Death and Accountability in Arkansas – “Wrongful Death” and where to start

In Arkansas, when a person dies as a result of another’s negligent, reckless or intentional conduct, our law allows that person’s court appointed Personal Representative (Administrator) to hire a lawyer and a court can hold the responsible person or company causing the death accountable.  Under the Arkansas Wrongful Death Act, the Personal Representative can recover money for the estate and for others depending on their relationship to the person who lost his or her life.

On behalf of the estate, the Personal Representative can recover compensation for:

  • medical expenses;
  • the value of lost earnings prior to death;
  • conscious pain and suffering;
  • scars, disfigurement and visible results of injury;
  • the loss of life;
  • funeral expenses; and,
  • property damage.

The Personal Representative can also  seek compensation for the deceased person’s statutory beneficiaries (i.e. spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, children… and certain others described in the statute). Money for these persons can be recovered for:

  • loss of consortium (spouse only);
  • pecuniary loss  (the value of money, goods and services the decedent  would have contributed to the statutory beneficiaries, if he had lived); and,
  • mental anguish.

The first step a family should take in holding the responsible person or company accountable for a loved one’s death is to consult an attorney experienced in handling wrongful death cases.  The attorney will quickly open an estate in the Probate Court so that an Administrator can be appointed.  It is only with the approval of the Court that a law firm can be hired by the Administrator to represent the estate and start the process of seeking justice for the family.

Mulkey Law Firm represents grieving families with compassion and integrity.    We understand the importance of grief and the fact sometimes closure may depend on justice. We also understand that many families, when left with a loss of income, have no choice but to fight for justice. We offer free, no obligation consults by phone or in person.