When someone dies as a result of a drunk driving accident, a slip-and-fall accident, medical malpractice, or some other kind of personal injury, one way that the victim’s family can seek justice is through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Though there’s no amount of money that can fully make up for the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death suit can help families hold the responsible parties accountable for what they’ve done. A lawsuit can also help grieving families get the money they need to cover their loved one’s medical bills, lost wages, funeral costs, and other expenses. A wrongful death settlement can also bring peace of mind as a measure of justice for the deceased.
If someone in your family has suffered a wrongful death, it’s natural to wonder how much you could receive in a wrongful death lawsuit or settlement. Many factors go into determining a wrongful death settlement. Because there is no “average” wrongful death case, there is no “average” wrongful death settlement.
However, our attorneys can review your situation, determine the extent of your losses, and evaluate what types of damages you and your family could recover in a successful claim.
To help answer any questions you might have, the Mississippi wrongful death lawyers at the law offices of Derek L. Hall, PC, present this guide to the ins and outs of wrongful death settlements.
For specific answers to your questions, feel free to contact us for a claim review and consultation. It costs you nothing to speak with our Mississippi wrongful death lawyer.
What Is a Wrongful Death Settlement?
When someone dies due to the negligent or reckless actions of someone else, their death may be considered a wrongful death under Mississippi state law. Mississippi allows surviving family members of wrongful death victims to file a legal claim for compensation against the people or entities responsible for the deceased’s injuries.
If the surviving family members make a successful claim against the liable parties and their insurance companies, the compensation they receive will take the form of a wrongful death settlement. This settlement is an agreement between the party or parties responsible for the deceased’s injuries and the deceased’s surviving family, and it lays out what the responsible parties will pay to the surviving family members for their losses.
Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts
It’s difficult to say what the “average” settlement for a wrongful death case is in Mississippi because each wrongful death case is different. Furthermore, even relatively similar cases may end up with different settlement amounts due to factors like the available evidence in the case, which insurance company or companies are involved, and other factors.
That said, the things that surviving family members can be compensated for are fairly consistent, even if the amounts vary from case to case.
If you file a wrongful death claim after someone in your family dies, you could potentially be compensated for things like:
- The cost of the deceased’s medical bills – Depending on what caused the deceased’s injuries and how long they were undergoing medical treatment, they could have accumulated substantial medical bills. Surviving family members can be compensated for the cost of the deceased’s medical treatment related to the injuries that led to their death.
- Funeral and burial expenses – Funeral and burial arrangements can be extremely costly. As part of a wrongful death claim, surviving family members can be compensated for any costs related to the deceased’s funeral and burial.
- Loss of future earnings and benefits – When someone dies a wrongful death, they often had many years ahead of them to earn a living and provide for their family. Now that they’re gone, however, the surviving family members may be left without a reliable source of income and are unable to enjoy the other benefits that the deceased may have earned. Surviving family members can be compensated for the value of a deceased’s family member’s lost earning potential and other benefits.
- Damaged property – As in other personal injury cases, a wrongful death claim allows surviving family members to recover compensation for any of the deceased’s property that may have been damaged in the accident. For example, if the deceased died in a car accident, you could potentially recover compensation for the value of their car that was damaged.
- The deceased’s pain and suffering – The deceased may have been in extreme pain from their injuries before their death. A wrongful death claim allows surviving families to claim compensation for the deceased’s pain on the deceased’s behalf, since the deceased cannot claim that compensation themselves.
- Mental anguish suffered by surviving family members – The death of a family member can take an immense emotional toll on someone. Though difficult to quantify, this pain is very real. A wrongful death claim allows surviving family members to seek compensation for the emotional turmoil they’ve endured.
- Loss of consortium and guidance – Many of us count on our family members for emotional support and guidance, as well as for financial help. A wrongful death deprives surviving family members of that support, but they can seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.
How to Get a Fair Wrongful Death Settlement in Mississippi
Getting help from an experienced, dedicated wrongful death lawyer is essential for seeking fair compensation after a wrongful death. Without an attorney’s help, you run the risk of unwittingly accepting a lowball settlement offer from an insurance company.
To pursue a fair settlement, you’ll want to identify everyone who may be liable for your family member’s death. You’ll then need to account for and document the types of compensation you may be due, such as the deceased’s medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and pain and suffering. You’ll also need sufficient evidence to get compensation for your own losses, such as the emotional harm you’ve suffered as a result of your family member’s death.
From there, you’ll need someone who can negotiate with the liable parties and their insurers to make sure they’re held accountable. That’s a lot of work to do on your own, but getting help from a wrongful death lawyer can make the process much less burdensome and go more quickly.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
We know the prospect of taking legal action and considering your financial needs may be difficult following the death of a loved one, but you deserve to be compensated for your painful loss. You likely have major expenses that need to be covered, and a wrongful death suit can help you secure the money you deserve so that you and your family can take the time you need to heal. Many families find peace and closure from pursuing justice on behalf of the deceased.
You don’t have to face a wrongful death case on your own. At Derek L. Hall, PC, our legal team is here to answer any questions you may have. Get a free initial consultation by calling our office or visiting our contact page.