Gulfport Wrongful Death Attorneys also Serving Families in Biloxi
If you recently lost a family member in an accident, seeking justice for your loved one’s death is an important step on the long road to recovery. No one deserves to lose their life due to someone else’s negligence, and no family deserves to face a future without the care, companionship, and support of someone they lost too soon. Our Gulfport wrongful death attorneys are here to help.
In Mississippi, seeking financial compensation after a fatal accident involves filing a claim for wrongful death. In these cases, eligible family members (or the personal representative of the victim’s estate) file a lawsuit to recover compensation for the financial and non-financial losses resulting from their loved one’s death. While wrongful death cases have many similarities to personal injury claims, they involve a number of unique aspects as well. As a result, it is important to hire an experienced legal team that is willing to fight for the compensation you and your family members deserve.
Experienced and Compassionate Wrongful Death Lawyers in Gulfport
At Smith & Holder, PLLC, we are committed to helping families secure just compensation for wrongful death in Gulfport, Biloxi, and throughout Mississippi. We understand the devastation that comes with losing a loved one unexpectedly, and we know the last thing you want to do right now is spend your time fighting in court. When you hire our firm to represent you, we will work closely with you to understand your situation and make sure we seek maximum compensation for your tragic loss. We will work tirelessly on your behalf so that you can focus on being with your family.
Due to the severity of the consequences involved, insurance companies, product manufacturers, and other large corporations will vigorously dispute virtually all claims for wrongful death. To overcome their aggressive tactics, you need attorneys who know the law and who are prepared to do what it takes to win the compensation your family deserves. At Smith & Holder, PLLC, we take a strategic and detail-oriented approach to every case we handle. And while many of our cases settle, we do not hesitate to fight for justice at trial when necessary.
Gulfport Wrongful Death Lawyers Handling All Types of Fatal Accidents and Injuries
Mississippi has the highest rate of motor vehicle collision deaths per 100,000 population of any state in the country. Each year, hundreds of local residents lose their lives in fatal collisions that are the result of driver negligence and vehicle defects. With extensive experience in auto accident insurance settlements and litigation, we can act quickly to investigate your loved one’s accident and pursue the maximum compensation available under the law.
Due to the limited protection of a motorcycle, even slow-moving accidents can be fatal to motorcycle riders.
When bad drivers make poor decisions, even the safest motorcycle riders can be left helpless to protect themselves. Distracted driving, following too closely, merging without looking, and numerous other common driving mistakes can all have fatal consequences when motorcycle riders are put in harm’s way.
Truck accidents claim thousands of lives across the United States each year. Jackknifes, rear-end collisions, overrides, underrides, and other types of accidents involving large commercial trucks result in death at disproportionately-high rates. And in almost all cases, the victims are occupants of passenger vehicles. If you lost a loved one in a truck accident on I-10 or any other road in southern Mississippi, we can help you assert your family’s legal rights.
We can also apply our knowledge of federal and state trucking standards to show how the trucking company’s violation of the law requires it to provide compensation to your family.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
Whether going to the beach or commuting to work, walking, jogging, and cycling are ways of life for many Gulfport and Biloxi residents. Tragically, drivers often fail to respect the risks of endangering pedestrians and bicycle riders, and fatal accidents are far too common. If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, the negligent driver deserves to be held fully-accountable. We want to help make sure justice is served.
Falls are among the leading cause of death on many types of job sites, and unexpected falls can result in fatal injuries regardless of a person’s age or physical abilities. Slips, trips, and falls from height can easily cause spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and other catastrophic injuries that can lead to death. In many cases, these accidents are the result of faulty construction or inadequate premises maintenance.
Dangerous and Defective Products
Fatal accidents involving dangerous and defective products occur far more often than any of us would like to believe. While manufacturers recall millions of products every year, many of these recalls come too late, and there have been several documented cases of companies knowingly putting their customers at risk for fatal injuries. If you believe that a dangerous or defective product may have caused your loved one’s death, we can help you assert your family’s legal rights.
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Inadequate nursing home care is to blame for countless residents’ deaths every year. Sadly, the full extent of the problem is not known. Nursing homes will often attempt to hide their mistakes, and this leads to many instances of death in nursing homes that go unreported. If you have any reason to suspect that your loved one may have been a victim of abuse or negligent care in a Gulfport or Biloxi nursing home, we urge you to contact us for a free consultation.
Other Fatal Accidents
Our bodies are fragile, and the reality is that it does not take much to cause a fatal accident. Whether your loved one was killed in an accident at work or suffered a fatal injury under any other circumstances in which someone else may have been to blame, you deserve to find out if your family is entitled to a financial recovery. When you engage our firm to represent you, we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of your loved one’s death, and we will help you make an informed decision about pursuing a claim for wrongful death.
Wrongful Death FAQs: Understanding Your Family’s Rights under Mississippi Law
Q: If the person who was at fault in the accident was arrested, do I still need to file a claim?
Yes. In Mississippi (as in all states), there are two separate legal systems: criminal and civil. While a person convicted of murder or manslaughter can face substantial fines and long-term imprisonment, the criminal justice system is not designed to compensate victims for losses. In order to pursue a claim for financial recovery, you will need to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.
Q: What is wrongful death in Mississippi?
Mississippi law’s definition of a wrongful death includes real, wrongful, or negligent conduct or the failure to act that results in a person’s death. It also clarifies that the law allows recovery when unsafe machinery or products cause your loved one’s death.
Q: What do we have to prove in a wrongful death claim?
You must be able to show that, if your loved one had survived, the facts would have given him or her a right to file a personal injury case. In many cases, this requires you to prove that the party who caused your loved one’s death was negligent. For a negligence claim, you must show the defendant had a duty to your loved one, then breached this duty and caused your loved one’s death. The duty may be established by law, such as the duty to safely drive or to follow trucking regulations. A breach is violating this duty, like driving while distracted or impaired. The defendant’s breach must be the main cause of your loved one’s death.
Q: Which family members are eligible to file wrongful death claims in Mississippi?
Under Mississippi’s wrongful death statute, the family members who are eligible to seek financial compensation for a loved one’s death include:
- The victim’s spouse
- The victim’s children
- The victim’s parents
- The victim’s siblings
In addition, in a wrongful death case, the personal representative of the victim’s estate can seek to recover damages on behalf of the estate as well. Any damages recovered on behalf of the estate will be distributed to the victim’s beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of his or her estate plan. Or, if the victim did not leave an estate plan, to his or her heirs in accordance with Mississippi law.
Importantly, there are restrictions on how and when family members and the victim’s personal representative can seek compensation for wrongful death. As a result, it is critical for the family members and personal representatives to work together and make informed decisions about asserting their legal rights. During your free initial consultation, our lawyers will walk you through everything you need to know in order to protect your right to maximum compensation.
Q: What types of losses are the victim's family members and estate entitled to recover?
Under Mississippi law, the victim’s family members and estate are entitled to recover different types of damages. Broadly speaking, the types of damages available include:
- Medical expenses incurred prior to the victim’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of society and companionship
- Loss of earning capacity
Once we learn more about your personal situation, we can advise you as to the specific losses you are entitled to recover.
Q: What is Mississippi's statute of limitations for wrongful death claims?
In most cases, Mississippi’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three years. However, if your loved one’s death was the result of an intentional act (such as an assault), you may only have one year to file your claim for compensation. The Mississippi Tort Claims Act, which governs tort cases filed against governmental entities and their employees who are acting within the course and scope of their employment are subject to a one-year statute of limitations. In any case, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Q: How much does it cost to hire a wrongful death attorney?
At Smith & Holder, PLLC, we do not charge any out-of-pocket fees or expenses to our clients. We handle all wrongful death cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we help you recover financial compensation.
Contact Our Gulfport Wrongful Death Lawyers about Your Family’s Rights
For more information about the steps involved in filing a wrongful death claim in Gulfport and the surrounding areas, and to find out how much you may be entitled to recover for your loved one’s untimely death, please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation. You can reach our Gulfport law offices by phone at (228) 206-7076, or send us your information online and we will be in touch as soon as possible.