Pedestrian Killed in Gulfport Car Accident: Who Can Sue?
A pedestrian was struck and killed by a Gulfport police cruiser in the evening hours of January 19, 2017, according to a report from the Sun Herald. While a heavy rainstorm had hit the Harrison County region at the time, authorities were still investigating to determine the cause of the collision. The incident occurred just outside a Wal-Mart on US Route 49, and shoppers reported hearing an impact from the scene, which was about 200 yards away. Police had not identified the victim, or even announced whether it was a man or woman. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the deceased’s family may consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit under Mississippi law.
Proving a Wrongful Death Case
Under Mississippi law, a wrongful death in a car accident case is a death that is caused by the negligent or reckless act of another motorist. The theory of liability is that the deceased could have filed a personal injury case to obtain compensation for losses if he or she had survived the incident.
People Who Have Standing to Sue
Because the victim perished, another party must bring the case to court on behalf of the decedent. Typically, the individual appointed as the personal representative in the deceased’s estate would bring a wrongful death action to recover losses.
In addition, the people who survived the decedent may have suffered losses as well. The surviving spouse and children may also have standing to sue the party responsible for the decedent’s death. Further distant relatives, including the victim’s parents and siblings may have grounds to file a lawsuit under certain circumstances.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Case
There are two types of damages in a wrongful death case.
- Damages Paid to the Estate: The estate stands in the shoes of the decedent to recover losses suffered by him or her, as separate from surviving family members. The damages may include medical expenses related to treating final injuries, funeral costs, and damage to property as a result of the incident.
- Damages Payable to Survivors: The victim’s surviving family members may recover damages they experience themselves, such as the pain and suffering from the person’s unfortunate death. They may also be entitled to compensation for loss of companionship, and for the income the deceased would have earned had he or she survived the accident.
Has a Loved One Been Killed in a Car Accident? Talk to a Gulfport Lawyer About Your Options
When a person is killed in a car accident due to the negligence of the driver, the circumstances may give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit in Mississippi. This cause of action is intended to compensate family members for losses they sustain as a result of the accident. If a loved one has been killed in a car crash, it’s important to consult with a lawyer that can advise you of your options and pursue your interests. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice have represented many clients throughout the greater Gulfport area in wrongful death matters, and will fight for your right to compensation. Please contact our Biloxi, MS office to discuss your situation in more detail.