Losing a loved one is an emotionally devastating time in life. If the death was caused by the negligence or carelessness of another, the grieving process can be even more difficult to bear.
Your loved one deserves justice, but reaching that goal takes time, effort, and a knowledge of wrongful death law. Let the attorneys at The Stroud Law Firm walk you through the process and fight for the compensation you deserve, allowing you to focus on grieving and recovering from your loss.
The Mississippi Wrongful Death Statute (Miss. Code Ann. § 11-7-13) allows the family and statutory beneficiaries of the deceased to recover monetary damages against the party responsible for causing the death of their loved one. Since the party(s) bringing the wrongful death claim ultimately stand in the shoes of the decedent, if it is determined at trial that the decedent contributed to his/her own death, the recovery may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the decedent for bringing about his/her own death.
Unlike other areas of the law, the Mississippi wrongful death statute makes no distinction between the rights of whole and half-blood relatives. In other words, half-blood relatives are entitled to the same share of wrongful death benefits as any of the decedent’s full-blooded relatives.
What is the value of a human life? In short, determining the value of a wrongful death lawsuit can be very difficult. In an attempt to balance the fact that every human life is priceless with the fact that a price must ultimately be placed on the loss of life, the amount of jury awards are often very different depending on the particular facts and circumstances of the case.
In an attempt to provide some guidance to jurors, the Mississippi Supreme Court in Jones v. Shaffer, 573 So.2d 740, 743 (Miss. 1990) held that the elements of damage for a wrongful death claim may include:
- The expenses of last illness
- Any conscious pain and suffering of the deceased
- Funeral expenses
- The present net cash value of the deceased’s work life expectancy
- The loss of society and companionship of the deceased, although not “grief” as such
- Punitive damages, upon proof of gross negligence or willful misconduct.
If you or friend have recently lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, it is imperative that you seek out a competent attorney to assist you with your claim. Contact the experienced Southaven wrongful death attorneys at The Stroud Law Firm today for guidance in this very difficult time.