Just like the men and women who respond to car accidents to provide assistance and investigate are at risk of being injured, drivers must be careful not be struck by other vehicles immediately after an accident. If at all possible, it is best not to get out of your vehicle unless you can do so safely. A recent fatal car accident involving a Rogers man highlights the danger of leaving your vehicle after an accident. Our Rogers car accident attorneys offer this advice.
Fatal accident on I-49 kills Rogers resident
On February 10, 2018, while the weather conditions on I-49 were cloudy and freezing rain, a car accident occurred just before the West Fork exit. Fifty-seven-year-old Joseph Palasak of Rogers, Arkansas, was involved in the car accident, which took place on the bridge and involved several vehicles. Palasak, who was driving a Honda Pilot survived the initial crash and got out of his vehicle to walk around behind it. That is when a Nissan Murano traveling on the bridge lost control and slid into the back of Palasak’s vehicle. The impact threw him over the side of the bridge, killing him. Ultimately, it was reported that nearly 20 vehicles were involved in the crash. Palask was reportedly a Tyson employee.
Losing a loved one can be difficult
One of the most difficult challenges any family can face is the death of a loved one. When that death is the result of another individual’s negligence or misconduct, the loss can be even more difficult to handle. In those cases, the question that usually comes up is who should be held responsible for the death and how do you make that happen? If this has happened to your family, you may be able to bring a lawsuit for wrongful death. Our Rogers car accident attorneys can guide you through the process.
Can anyone bring a wrongful death claim in court?
Not everyone has legal standing to bring a wrongful death claim in court. The personal representative appointed to handle the estate of the deceased individual is required to file the wrongful death claim in Arkansas. If no one has been appointed, the claim can be filed by the deceased person’s legal heirs. In most cases, that would be the “surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings; individuals standing “in loco parentis,”(in place of the parent) and individuals to whom the deceased stood in loco parentis.”
What type of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death case?
In Arkansas, the survivors of the deceased are allowed to seek damages on behalf of the deceased, as well as compensation for their own personal losses, as a result of their loved one’s untimely death. This compensation received can help to alleviate medical bills and other expenses that may have been incurred, such as funeral expenses. This is not true in every state. For example, in Alabama damages in wrongful death cases are purely punitive in nature. Our Rogers car accident attorneys can explain your potential damages.
Wrongful death damages in Arkansas
In Arkansas, damages for wrongful death claims are divided into two categories: the estate claim and the family claim. The estate claim generally seeks compensation for any losses the deceased person actually suffered as a result of his or her untimely death, including funeral and burial costs, medical bills for treatment of the deceased person’s last illness or injury, pain and suffering the deceased endured before death, and the loss of the value of the deceased person’s remaining life, including wages.
However, the family claim seeks compensation for losses the family members suffered as a result of losing their loved one, including loss of the financial support of the deceased person, loss of household services, and loss of care, comfort, and guidance. If you have questions, let our Rogers car accident attorneys know.
Deadlines for filing wrongful death claims
Like all other legal claims, there is a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, which differs from state to state. This deadline or time limit is commonly referred to as the “statute of limitations.” In Arkansas, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death action is three (3) years.
Because wrongful death actions can be rather complicated claims to litigate, often more complex than basic personal injury cases, and typically result in a large damage award, it would be a good idea to consult with a wrongful death lawyer to assist you with your claim.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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