Little Rock Wrongful Death Lawyers
Compassionate help for Arkansas families when negligence leads to tragedy
The most tragic result in any type of car accident, medical malpractice claim, product defect, or any other case is when someone dies. No financial recovery can replace the loss of a loved one. The aim of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the estate of the deceased for the damages the loved one suffered and to compensate the family for economic losses and the loss of the things that loved one would have provided family members such as companionship and guidance.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our dedicated team of lawyers has been fighting for accident victims and their families for 30 years. We demand justice when negligent drivers, manufacturers, doctors, construction companies, property owners, makers of a defective medical device, or anyone else causes your loved one to suffer a fatality. In cases of extreme wrongs, we demand punitive damages. Our Little Rock wrongful death lawyers take every step to prove that all responsible parties are held accountable for the death of a family member and the changed lives of the surviving family members.
Who can bring a wrongful death claim in Arkansas?
The personal representative of the estate of the deceased is the person who files the lawsuit. If the decedent had a will, then the executor named in the will is the personal representative. If the decedent died without a will, typically a family member requests to be appointed the personal representative. This family member is usually the spouse, the parents of minors, or the adult children of older parents. In addition to liability for the loss of a spouse, child, or parent, the accused may also be liable for the death of an unborn child, according to Arkansas’ wrongful death statute.
There are strict time limits for filing wrongful death claims. Family members in Little Rock and across Arkansas should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney so that the lawyers can investigate the cause of the accident. It’s critical to speak with witnesses while their memories are fresh especially because the main witness, the deceased, can’t speak for himself/herself.
Who are the beneficiaries of a Little Rock wrongful death claim?
According to the above-referenced state statute, the beneficiaries of a wrongful death action are:
- The surviving spouse, children, father, mother, brothers, and sisters of the deceased person;
- Persons, regardless of age, standing in loco parentis to the deceased; and
- Persons, regardless of age, to whom the deceased stood in loco parentis at any time during the life of the deceased.
The damages for the claim of the decedent
Wrongful death cases are essentially broken down into two parts. The first part deals with the damages payable directly on behalf of the deceased. These damages are made part of the decedent’s estate and are distributed according to the will or according to the intestate laws of Arkansas.
The decedent share of damages includes:
- The cost of funeral and burial.
- Any medical expenses incurred to treat the deceased. After all, some victims do not die from their injuries right away. For example, in medical malpractice cases, a patient may not succumb to an illness for months or even years.
- The pain and suffering of the decedent when death was not instantaneous.
- Any income the victim lost that he/she would have earned if the accident hadn’t occurred.
The family claim for wrongful death damages
The Arkansas wrongful death statue provides that the family members are compensated for:
- Any monetary losses. This is generally the amount of financial support the deceased would have provided each family member (most commonly a spouse and children) if the deceased hadn’t died.
- Value of the loss of services and companionship. We work with experienced financial professionals who can determine how much these generally intangible items are worth.
- Mental anguish. This is compensation for the immeasurable grief the family members suffer.
A settlement or a jury verdict assigns an overall sum of damages. The decision as to how much each family member is entitled to is generally decided by the judge (even when there are settlements) or by the jury (when there are jury verdicts). In some cases, in particular when there are no children, the family members may decide the allocation among themselves.
Get help from premier Little Rock wrongful death lawyers today
Injustice demands justice. When a company doesn’t protect a loved one or when an individual acts carelessly and causes a death, all the wrongdoers need to be held accountable. The experienced Little Rock wrongful death attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC, fight to hold the primary parties responsible and file wrongful death claims against owners and anyone who contributed to the death of a loved one. We fight for families while respecting their need to mourn. Our lawyers have a strong track record of success settling wrongful death claims and trying wrongful death cases before juries. For help now, call us at 901-475-7434 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.