An unexpected death is often difficult to understand, especially if the death is caused by someone else’s negligence. At Allan Berger & Associates, we work with families whose loved one has suffered negligence resulting in wrongful death. In Louisiana, the law is on the family’s side, just as is our dedicated legal team.
What Is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs due to the fault of another person or entity. According to the Louisiana Civil Code, wrongful death can occur by accident or a purposeful action resulting from negligence or recklessness to intentional conduct. The surviving family brings a case to the court to seek damages relating to the death of the individual involved.
Some of the damages family members might be able to recover include:
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages
- Medical bills relating to final illness or injury
- Bills for damaged property
- Value of household services
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of care and emotional support suffered by the family
In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases allow families one year from the date of death to file a claim. Claims not filed within this time period are near impossible to pursue due to the statute.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death case can only be filed by certain individuals as outlined by Louisiana law. These individuals include:
- A surviving spouse or child of the deceased
- The parents of the deceased, if no spouse or children are involved
- The siblings of the deceased, if there are no parents
- The grandparents of the deceased, if there are no siblings
It does not matter whether the individual has adoptive parents; they are covered under the same law. A parent or parents that abandoned the individual prior to the death are treated as deceased and are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim.
Negligence and Causation in a Wrongful Death Case
For a defendant to be held liable for an individual’s death, there must be a particular action or condition that caused the injury or illness that resulted in death. However, the action or condition only needs to be a substantial factor in the death, not the sole cause. Often, wrongful death occurs by negligence, or complete failure to use reasonable care, resulting in injury or death.
Causation involves a cause-in-fact and proximate cause. Cause-in-fact determines if the injury would have occurred if the action occurred. If yes, proximate cause is then determined by asking if the injury or illness was foreseeable. If the illness or injury was foreseeable, damages may not be awarded.
Has Your Family Suffered Due to Wrongful Death?
If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, get help recovering what you need to move forward. Get help from an experienced attorney who will stand by your side. Reach out to Allan Berger & Associates today by calling 504-526-2222 or sending us a message.
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