The loss of a family member is a tragic event and the death becomes all the more painful if it happens due to the reckless action of someone else. It puts the family in a difficult spot where they need to spend money on hospitalization and funeral expenses. However, the law allows you to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for the loss of your loved one. Though it can’t fill the void, a suitable payout can help the family in alleviating its financial burden. But first you’ll need to hire a wrongful death attorney to take care of the litigation process.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
The term ‘wrongful death’ has been coined in civil law to describe a claim that arises out of the negligence of others and leads to the death of a person. For a successful wrongful death litigation, the plaintiff needs to prove the fault of the defendant party in a court of law. Negligence is the cornerstone of all personal injury lawsuits such as automobile accidents, workplace injuries, industrial accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice etc. Here it is to be noted that a civil lawsuit is distinct from criminal lawsuits. Even if you are not able to prove criminal motive behind the death, you can still bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who is Eligible for Compensation?
Eligibility depends on state laws. However, the lawsuit, in general, can be brought only by close relatives. This includes:
(1) The spouse and children of the deceased.
(2) The dependent parents of the deceased or either of them.
(3) Brothers and sisters if they directly depend on the income of the deceased.
(4) The surviving grandparents of the deceased.
There is a statutory limit of one year for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana. Missing this deadline will cause your case to be rejected.
Costs Included in the Claim
The purpose of the wrongful death law is to provide justice to victims. However, such survival action lawsuits are not punitive in nature. That means the money awarded in wrongful death litigations are not meant to punish the offenders. The plaintiff will get what he has lost because of the error of the other party. Common expenses include:
- Emergency and medical costs before the death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income
- Emotional trauma, pain and suffering
- Compensation for the loss of companionship and care
Our Legal Services
The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess provides all types of personal injury attorney services such as automobile accident, product liability, hit and run, slip and fall, accidents at construction sites, and wrongful death.
Personal Injury Attorney in Louisiana
If you are grieving from the untimely death of a loved one, you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Visit us at any of our 8 offices in the state of Louisiana to discuss your case. Our initial consultation is absolutely FREE. Call us or write to us to fix your appointment.