there is no need to prove intent or guilt. All that needs to be proven is:
- A human being was killed and;
- The death was caused by another person’s negligence and;
- The living family members have suffered financial injury as a result of the death and;
- A representative has been appointed to handle the deceased’s estate
Each of the above elements must exist in order for the wrongful death case to be considered valid.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can be suffered as a result of:
- Auto accidents
- Defective products
- Dangerous drugs or medical devices
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability accidents
No matter how the accident occurred, if your loved one was killed as the result of another’s carelessness, you have a right to sue the negligent party or parties for wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Arkansas, the representative of the deceased’s estate is the one responsible for filing a wrongful death suit. In certain situations, there may be no estate.
For instance, if the person who died was homeless, they may not have any items or property that belonged to them. If that is the case, a wrongful death suit may be brought to court by the deceased’s next of kin.
This includes a surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings, or those “in loco parentis” (someone taking the place of a parent).
For more information about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, visit this blog post as we talk about this aspect in more detail.
Compensation for Wrongful Death
Arkansas law breaks wrongful death claims into two categories: estate claims and family claims.
Estate claims are filed on the behalf of the estate of the deceased. These claims compensate for the losses the deceased’s estate has incurred as a result of wrongful death. These can include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- The deceased’s pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
Family claims are filed by the living family members of the deceased. These claims are intended to compensate remaining family members for the emotional and financial losses they’ll suffer as a result of the death.
These can include:
- Loss of earned income
- Loss of consortium (care, comfort, etc.)
- Loss of household services
- Emotional trauma, pain, and suffering
- Loss of benefits
Damages received from a family claim are awarded directly to the family members, who are responsible for diving the settlement up as they see fit.
Arkansas Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
As with all personal injury cases, there is a state-mandated period of time—known as a statute of limitations—in which the surviving family members have to file a lawsuit. In Arkansas, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of death.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
No amount of money can ever replace a life, but it can assist your family in moving on financially. When there’s been a wrongful death, the responsible party and their insurer will likely offer you a settlement.
Many times, the first settlement you are offered is far less than your family is entitled to.
At the Minton Law Firm, we know how delicate a wrongful death lawsuit can be. While we’re committed to providing compassionate representation for our clients, we aren’t afraid to negotiate the compensation you deserve.
If your case cannot be settled out of court for a fair amount, we will take it to trial and fight to see justice served.