When can people bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Mississippi?

Mississippi law permits people to bring a civil action against others, including individuals or even businesses, who cause them verifiable financial losses. Under personal injury law, you can hold someone accountable for medical injuries or property damage that they caused. 

Typically, such actions can only get brought by the victim. However, wrongful death claims are a kind of personal injury claim in which the person directly harm can no longer file a lawsuit. Instead, it will be there surviving dependents or, in cases with no direct family members, a representative of the deceased’s estate who takes action against the person who caused their death. 

Not every death will allow survivors to file a wrongful death claim. When are such claims possible under Mississippi law?

Only certain circumstances make someone else liable for a fatality

In order for you to bring a wrongful death lawsuit after the tragic loss of a member of your family, the circumstances leading to their death must meet certain criteria. Under Mississippi law, a wrongful death occurs when someone’s omission, negligence or wrongful acts directly contribute to the death of someone else. 

Omission means a failure to act, while negligence means behaving in an inappropriate or irresponsible manner. Wrongful acts involve the willful and intentional violation of laws. Some issues, like drunk driving or texting while driving, involve both wrongful acts and negligence.

How long do you have to bring a claim?

Under the Mississippi statute of limitations for personal injury cases, surviving family members and dependents can bring a wrongful death claim within three years from the date of death. 

Knowing these rights can make it easier for you to stand up for yourself and hold someone accountable for their irresponsible or illegal actions and the impact their choices have had on your family.