There is probably no tougher experience in life than the sudden, unexpected death of a family member. To compound the tragedy even further, many times the death is caused by the wrongdoing of someone else. Drunk drivers, unsafe products, and medical mistakes are just a few examples of the types of wrongful conduct which can result in the death of a loved one.
In these situations, the last thing on the family’s mind may be holding the wrongdoer legally accountable for the death. It can take weeks, months, and possibly years before the grief alleviates to the extent that holding the wrongdoer accountable legally becomes important to the family. Unfortunately, this works in favor of the wrongdoer. Many times, evidence can be lost or destroyed, and memories grow dim with respect to what actually happened.
Further complicating matters, the law requires that an estate be set up for the deceased person, which includes the appointment of a personal representative. This is true even if the deceased person had no assets of any appreciable value. The process of setting up an estate and getting a personal representative appointed is complicated, and care must be taken to get the proper orders by the court entered; otherwise, it may be determined years later that the estate was not properly set up, and that the statute of limitations for claims has expired. This leaves the heirs of the deceased with nothing.
Under Arkansas law, only certain heirs are able to make claims against a wrongdoer who has caused the death of a family member. Determining exactly who is entitled to make such a claim can also be a complicated process. Under certain circumstances, the estate of the deceased person itself may have a claim.
If a family member or loved one has been killed by the negligence or fault of someone else, please contact me now for a free, no-obligation consultation. I will respect your grieving process, and if you choose to retain me, I will take all legal steps necessary to aggressively prosecute your case.