What Types of Experts May Testify in a Wrongful Death Case?There is nothing worse than the death of a beloved parent, spouse, or child; but it is even more tragic when the cause of their death could have been easily avoidable. While no amount of money can ever replace the loss of a loved one; according to Mississippi law, anyone responsible for your loved one’s death can be held accountable for not only ending the one life but also for altering so many other lives as a result of their conduct.

Wrongful death cases are different than other cases because the deceased victim isn’t there to speak for himself/herself; and while fact witnesses can testify about where, when and what happened; and family members can testify about their loved one and how deeply their death has affected them; in many cases experienced Southaven wrongful death lawyers will also need to consult and hire different professionals to investigate and ultimately testify regarding either who or what caused the death (liability) or to show the extent of the loss (damages).

Proving liability in a wrongful death case

According to Mississippi law [§ 11-7-13], either the personal representative of the decedent’s estate or a spouse, parent, child, or sibling may file the wrongful death claim against anyone legally responsible (liable) for causing the death of their loved one.

Every loss of human life is tragic; however, under the law a death is wrongful when it could have been easily preventable by others. The most common causes of wrongful death include: vehicle collisions, construction injuries, medical negligence, defective products, and violent acts. Every case is different, and if the exact cause is unclear then reconstruction experts may be called to testify (or provide reports) as to how the incident happened. For example, in a motorcycle collision the investigating police officer may be called to testify regarding their investigation of the wreck and its cause if they are properly qualified or a private accident reconstructionist can also be called upon to testify and may use video animations, computer graphics and engineering concepts to explain how the crash occurred.

Proving damages in a wrongful death case

If a spouse, parent, child (including an unborn child), or sibling was killed due to the fault of others – but their death wasn’t immediate – then a physician may testify (or provide reports) detailing the victim’s injuries, their pain and suffering between the time of the accident and their death, and the medical expenses for surgeries and other medical care.

In addition to payment for funeral and burial expenses, beneficiaries in a wrongful death case in Mississippi are entitled to compensation for:

  • Their pain and suffering due to the decedent’s death
  • The loss of society and companionship the decedent would have provided each beneficiary
  • The value of the lost wages and benefits the deceased would have reasonably earned had he/she survived

Family members can testify to these emotional and financial losses and psychologists may also provide evidence as to the extent of any pain and suffering and loss of society, but the value of lost wages and benefits normally requires the help of a financial professional to calculate all the financial losses over the lifetime of the decedent, and to then present those numbers as their present-day value.

At Taylor Jones Taylor, our Southaven wrongful death lawyers respect your need to mourn your loved one. We calmly guide families through this extremely difficult time. Our lawyers work with the family members, any witnesses, and with our team of professional experts to help prove liability and the full amount of damages families deserve. We represent families throughout Olive Branch, Southaven, Hernando, and other Mississippi areas. To discuss your rights in a wrongful death case, call us today at 662.342.1300 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.