A serious car wreck can have far-reaching effects for the people involved and their families. This is particularly true when a person dies due to a drunk, distracted or negligent driver.
In 2014, 607 people lost their lives in car accidents in Mississippi. In addition to the emotional trauma, many of these victims’ families faced overwhelming debt due to the loss of income, medical bills, and funeral and burial expenses.
Although no amount of compensation can undo the loss of a loved one, filing a wrongful death lawsuit could help your family regain financial stability. William E. Ballard is a personal-injury attorney in Madison, Mississippi who will evaluate your case in a free initial consultation.
Mr. Ballard will interview witnesses, assess the police report and doctors’ records, and compassionately represent your interests. Call 769-572-5111 to arrange an appointment at Ballard Law, PLLC.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim in Mississippi?
Even if it is clear who caused the car accident, recovering fair compensation is rarely straightforward. A small mistake during the claims process could significantly reduce the amount of compensation you recover or prevent your family from recovering any compensation at all.
As your personal-injury lawyer will explain, it is important that you avoid these costly mistakes:
- Making recorded statements to insurance adjusters;
- Posting commentary on social media about your case; or
- Accepting a settlement without your accident attorney’s approval.
Depending on the facts of your case, your family may be entitled to the following damages:
- Health-care expenses;
- Funeral and burial costs;
- Lost wages;
- Lost pension and retirement benefits;
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased between the time of the injury and his or her death;
- Emotional distress and mental anguish;
- Loss of companionship, protection, care and love; and
- Depending on the circumstances, punitive damages.
Punitive damages are not recoverable in every wrongful death case. However, you might be entitled to punitive damages if the driver who killed your loved one was drunk or otherwise acted with actual malice or gross negligence.
Important Evidence in Wrongful Death Cases
As is the case with other personal-injury claims, the success of your wrongful death lawsuit will hinge on the strength of your evidence. Your accident lawyer will have to prove negligence, liability and the value of your damages. This will require extensive evidence in the form of:
- Doctors’ records;
- The accident report;
- Toxicology reports;
- Photos of the accident scene;
- Proof of lost income, pension and retirement benefits;
- Proof of funeral and burial costs;
- Timelines and illustrations;
- Witness testimonies;
- Testimonies from medical and financial experts; and
- Testimonies from accident reconstruction experts.
Filing a successful wrongful death lawsuit is a legally complicated, time-consuming process. William E. Ballard will help you avoid costly mistakes and recover the maximum compensation. Call 769-572-5111 today to schedule a consultation with a personal-injury attorney in Madison, Mississippi.