States have vastly different law concerning wrongful death cases–cases where it is alleged that certain acts caused death. Arkansas wrongful death laws allow for the recovery of what is termed “loss of life” damages by the Estate of the person killed, commonly referred to as the decedent. Loss of Life damages have been defined by the Arkansas Supreme Court as the “value that the decedent would have placed on his or her own life.” Durham v. Mayberry, 356 Ark. 481, 156 S.W.3d 242 (2004). Other forms of damages are also allowed for the Estate, including any conscious pain and suffering experienced prior to death. Wrongful death beneficiaries of the decedent under Arkansas law can include any living children, spouse, siblings, mother and father. Each has a separate claim for mental anguish. Anyone who believes a loved one or family member has a wrongful death claim should consult an attorney. Folks with venue choices should at least consider Arkansas law before filing in other states.
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