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What Does “Wrongful Death” Mean?
In Arkansas, the term “wrongful death” refers to the death of a person caused by the wrongful conduct of someone else. The “someone else” can be one person, multiple persons, or an entity in the state. For instance, in a wrongful death medical malpractice case, a loved one’s death might be attributed to the wrongful conduct of a doctor, a nurse, and a healthcare facility.
Outside of a medical malpractice setting, a wrongful death case might stem from nursing home abuse or neglect, a car accident, or a trucking accident, among other scenarios. Any time a person’s death is the result of someone else’s wrongful conduct, family members could be eligible to file a wrongful death case in court.
Establishing an Arkansas Wrongful Death Case
When the circumstances of your case would have entitled your loved one to file a lawsuit if he or she had not died, you can pursue a cause of action in your loved one’s place. Under Arkansas law, these types of cases can be filed by a personal representative of your loved one’s estate or by direct heirs at law — a spouse, children, parents, or siblings.
Generally, in Arkansas, your wrongful death case will be presented under state negligence laws. A negligence case requires proof of some basic case elements in your lawsuit, including:
- An obligation to act on the part of the defendant(s)
- Failure to act by the defendant(s)
- An injury to your loved one (the death of your loved one)
- A connection between your loved one’s death and the defendant’s failure
Undoubtedly, one of the more difficult aspects of these cases is proof of the connection between the conduct of the defendant and the death of your loved one. In some situations, like vehicle accidents, it will be relatively simple to prove this element. However, in medical malpractice situations, it can be complicated to make that causal link.
The Rees Law Firm works with a network of extraordinarily talented experts, however, who will review the facts and records in your case to provide opinions about the elements of proof we need to meet. Having reputable experts on board with your case will give you the best chance at a verdict or settlement award.
Damages in an Arkansas Wrongful Death Case
Under Arkansas law, you can seek numerous types of damages in your wrongful death case. This includes both damages on behalf of your loved one and damages on behalf of yourself. The Rees Law Firm can pursue all of the following in your wrongful death lawsuit:
- Cost of funeral and burial services of your loved one
- Cost of medical treatment your loved one received
- Compensation for your loved one’s physical and mental pain and suffering
- Your own loss of care and comfort because of your loved one’s death
- Loss of financial support because of your loved one’s death
- Loss of household services because of your loved one’s death
The death of a cherished loved one affects you in multiple ways. We understand that not only are you suffering severe grief, but you are also likely in a difficult financial situation. You might have unpaid bills and feel uncertain about your future.
The Arkansas judicial system provides a way for you to move forward, though we know your loved one can never be replaced. Allow our firm to talk to you about the ways we can help you recapture some of your lost stability and seek the justice you and your family deserve.
Arkansas Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations place deadlines on the time you have to file a case under Arkansas law. If you miss the deadline and do not file your case in time, you could forever lose your right to sue. Statutes of limitations, therefore, are something to take extremely seriously.
In Arkansas, generally, the statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim is three years. The three-year statute of limitations means you typically will need to file your lawsuit in court within three years of the date of your loved one’s death.That said, a number of factors can influence the deadline in your individual case. It is vitally important to make sure you have the correct date in mind for filing your claims in court.
The safest way to ensure you do not miss your filing deadline is to hire a skilled Arkansas wrongful death attorney to investigate your claims. The lawyers at the Rees Law Firm diligently review all new cases to immediately assess the statute of limitations and make sure we have enough time to build our clients winning cases. Because time could be limited on your wrongful death claim, we encourage you to contact our office immediately to start your case investigation and protect your legal rights.
- Hal Rees
Best lawyer in Jonesboro…hands down! He really comes to bat for his clients.Jared Bozarth
I have used this firm for many years. They are professional and inviting, knowledgeable and hold themselves to a high level of integrity and moral accountability. I recommend them on a regular basis and have never been disappointed.Anastasia Beaverhousin
The best lawyer in Jonesboro and surrounding area. Mark, you work for your clients and you treat them as if they are your only client. You are a blessing to anyone. Keep up the great jobSheri Seabaugh Prestidge
A brilliant legal mind and an aggressive defender of the accused. Great person!Stan Morris
Mark Rees is a terrific lawyer and went above and beyond for me each time I have used his services. He treated me as if I were family and was always straight forward with us. I would recommend him to anyone.Tonda Johnston Baxter