Losing a loved one is one of the most emotionally challenging times in a person’s life. Mourning the loss of your loved one can take a long time and the pain may never completely go away.
When your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, that makes the frustration even worse. Knowing that your loved one did not have to die can add to your anger and your grief. But you may have legal rights. While no amount of money will bring your loved one back, it can help you cover costs associated with their untimely death. To find out your options, speak with an experienced Louisiana wrongful death lawyer today.
What is a wrongful death?
When a death is caused by someone else’s wrongdoing, Louisiana law calls that a wrongful death. This does not mean that your claim is simple. In fact, there are many complex actions at play.
Wrongful death actions frequently occur from:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Criminal activity
Over 700 people die in car accidents each year across Louisiana. This is the most common cause of wrongful death claims. But it is clearly not the only cause and there are many other reasons besides those listed here. Any instance where your loved one died from someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness could result in a successful wrongful death claim. Even if your loved one suffered injuries at the hands of another but did not ultimately succumb to those injuries for some time, the negligent party could still be held liable for your loved one’s death.
Criminal activity like a gunshot or mugging can also cause a wrongful death. But beware — many families mistakenly believe that a criminal case will help them recover compensation. A guilty verdict may require the criminal to provide your family with restitution but that may only cover a small fraction of the expenses you face.
To avoid a situation where you end up paying out of your own pocket to cover expenses related to your loved one’s death, you need to work with a skilled wrongful death lawyer in Louisiana. Working together, you can try to hold the negligent party liable for your loved one’s death and for the financial expenses and hardship you may face as a result.
Who can file a claim?
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim in Louisiana. The victim may have had many close friends who mourn their passing, but they do not have standing to file a wrongful death claim.
The following parties may file a wrongful death claim in Louisiana:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- If neither of the above are alive, then the surviving parents
- If there are no surviving parents, then surviving siblings
- If there are no surviving siblings, then surviving grandparents
Any adopted family members who fall into an above category may also bring a wrongful death claim. Finally, if there is no one alive in any of these categories, the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death claim.
What damages can I recover?
When you and your lawyer file a wrongful death claim, your goal is to recover compensation. The compensation will not undo your suffering or bring your loved one back. But it will help you cover the financial expenses related to your loved one’s death.
Your lawyer may try to collect compensation for:
- Final medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost support
Depending on the cause of your loved one’s death, the medical bills may be extremely high. Insurance may not cover all of those bills. That could leave you or your family in financial hardship as you try to cover those expenses along with your regular living expenses.
If your loved one was the breadwinner of the family, that could also put you in a difficult financial position. You will need to account for the lost wages and the earning potential of your loved one over the course of their lifetime. This may require experts who can accurately account for what your loved one would have contributed to the family financially. This is also an amount you will want to try to collect from the negligent party.
Working with the right wrongful death lawyer can help you move forward. Getting the right guidance from your lawyer can help you cover the financial expenses and losses you may face.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?
After the death of your loved one, you only have one year from the date of their death to file a wrongful death claim. This is not much time. You will be focused on grieving and mourning the loss of your loved one while spending time with family and friends. A wrongful death claim will be the last thing on your mind, as it should be.
But if you miss this important deadline, you may not be able to collect compensation from the person responsible for your loved one’s death. That’s why it is vital to the success of your wrongful death claim to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after your loved one passes. Your lawyer can help make sure you meet this important filing deadline, and all other legal hurdles you may face.
Trusted Wrongful Death Lawyers
The lawyer you choose to represent your best interests can make a difference in your wrongful death claim. You need a lawyer who has proven experience helping victims like you recover for the loss of a loved one. During this extremely emotional time in your life, relying on a trusted legal advisor can provide you with comfort and knowledge that your wrongful death claim gets the attention it deserves.
If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you need to speak with an experienced Louisiana wrongful death lawyer today. Contact us online or at 504-526-2222 to see how we can help you recover for your loss.