Wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to negligence by another person. Those who were dependent on or were a direct beneficiary of that person may be entitled to financial compensation as a result of that wrongful death.
Coping with your loss is more than enough to handle without worrying about the legal aspects of filing a lawsuit. If you have a loved one who passed away as the result of another party’s negligence, wrongful death lawyers in New Orleans can help you understand your rights. Contact Morris Bart today for a free case evaluation.
Why Choose a New Orleans Wrongful Death Lawyer From Morris Bart
- Our wrongful death attorneys in New Orleans have over 40 years of experience. We understand Louisiana’s laws surrounding these cases and how to overcome challenges for our clients.
- We take pride in being a law firm that puts its clients first. We will fight for the best possible case results on your family’s behalf, even if that means taking your case to trial.
- We accept wrongful death cases in New Orleans on a contingency fee basis. This means your family will only pay us if we successfully secure financial compensation for your losses.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a New Orleans Wrongful Death Lawyer?
When you hire the law firm of Morris Bart, you will pay $0 upfront for our services. Our New Orleans personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will only pay attorney’s fees if we win your case and secure financial compensation for your family. We will front the costs of the legal process for you so that you do not absorb any financial risks associated with bringing a claim.
If we do achieve a settlement or jury verdict for your wrongful death damages, we will charge our fee as a percentage of the overall amount won. That way, you will not pay our law firm out of pocket. The value of the percentage will depend on the unique facts of your case, such as whether or not it goes to trial. Our experienced wrongful death lawyers resolve the majority of cases via settlements. We are always upfront about our fees.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a New Orleans Wrongful Death?
Proving negligence in a wrongful death claim works the same way as in a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney can help you identify the negligent party, establish their breached duty of care to the victim, and then provide evidence of the full extent of the losses resulting from the death. Some examples of this would include:
- A surgeon who made a mistake during surgery due to negligence, and the patient died because of it
- A driver who runs a red light and hits and kills a pedestrian
- An armed assailant who robs a person at gunpoint and accidentally kills the victim
Proof of negligent actions requires evidence that someone owed your loved one a responsibility to act with due diligence, fell short of this duty and caused the fatal incident. The party who can be held liable in your case depends on the individual or entity who wronged your loved one and caused (or substantially contributed to) the fatality. Our lawyers can investigate the breached duty, determine the negligent party/ies and help you seek damages from the correct defendant(s).
Potential Compensation for Wrongful Death
Each state has ordinances that allow the heirs in a family to file a wrongful death lawsuit if another party’s negligence caused the death of a loved one. There are factors that the courts could take into consideration when they hear a wrongful death lawsuit. Some damages a family member of the deceased could receive include:
- Income loss from the salary of the person who has passed away
- Any potential savings that a person may have accumulated
- Any expenses that were incurred by the surviving heirs
- Medical bills and funeral expenses
- Reasonable burial expenses
- Lost household services that would have been provided by the deceased
- Companionship loss
- Punitive damages, in rare cases involving gross negligence or intent to harm
The parties eligible to recover potential compensation from a wrongful death claim can include a surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving parents, surviving grandparents and surviving siblings. While it can be difficult to think about monetary claims in the wake of losing a loved one, protecting your rights during the legal process is essential. Our compassionate attorneys are happy to help clients seek damages in wrongful death cases.
What to Expect When Filing a New Orleans Wrongful Death Claim
The average family does not know what to expect from a wrongful death lawsuit in New Orleans. Our injury attorneys at Morris Bart will guide you through all of the legal processes involved in a wrongful death action in Louisiana. The basic steps are as follows:
- A knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer will help you prepare and file a wrongful death claim that complies with all of the laws and requirements in Louisiana.
- An investigation will be opened into your loved one’s death. This may involve interviews with family members and witnesses to collect evidence and information.
- One or more defendants will be identified as having contributed to your loved one’s fatal injury or illness in New Orleans. The defendant(s) will be served a copy of your claim.
- The defendant’s insurance company will have the option of offering a settlement if its policyholder’s liability for the death is accepted.
- Your lawyer can use evidence, including expert witnesses, to prove negligence and negotiate a fair settlement with an insurer on your behalf.
- If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached or the liable party’s insurance company rejects your claim, your lawyer can take the case to trial in New Orleans parish, if necessary.
- A wrongful death trial will involve the discovery phase (which can last several months, in some cases) and arguments and evidence presented before a judge and jury.
- A jury during a civil trial will determine if the plaintiff met the burden of proof. If so, a judgment can be awarded in the plaintiff’s favor. If not, the plaintiff’s attorney may be able to file an appeal.
From providing general information about the legal process to giving you personalized legal advice suited for your unique case and needs, our attorneys will be there for you and your family every step of the way during wrongful death litigation.
Situations That Lead to Wrongful Death
The first step in the process of determining a wrongful death lawsuit is identifying the cause. This is because the accused party or defendant in a wrongful death case will be the party responsible for causing the death. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death are:
- Vehicular accidents: if a negligent party, such as a drunk driver, causes a wrongful death in a fatal car accident, the driver’s insurer can be held liable. Additional parties such as the automobile manufacturer and commercial shipping company could be also held responsible for your accident, depending on the circumstances.
- Motorcycle accidents: motorcyclists are more likely to lose their lives in traffic accidents than passenger vehicle occupants. If a negligent or reckless driver caused your loved one’s deadly motorcycle accident, that party can be held responsible
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents: pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable road users in New Orleans. Unfortunately, drivers do not always obey traffic laws put in place to protect other people. This can lead to preventable deaths.
- Workplace accident:every year, workers in Louisiana lose their lives in preventable workplace disasters. Examples include fires, explosions, catastrophic falls, transportation accidents and equipment incidents. Surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits through workers’ compensation or a wrongful death claim.
- Emergency room medical malpractice: One of the more common wrongful death lawsuits stems from an emergency room, including misdiagnosis of health conditions, performing errors during surgery, or discharging a patient prematurely.
- Anesthesia malpractice: If, during the process of performing their duties, an anesthesiologist mistakenly administers a fatal dosage, they could be found legally responsible.
- Defective product:if a product with a design, manufacturing or marketing defect experiences a malfunction that proves deadly, product liability claims may be brought against the manufacturer or distributor for related wrongful deaths.
There are other situations that can lead to wrongful death, but these are three of the most common. Whether your situation falls into one of these categories or another one entirely, a New Orleans wrongful death lawyer can help you begin the process to obtain compensation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on a New Orleans Wrongful Death Action?
In the state of Louisiana, the statute of limitationson wrongful death cases is approximately one year. The one year timeframe does not necessarily begin immediately at death. The clock on the statute of limitations can be reset by the discovery of new pieces of relevant information. This may include:
- Someone making a deliberate effort to conceal information about the cause of death
- The use of products that were found to be defective
- The death is ruled to be from natural causes, but evidence of medical malpractice comes to light
It is critical for you and your loved ones to meet the time limit to file a wrongful death claim. Missing the required time period generally means forfeiting the right to seek monetary damages. Understanding your rights in complicated legal matters like these can be difficult. Your wrongful death lawyer in New Orleans can assist you throughout the process and help you meet the necessary deadlines to ensure that your case stays active and prevent it from being jeopardized.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Louisiana?
Wrongful death claims in the state of Louisiana can be filed by the following family members of deceased:
- The spouse and/or children of the deceased
- The mother and/or father of the deceased if there is no surviving spouse or children
- A brother and/or sister of the deceased if there is no surviving spouse, children, or parent
- A grandparent of the deceased if the deceased left no surviving spouse, child, parent, or sibling surviving.
Family members who have lost a loved one unexpectedly due to another party’s negligence can turn to a wrongful death attorney for details on their legal rights to justice and compensation.
What Is a Survival Action in Louisiana?
It may also be possible for a grieving family to file a survival action after the sudden death of a loved one. According to Louisiana Civil Code Section 2315.1, the right to recover damages for an injury suffered shall survive the death of the injured individual. This type of case is known as a survival action. The right to file this type of case survives for a period of one year from the death of the deceased.
Any compensation obtained with a survival action can be awarded in favor of the following parties:
- The surviving spouse and children of the deceased, or either the spouse or the child/children.
- The surviving father and mother of the deceased, if there is no spouse or child.
- The surviving brothers and sisters of the deceased, if there is no spouse, child or parent.
- The surviving grandparents of the deceased, if there is no spouse, child, parent or siblings.
These definitions include adopted family members. Any father or mother who abandoned the deceased as a minor, however, is deemed not to have survived the deceased. In the absence of these beneficiaries, the right to recover damages for injury to the deceased will go to the deceased succession representative. A survival action focuses on losses suffered by the deceased, while a wrongful death action focuses on losses suffered by surviving family members. Contacting our personal injury lawyers today can give you a better understanding of your right to file either type of claim.
A New Orleans Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Dealing with a wrongful death claim can be difficult while also trying to cope with the loss of a loved one. A single misstep could give an insurance company a reason to reject your claim or diminish your payout. Hiring an attorney to take over your wrongful death claim can protect your family members and improve your chances of a successful case.
A New Orleans wrongful death lawyer can provide many important legal services during your case, such as:
- Investigating the fatal incident, including returning to the scene and discovering witnesses.
- Determining fault and causation for your loved one’s unexpected death.
- Explaining your rights and legal options as a surviving family member.
- Preserving and collecting all available evidence of fault to support a wrongful death legal action.
- Handling negotiations with an insurance claims adjuster on your family’s behalf.
- Filling out and filing confusing legal paperwork for you by Louisiana’s deadline.
- Bringing your wrongful death claim to court for maximum compensation, if necessary.
Your attorney will understand Louisiana law and how to navigate the civil codes related to your wrongful death lawsuit for you. You can trust a legal team to aggressively pursue the wrongful death settlement that your family deserves, granting you greater peace of mind during this difficult time. You are already going through enough; allow a lawyer to take over your wrongful death case for the best results and easiest legal process possible.
Call a New Orleans Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Our team at Morris Bart can help you determine whether or not pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit is something you should consider. We will work to provide a guiding hand throughout the process, explaining your legal rights throughout.
Don’t go it alone. Call a New Orleans wrongful death lawyer from our firm today to schedule your free consultation. We will fight to protect your rights during this difficult time.
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