After the death of your loved one, you might be interested in recovering benefits and damages from the negligent party who was responsible for causing their untimely passing. If they hadn’t been killed, your loved one would have been able to file a personal injury claim to sue the liable party, but since they’re gone, a family member is left to make the claim for them.
By filing a claim, you can get compensation to cover the costs that they left behind and that you incurred because of their passing, which can help you grieve while not worrying about bills. But before you do that, you should know if you are one of the parties who are able to legally file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your deceased loved one or family member.
Arkansas Wrongful Death Laws
Knowing the laws surrounding filing a wrongful death claim in Arkansas can keep you from attempting to take legal action that you’re ultimately not allowed to take. While it can be frustrating to learn that you’re not able to recover compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death, it’s better to know beforehand so that you don’t waste your own time and money.
According to Arkansas Code, these are the different parties who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their deceased loved one:
- Personal representative of the estate
- A surviving spouse of the deceased
- Surviving children of the deceased
- Surviving parents of the deceased
- Surviving siblings of the deceased
- A legal guardian of the deceased, or a person acting in loco parentis
- A person the deceased stood in loco parentis of
In Arkansas, the personal representative is generally who must file the wrongful death claim for the deceased. They are legally in charge of the estate, so they are in the ones who are in control of filing a legal claim for the wrongful death. However, if there isn’t a personal representative, all of the others listed above are considered eligible heirs who could file a claim.
If you’re unsure if your deceased loved one has a personal representative, or if you’re not sure if you fall under one of these categories, or if you just need help with your claim, you should reach out to a wrongful death lawyer. They’ll be able to answer your questions and guide you through the process.
Benefits From a Wrongful Death Claim
Once you determine that you’re eligible to recover benefits from your loved one’s wrongful death suit, you might be wondering exactly what benefits can be included in that claim. There is a difference between the damages you might recover, depending on the type of claim you’re making—a family claim or an estate claim. Either way, the damages go to the family members of the deceased, but there is still a distinction between the two types of damages awarded.
In a family claim, you’d recover the damages that the deceased and your family suffered as a result of their death. Some of those costs could be emotional suffering from the loss, loss of consortium and companionship, loss of income, and loss of the emotional support that they would have given to their family and any children.
In an estate claim, the damages are more focused around the costs that the deceased suffered and the physical costs that the family will have to pay in order to lay them to rest. Included in these are funeral and burial costs, any medical bills that the deceased incurred from injuries leading up to their death, pain and suffering that the deceased felt directly before death, and any wages that they lost from their injury and then what they would have earned if they had lived.
This can all be complicated and seem like too much to handle on your own. That’s why you could use the help of a wrongful death attorney to guide you through the process.
McMath Woods P.A. Is On Your Side
Your family might be struggling with the loss of your loved one and could be unsure how to handle all of this. Even though you want to hold the negligent party responsible for your loss, you might feel like it’s too big of a task for you and your family right now. That’s understandable, but you don’t want to wait too long. At McMath Woods P.A., we’re here to handle the legal process for you so that you don’t have to worry.
Our Little Rock wrongful death lawyer has experience helping families recover what they’re owed for their loved one’s untimely death. We know that this is a vulnerable time, which is why we’ll handle your case with care. Reach out to our office today for a free consultation.