Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

February 23, 2022

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death? When a loved one is killed due to negligence or intentional action, the person responsible can be sent to prison if convicted. In the past, the victim’s family may have suffered financially due to death, but had nowhere to turn. Today, next of kin of the deceased or a representative of the deceased’s estate can file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary compensation.

Wrongful death laws vary from state to state. They are usually based on one of two “systems”—a British law that stated a wrongful death claim can only be filed by a designated beneficiary (usually someone related to the victim), or the “loss-to-estate” system that says a claim can only be brought by a representative of the decedent’s “estate” (usually someone appointed by a court). Let’s take a closer look at who can file wrongful death claims in the Mid-South.

In Tennessee, first priority in filing a claim goes to the surviving spouse, children, or closest living relative. Ex-spouses are not able to file. Parents, either biological or legally adoptive, also have the right to file. Finally, an administrator of the estate may file a claim.

Mississippi law is similar to Tennessee. A wrongful death claim may be filed by a surviving spouse, parents, children, grandchildren or siblings. The estate’s representative may also file the lawsuit.

In Arkansas, the administrator of the estate is the only person who can bring a wrongful death claim. But in cases where there is no estate…for example, if the deceased person is a child or homeless person who owns no items or property…the suit may be brought by next of kin, which includes a surviving spouse, children, parents, siblings, or someone acting as a parent.

No amount of money will bring a loved one back. But it can help make sure that the deceased’s family will be taken care of. Let The Cochran Firm Mid-South help you file a wrongful death lawsuit. Call 901-523-1222 for a free consultation.

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