Deadly Crash May Lead to Wrongful Death and Survivor Actions
A horrific crash on I-10 near the Mississippi-Alabama state line left four people dead and several injured on May 24, 2017, according to a report from Biloxi’s ABC affiliate WLOX. All four victims were traveling in a Ford Expedition when a semi truck rear-ended it, forcing it into a Toyota Tacoma. While the Tacoma was forced off the road and out of harm’s way, the Expedition was crushed into another 18-wheeler truck. Two medical helicopters arrived on the scene to transport patients, but it was already too late for the four victims in the Expedition. The incident shut down traffic for three hours while crews worked to clear the debris, including a diesel spill. While the investigation continues, family members of the deceased individuals may be pursuing wrongful death and survival actions under Mississippi law. It’s possible for certain individuals to recover compensation when the negligence of another driver causes a person’s death, but there are two distinct lawsuits involved.
Wrongful Death Cases Versus Survival Actions
When a person dies as a result of another person’s negligence, there are two different plaintiffs involved:
- A wrongful death case is based upon the emotional losses people experience when a loved one dies under sudden, unexpected circumstances. The plaintiffs are family members of the victim, including a spouse, parents, and children.
- A survival action relies on the same principles as a personal injury case caused by negligence; the difference is that the victim died instead of suffering injuries. The plaintiff in this type of case is the victim’s personal representative, who acts on behalf of the decedent to recover compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages.
Recovering Compensation for Damages When a Loved One Dies
In a wrongful death case, the plaintiffs may sue for the mental and emotional anguish they suffer due to the loss of their loved one. A spouse may claim loss of society and companionship; parents and children may file for losses of relationship, parental care, and guidance.
In a survival action, the damages are the same those a personal injury victim would seek. Medical bills and lost wages are available as economic damages. This type of case would also allow financial recovery for funeral costs and burial expenses as well. The victim’s personal representative could also seek non-economic damages for pain and suffering and loss of relationships.
A Biloxi Wrongful Death Attorney Can Explain Your Options
When a loved one dies due to the negligence of another person, the grief is overwhelming and the losses are considerable. Mississippi law does provide for a wrongful death lawsuit and/or survival action for designated individuals, but you’ll need a skillful attorney to represent your interests. For more information on your options, please contact the Law Offices of Judy Guice in Biloxi, MS. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss your case or answer questions regarding wrongful death or survival actions.