Losing a loved one, especially when the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act, is always incredibly challenging. While legal matters are often the last thing on families’ minds during this time, it’s important to understand that families who have experienced such a loss may have the right to file a wrongful death claim under Mississippi Law.
While no amount of compensation can bring a loved one back, it can help to ease burdens associated with funeral costs, medical expenses, and lost wages. Compensation may also offer peace of mind to the family in the event the negligent or guilty party can be held accountable for their actions or inactions.
In order to file a wrongful death claim and pursue a successful case, it’s important to understand how the process works in Mississippi, as well as a key aspect of filing the claim – the statute of limitations.
Understanding Statutes of Limitations
Statutes of limitations are laws that establish how much time an individual has to file a lawsuit against another individual or a company. Once the predetermined period of time has passed, also known as the statutory deadline, the court has the right to dismiss the claim without looking at it.
There are two types of statutes of limitations – civil and criminal. Generally, statutes of limitations refer to civil cases – where an individual is seeking compensation, typically monetary, to hold a negligent party accountable for their actions. While most crimes, like homicide, do not have statutes of limitations, some crimes, like misdemeanors or petty crimes, do.
Statutes of limitations are established at both the state and federal level. While all limitations are different for different reasons, most statutes of limitations range from one to six years. In certain scenarios, the statutory deadline can be extended. An experienced lawyer will be able to establish just how much time you have.
Now that you understand the basics of statutes of limitations, let’s take a look at the wrongful death statutes of limitations in Mississippi.
Wrongful Death Statutes of Limitations in Mississippi
The statutes of limitations for wrongful death in Mississippi are determined by the Mississippi Legislature. Mississippi separates their wrongful death lawsuits in civil court into two categories. The statutes of limitations depends on the nature of the action that led to the wrongful death.
If the death was caused by an intentional act, the wrongful death claim must be filed within one year of the death date. If the death was a result of someone else’s negligence, the wrongful death claim must be filed within three years.
As mentioned above, the court has the right to throw the case out if it is not filed within the specified time limits.
Mississippi’s Wrongful Death Claim Process
To file a wrongful death claim in Mississippi, the death must have been caused by wrongful or negligent actions. Mississippi Legislature also allows wrongful death to be pursued if the death resulted from unsafe machinery or an appliance, or, in the event of product liability, a warranty was breached in regard to human consumption (i.e. food and medication).
A personal representative or surviving spouse, child, parent, or sibling has the right to file a wrongful death claim. In the event of a successful case, damages may be paid for medical bills, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and lost wages and benefits.
If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of negligence or wrongful action, our Mississippi wrongful death lawyer is prepared to answer your questions and represent you. At Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, we are experienced in assisting families with sensitive cases like this, and we will fight for your compensation and to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. Contact us online today for a free evaluation of your case.
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