Mike Rainwater on…

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

When you lose a loved one, you shouldn’t have to worry about bills and paperwork piling up. You need space to grieve and to heal. Our team at Rainwater, Holt & Sexton understands that, and we’re here to support you during this difficult time.

Our experienced attorneys will build a strong case to prove that your loved one wasn’t at fault. With your help, we’ll also paint a picture of what their life would have been like so you can receive adequate compensation for your loss. We know that no amount of money can bring your loved one back — but it can help you and your family on the path toward healing.

Reach out to our wrongful death attorneys today and tell us your story.

a talking head of Mike Rainwater video talking to camera


1,100 Google Reviews

Our Wrongful Death Case Results

$1.5 MIL

Tractor Trailer Accident, Wrongful Death

$2.0 MIL

Auto Accident Hit and Run, Wrongful Death


Pedestrian Injury, Wrongful Death

$1.0 MIL

Auto/ATV Accident , Wrongful Death


What is Wrongful Death?

When a person or company’s negligence leads to the death of another, surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Unlike a personal injury claim, wrongful death claims are brought by the family members of the deceased. Similar to personal injury claims, however, they are handled by the civil court system and not the criminal court. Our law firm in Little Rock has plenty of experience dealing with these types of cases.

In Arkansas, a wrongful death civil claim can be filed even if there is already a criminal case underway for the same event. While a criminal case seeks to punish the guilty person or company for their negligence or criminal activity, a civil case seeks to compensate survivors for the financial hardships they may have endured because of the loss of their loved one. This can get complicated, which is why having the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer is so important.

Wrongful death could occur in numerous ways, but the most common causes of wrongful death include:

The Main Elements of a Wrongful Death Case

In order to win your wrongful death case, your attorney must prove four main elements:

Your attorney must prove that a death occurred. This could have been a direct and sudden death, such as a car accident, or an indirect death, such as asbestos exposure.

Your attorney must also establish that your loved one’s death occurred directly because of another person’s negligence or intention to harm. In the case of a car accident, your attorney must show that the defendant was driving recklessly or carelessly, and that directly led to the death of your loved one.

Your attorney must also establish that you and your family suffered or will suffer losses as a result of the death. If you are the surviving spouse, you may be missing your loved one’s financial contributions to the family, as well as non-economic benefits, such as companionship.

our loved one must have a personal representative appointed for the estate. This could be a surviving family member, such as a child or a spouse.

Suffered a Loss Due to Negligence?
Call Us.

Our No Fee Guarantee® means you pay us nothing unless we win your case.
Get a Free Consultation

How to Prove Negligence

Establishing negligence is the key to winning your wrongful death claim. While this may seem like an easy task to accomplish, it isn’t. Many factors may have contributed to your loved one’s death, including some of their own actions. It’s important to have an attorney on your side with considerable experience building wrongful death cases and winning.

In order to prove negligence, your attorney must establish that the defendant owed your loved one a “duty of care.” A duty of care is essentially a duty to keep others safe. For example, doctors owe their patients a duty of care, drivers owe everyone on the road a duty of care, and store owners owe their patrons and customers a duty of care.

Once a duty of care is established, your attorney will investigate the incident closely to establish that there was a breach in this duty. In other words, that the defendant did something careless, reckless, or intentional that failed to keep others safe. Examples would include a surgical mistake, drunk driving, or failing to adequately salt parking lots in an ice storm.

Establishing negligence is difficult and requires intensive investigation. It may include accident reconstruction, interviewing eyewitnesses, reviewing cell phone records, and examining medical records to build a case that establishes the elements of wrongful death. When there could be multiple parties to blame, this becomes even more complex.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In the state of Arkansas, wrongful claims are generally initiated on behalf of family members, including children, spouses, parents, and in some cases, other family members. If the deceased has no personal representatives, then the wrongful death claim can be filed by the closest relatives under Arkansas law. Family members can seek support from a wrongful death attorney and law firm.

In order to win a wrongful death claim, your wrongful death lawyer must establish four critical elements:

In order to win a wrongful death claim, your wrongful death lawyer must establish four critical elements:

  • The defendant had a duty of care to the decedent
  • The defendant breached this duty of care
  • The fatality was caused directly by that breach of duty
  • Surviving family members have suffered damages as a result of the fatality

Wrongful Death vs Survival Claims

In Arkansas, there are two types of claims that can be filed after someone’s death: a wrongful death claim and a survival claim. The main difference between the two is that wrongful death claims compensate family members for their losses, while survival claims compensate the estate for the losses suffered by the deceased before death. The compensation for a survival claim goes directly to the victim’s estate. It is, in essence, a personal injury claim that survives the person after their death. Our law firm in Little Rock has helped many people pursue wrongful death claims after the loss of a loved one.

Wrongful Death FAQs

In the state of Arkansas, surviving family members only have three years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim. This is known as the statute of limitations, and if you miss this deadline, you could be barred from ever filing a claim. While this may seem like a lot of time to file a wrongful death claim, those three years can pass quickly when families are grieving and struggling with life after the loss of a loved one. The best way to avoid missing any critical deadlines is to contact a wrongful death lawyer immediately.

Sometimes a wrongful death is evident, such as after a car accident. Other times, proving wrongful death takes extensive investigation into the incident and into the factors that contributed to your loved one’s death. In cases of medical malpractice, defective products, or dangerous drugs, a wrongful death attorney may need to investigate closely to prove your case.

No, Arkansas law is very specific and different from other state laws. Speak to an attorney with extensive knowledge of wrongful death laws in Arkansas. Our law firm in Little Rock provides expert wrongful death attorneys who know Arkansas law in and out.

According to the IRS, wrongful death damages fall into compensation for injuries and are, therefore, income tax-free. They may be subject to the estate tax, however, so it’s important to discuss the tax implications with your wrongful death lawyer.

Contact a wrongful death attorney as quickly as possible. Immediately after a tragic accident, valuable evidence can be lost or destroyed. Your wrongful death lawyer will be able to help collect the evidence you need to prove your case and win the compensation you and your family need. Our lawyers in Little Rock can help from day one.

We’re taking care of you.

Arkansas and Tennessee are our homes and we want to make sure our neighbors and friends are supported. With nine offices in Arkansas and Tennessee – Little Rock, Little Rock-Corporate Hill, Springdale, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, Jacksonville, Jonesboro, and Memphis – our personal injury lawyers are easily accessible when you need help.

Our experienced injury attorneys are here to advocate for you.

We’re here to help.

Personal Injury Law Resources

car side of road rolled over

Understanding Vehicle Rollovers: A Comprehensive Guide

Rollover accidents can be severe and complex — drivers must understand how they can happen, how to avoid them, and

Learn More
Bundle of Ozempic Pens

Ozempic Lawsuit Lawyer

If you or a loved one has developed gallbladder or gastrointestinal problems after taking the type 2 diabetes medication Ozempic,

Learn More
woman grabbing neck in pain

What Happens To Your Body In A Car Crash?

A car crash can have significant physical and emotional effects on you—so it’s important that you have time to focus

Learn More
line of rental cars with sunshine

What Happens if You Crash a Leased Car?

After getting into an accident with a leased car, you should make sure that everybody involved is safe, then report

Learn More
damaged car from accident , evening

What to Do if the Other Driver Leaves the Scene of an Accident

If you get into an accident and the other driver leaves the scene, the first thing you should do is

Learn More
young couple in kitchen looking a a bill with a laptop

How Much Money Can You Get From a Car Accident?

While the typical car accident settlement will fall between $5,000 and $100,000, your specific recovery could range from a few

Learn More
man sitting by wrecked car at night

What Happens if Someone Else Is Driving Your Car and Gets in an Accident?

In Arkansas, insurance generally follows the vehicle: So, if you give someone permission to use your car and they crash

Learn More
close up dog biting a human arm

Dog Bite

If you suffered an injury from a dog bite attack, you should be able to focus on healing. Our team

Learn More
notebook on table with hand and pen

Average Car Accident Settlement Amount

Many factors influence the settlement you’ll receive after a car accident. Because no two accidents or injuries are identical, it’s difficult

Learn More
Injured man after car accident, holding his head.

Understanding Head Injuries from Car Accidents

If you’ve suffered a head injury in a car accident, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control

Learn More

What to Do After a Car Accident in Arkansas

Immediately after a car accident, you should turn on your hazard lights, get to safety, and try to remain calm.

Learn More
Graphic icons demonstrating various causes of sleep apnea

Common Causes : Truck Sleep Apnea

Every year, there are 15 million commercial trucks on our nation’s roads. These trucks transport over 70 percent of our country’s

Learn More
A semi truck passing a car on the highway

Safety Tips to Prevent Truck Accidents

Across the United States, there was an increase in the number of trucking accidents in 2016. That year alone, more than

Learn More
graphic of semi truck with a detached trailer lying on its side

Trailer Detachment Accidents

Common Causes of Big Truck Accidents Sharing the road with large commercial trucks can be scary. After all, a fully loaded

Learn More
self driving truck accidents

Driverless Trucking & Its Impact on Car Accidents

Dozens of companies are currently testing and developing self-driving trucks. These trucks are expected to hit the road as early as

Learn More