Wrongful Death Survivor
A wrongful death survivor is the person who is legally eligible to file a lawsuit on behalf of their deceased family member. Learn more in this video.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
In Mississippi, when we pursue wrongful death claims, I’ve been asked from time to time what a wrongful death survivor is. That’s a fair, question for wrongful death claims, so let me try to answer that here. What it means to be a wrongful death survivor, in common parlance, is just a family member of the person who died— a legal beneficiary or heir to the person. Over time, the law has evolved on that in Mississippi. At one time, who exactly the survivors were or who exactly the beneficiaries were under a wrongful death claim was somewhat in dispute. It evolved over many years, but ultimately these issues were addressed by statute. The legislature in Mississippi passed a wrongful death statute, and under that statute the legislature has spelled out who the beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim are and what the damages are that they can recover.
In Mississippi, the way that our wrongful death statute is set up is that there are tiers of beneficiaries. The first tier is the deceased person’s spouse and children. If a person dies as a result of another person’s negligence – whether they die by car wreck, or whether they die in an 18-wheeler accident, or whether they die as a result of medical malpractice – if there’s a wrongful death claim for that, the first group of people who would be the survivors (or, as Mississippi’s statute defines it, the beneficiaries) would be the spouse and children. If that person does not have a spouse or children, then the second tier is their parents or their siblings. If there’s no parents and no siblings, then it goes on to a broader definition of kin. These are similar but not exact parallels to our heir and descent laws, which just means the way that people’s property is divided up if they died without a will. It’s very similar to that structure, but a little bit different. It’s also important to understand in Mississippi that any of those folks defined under our statute as a beneficiary, whether in first tier, second tier or third tier, can bring a wrongful death claim; it’s just they may not ultimately get paid a share out of it.
All of that goes to say, if you believe that you’re a beneficiary to a wrongful death claim, if you’ve lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence or bad acts, you need to consult with a Mississippi attorney who has experience pursuing wrongful death claims in Mississippi. The law is nuanced. There are some specialty parts of our wrongful death laws and how you pursue those claims that you really need an attorney who has experience in those areas. If you have a claim or a potential case involving wrongful death and you have questions, the Brad Morris Law Firm is here to try to help you get answers to those questions. Rest assured, on our wrongful death cases or any other types of personal injury claims, we always offer free consultations to try to help people get the help they need. I hope this answers that question and that this information is useful to you.
Have you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence and have questions about who is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Contact the experienced Mississippi wrongful death attorneys at Brad Morris Law Firm, PLLC today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Let our experience work for you.
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