Wrongful Death

6 Things You Need to Know About Wrongful Death in Arkansas

The term wrongful death may sound a little odd, but it is simply the legal term when someone dies from an accident. I explain it this way: everyone will die, but when it happens too soon (and because of someone else’s fault), that is wrong.


Primarily the purpose of injury law is to get you the money to get you back to where you were before the accident. That is impossible in a death case, so Arkansas has established a special set of rules.


1. Not everyone can file a lawsuit after the death of a loved one.

Arkansas is very specific that only one person, the person who represents the deceased’s estate, can file a wrongful death claim. If no representative exists, it falls to a family member, usually the spouse, children, parents, or brothers/sisters, in that order.


2. A wrongful death family claim goes directly to the individual.

Usually, the largest amount of money is the salary the deceased would have earned that could have helped the surviving family members. It may surprise you, but you can also sue for the cash equivalent of services the deceased would have provided. Think of it this way, if the deceased drove the children to school, now someone else, perhaps a paid individual, must do that. This needs to be compensated for. Another claim covered by a family claim is loss of affection. The money comes as one payment. If the family members cannot decide on the percentage for each person, the court will decide.


3. A wrongful death estate claim goes into the deceased estate.

It covers loss of wages not used by the family, compensation for pain and suffering of the deceased before death, payments for reduced quality of life, burial expenses, and medical expenses, among others. This amount is distributed through the will. If the deceased does not have a will, Arkansas has a formula it will use. In effect, the state has a will for you.


4. A wrongful death claim can be for any type of accident.

Car accidents, truck wrecks, motorcycle collisions, slip and fall accidents, harmful products, and medical malpractice are all potential wrongful death claims. The importance is that someone died.


5. Arkansas generally only allows 3 years to file a claim.

After that time is up, you may be barred from collecting anything. That is why you should not wait to see a lawyer.


6. You can only collect for what you suffered.

If you did not benefit from the person’s paycheck, you can probably not collect on the future income. Therefore, a second cousin that the deceased never met cannot show up and collect the bulk of the settlement. This also is true of a child that has distanced themselves from a parent vs. a child still living at home.


Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Claim Attorney

Horton Law has extensive experience dealing with wrongful death claims in Arkansas. These can be very complicated cases, especially when trying to put a value on future earnings and the cost of loss of companionship. Based on the deceased’s age, the future earnings alone can be quite large. So, it is understandable that insurance companies will aggressively fight to keep that amount as low as possible.


Fortunately, we know their tricks.

You can talk to us at Horton Law for free. Give us a call today.


If you have any questions, we’ll help you find answers. Let our experience protect your rights to the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call Horton Law for a Free Legal Consultation at 888-541-4951 or fill out a Free Consultation Form.