Coping with the death of a loved one is never easy—especially when the loss was unexpected. Beyond the emotional trauma, surviving family members may face financial turmoil due to funeral costs, lost income, and medical bills. If a member of your family died due to the malicious or negligent acts of another person or company, you may be entitled to compensation for these losses.
The Jackson wrongful death attorneys at Coxwell & Associates will evaluate your case for free to determine if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim. We are dedicated to providing our clients with honest, compassionate, and effective legal representation. Call us today at (601) 265-7766 to schedule a free consultation.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Mississippi?
Mississippi Code section 11-7-13 specifies the parties who can bring a wrongful death claim. These parties include:
- The deceased’s surviving spouse;
- The deceased’s surviving child;
- The deceased’s surviving parent or sibling (if there is no surviving spouse or child); or
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate.
The following parties may be entitled to compensation in Mississippi wrongful death claims:
- If the deceased was married and had children, the recovered damages would be split between the surviving spouse and the surviving children;
- If the deceased was married and had no children, all of the recovered damages would go to the surviving spouse;
- If the deceased was unmarried but had children, the damages would be divided equally among the surviving children; and
- If the deceased had neither a spouse nor children, the damages would be equally divided among the deceased’s mother, father, and siblings.
If the deceased had no surviving family, no will, and no instructions for naming a personal representative, the state can bring a “survival claim.” Damages awarded in a survival claim would first be used to pay the deceased’s creditors. The deceased’s heirs at law would be entitled to any remaining damages.
Caps in Mississippi Wrongful Death Lawsuits
There is no cap on economic damages awards in wrongful death lawsuits; however, Mississippi law places a $1,000,000 cap on non-economic damages awards. In medical malpractice cases, the cap on non-economic damages is $500,000.
Punitive damages may be recovered against a defendant who acted with actual malice, actual fraud, or gross negligence. Mississippi law places the following caps on punitive damages awards:
- $20 million if the defendant’s net worth is more than $1 billion;
- $15 million if the defendant’s net worth is between $750,000,000 and $1 billion;
- $5 million if the defendant’s net worth is between $500,000,000 and $750,000,000;
- $3.75 million if the defendant’s net worth is between $100,000,000 and $500,000,000;
- $2.5 million if the defendant’s net worth is between $50,000,000 and $100,000,000; and
- 2% of the defendant’s net worth if the defendant’s net worth is $50,000,000 or less.
Discuss Your Case with a Jackson Wrongful Death Attorney Today!
The Jackson personal injury lawyers at Coxwell & Associates offer compassionate and aggressive representation to clients throughout Mississippi. To discuss your case in a free initial consultation, call us today at (601) 265-7766 or click here
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.