If you have lost a loved one in Texarkana as the result of someone else’s negligence, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate can seek compensation on your behalf through Arkansas’ wrongful death claims process. An experienced Texarkana wrongful death attorney from Morris Bart can help you understand this process and the services that our legal team can provide to assist with the claim.
How an Attorney Can Help You with Your Claim
A wrongful death attorney in Texarkana can provide a number of services to assist in the filing of a wrongful death claim. These services include determining liability, valuing the claim, negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance provider, filing a lawsuit, litigating your case, and more. An attorney brings experience to the process and is available to guide their client as they make decisions about their case.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death lawyer serving Texarkana, call 800-537-8185
How the Wrongful Death Claims Process Works in Texarkana
In Arkansas, AR Code § 16-62-102 states that a wrongful death is one that occurs as a result of a wrongful act, neglect, or default and would have entitled the victim to seek compensation if they had lived. The types of wrongful acts, neglect, or default that can give rise to a wrongful death claim in Texarkana include:
- Auto accidents, including those that involve passenger cars and trucks, commercial trucks, motorcycles, or pedestrians
- Medical malpractice, which involves medical negligence by a healthcare professional
- Slip-and-fall accidents, which are a type of premises liability claim
- Dangerous drugs and defective products
A Personal Representative Is Generally Required
Wrongful death benefits are available in Arkansas for heirs in law, which include the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings. In some cases, the decedent’s legal guardian or someone the decedent was a legal guardian for can also be compensated through the claim. However, the claim must be filed by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate, such as the named executor of the decedent’s will.
If there was no named personal representative, the heirs in law are permitted to file a claim.
Types of Compensation Available in Wrongful Death Claims
Individuals in Arkansas can seek compensation through a wrongful death claim for the expenses they incurred as a result of their loss, such as the cost of funeral services and burial or cremation, medical bills incurred for the treatment of the decedent’s final injury, the loss of the decedent’s contribution to the household income, and the lost value of the income, benefits, and other earnings the decedent would have likely earned through the course of their career if they had survived.
Claimants can also seek compensation for the conscious pain and suffering that the deceased endured between the instant they experienced their final injury until they ultimately succumbed to it. There is also the opportunity to seek compensation for the emotional impact that the loss had on the decedent’s family members, such as suffering, grief, despair, and the loss of comfort, care, companionship, guidance, and training that the decedent provided to their family members before death.
How Is a Texarkana Wrongful Death Claim Proven?
A Texarkana wrongful death attorney will gather evidence and witness testimony to show the following elements in a wrongful death claim.
The first element that must be shown is that the at-fault party had a duty in a specific circumstance to take reasonable actions to avoid causing injury or death to others. This duty depends on the type of accident that resulted in death.
For example, the duty of care owed by a healthcare provider is to avoid errors that result in injury to a patient. The duty owed by a motorist to others on the roadway is to operate their vehicle safely.
Next, it must be shown that the at-fault party took some action that was contrary to the duty they owed. Examples include prematurely discharging a patient after a procedure without ensuring that they were not suffering any post-surgical complications, or driving while distracted.
Finally, the attorney must be able to show how the breach in the duty that was owed resulted in an accident that caused the decedent’s death. Further, it must be shown that this death resulted in economic and emotional losses for the decedent’s family members.
When Must a Texarkana Wrongful Death Lawsuit Be Filed?
In Arkansas, wrongful death claimants generally have three years from the date on which the death occurred to file a claim in court as a wrongful death lawsuit. Failing to meet this deadline will likely result in the loss of the claimant’s ability to obtain compensation for their losses, as the at-fault party’s insurance provider has little reason to offer fair compensation if they know the claimant is unable to go to the courts if they refuse to pay.
While the lawsuit must be filed within three years, the claim does not have to be resolved in that time frame. Further, settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance provider can continue after the lawsuit has been filed.
Do You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney in Texarkana to File a Claim?
There is no legal requirement for the personal representative or the decedent’s family members to seek the assistance of a wrongful death attorney. However, these types of cases present complex issues, such as:
- Knowing what type of evidence the claimant needs to prove their claim
- Courtroom formalities
- Ways insurance adjusters find to reduce the value of a claim when working with claimants who do not have the assistance of an attorney
Contact a Texarkana Wrongful Death Lawyer for Help Today
The legal team at Morris Bart is ready to speak with you about your Texarkana wrongful death claim and explore your options for obtaining the compensation you need following the loss of your loved one. For your free case evaluation, contact us.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.