Wrongful Death – Who Can File a Lawsuit on Behalf of a Relative Killed in an Accident?

Wrongful Death – Who Can File a Lawsuit on Behalf of a Relative Killed in an Accident?

April 16, 2021

When a relative is killed in a car accident, it is important to know where to turn. While most car accidents are minor, they have been known to end in fatality. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there were over 700 fatal motor crashes in 2019 across the state of Louisiana.

The negligent driver that caused the accident is the one responsible for the injuries and/or fatalities. If it’s not a car accident, however, it’s not always easy to determine who is at fault. Either way, when a person has passed and it wasn’t their fault, you will want to find out who was responsible and hold them accountable.

When a person is hurt, they can handle their own lawsuit. However, it is important to understand that you may be able to file a lawsuit for a relative who was killed in an accident. It can provide peace to the family in a time of mourning – and it may provide the financial compensation necessary to move forward in a more positive way.

Who Can File a Claim?

While it may be heartbreaking to hear of the passing of a loved one, it’s important that someone step up to file a lawsuit. It can ensure that there is financial compensation provided to cover various expenses.

According to Louisiana law, only specific parties have the ability to file a wrongful death claim.

Typically, it will be the survivor’s spouse or their children. If there is no spouse or children, the deceased’s parents have the ability to file the lawsuit. If there are no surviving parents, the surviving siblings of the person can make the claim.

Of course, there are always unique instances where someone else may need to make the claim. By working with professional lawyers who can help to confidently navigate the law in Louisiana, you can find out who can file the necessary lawsuit. At Allan Berger & Associates, we have many years of experience working with car accidents and other personal injury claims in New Orleans.

You’ll want to pay close attention to the timeline. You may have a limited amount of time after your injury to pursue a lawsuit. You and other relatives may have the ability to file as a group. Otherwise, if no one steps up, an executor may step in to file a claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate.

There are countless reasons to file a claim. While most claims are filed by the one who has been physically injured, a wrongful death claim is different. You mourn the loss of a relative – and filing a claim is a chance to seek compensation to cover a variety of different things:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost earnings
  • Mental and emotional stress/trauma
  • Loss of inheritance

When someone was negligent enough to cause death, it is your right to hold them accountable and to seek financial compensation.

What’s Included in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Filing a wrongful death claim means proving that another party was at fault. Depending on the events leading to the death, there may be various things to consider. There may be witnesses, a police report, and much more that can be used when making the claim.

At least one element would have to be proven to ensure you can file a lawsuit:

  • Neglect
  • Carelessness
  • Default
  • Unskillfulness
  • Wrongful/malicious act

In some instances, there may be more than one issue that led to the death. Since that individual is not able to provide details, it’s critical that the event be investigated thoroughly – and a lawyer can ensure that the investigations provide the information needed to file a claim.

While many wrongful death claims occur as a result of vehicle accidents, they may also occur because of being the victim of a violent crime or even a workplace accident.

Wrongful death claims fall under the civil courts. They don’t take into consideration any criminal actions that may be pending as a result of the death – such as if a driver was under the influence or if there was a malicious act performed.

Claims of this nature can be comprehensive. With so many components to think about, you shouldn’t have to go through it alone – and an entire legal team can help you handle such a lawsuit. It ensures that you have counsel when things get hard.

Once you know more about how a wrongful death claim is handled, it will allow you to move forward.

Find Out More About Making a Claim Today

It’s important to work quickly when you want to file a lawsuit, particularly as it pertains to wrongful death. You don’t want to find out that you allowed too much time to pass, especially if it’s all about figuring out who is going to make the call to a law firm.

There are a lot of emotions happening right now, though you have to ensure that specific timelines are met. Whether you’re the one to file the lawsuit or there is another relative that is more qualified, time is of the essence.

You might have a number of questions about the process, too:

  • Who files the claim?
  • What are the different steps?
  • Who was responsible?
  • How much is the claim worth?
  • How long will it take to see a settlement?

These are all good questions, and the only way to get answers is by sitting down to talk with a New Orleans lawyer that specializes in wrongful death cases.

When you’re ready to learn more about filing a lawsuit and seeking compensation for your relative and their family, contact us. At Allan Berger & Associates, we have friendly NOLA lawyers who can provide guidance every step of the way.

Give us a call at 504-526-2222 or fill out a contact form on our website today. We’ll schedule a consultation to learn more about what has happened and help you to determine who can file the lawsuit.

By |2021-05-10T10:03:02+00:00April 16th, 2021|Car Accidents|

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