No experience can match the trauma of losing a loved one. In addition to the heartache, some families face financial hardship because the deceased was a primary source of income. If the death was the result of another person’s negligence, then a family representative may be able to recover compensation from the at-fault party by filing a wrongful death claim.
If your family member died due to another person’s negligent or reckless actions, contact Morris Bart. A Lafayette personal-injury lawyer can gather evidence, structure your claim, handle settlement negotiations and fight for the maximum compensation.
Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation. Until then, read on to learn more about wrongful death claims in Louisiana:
What Is a Wrongful Death?
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According to Louisiana Civil Code Section 2512.2, a wrongful death happens when a person dies due to the fault of another. The liable party may be a person or an organization, such as a company. The death does not have to be intentional to constitute wrongful death.
Several types of accidents can justify a wrongful death claim. Common examples include car crashes, product defects and medical malpractice.
What Damages May Be Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The family representative can pursue damages for both economic and non-economic damages. These may include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of care or guidance;
- Loss of companionship or emotional support;
- Funeral expenses;
- Medical bills;
- Lost income;
- And damaged property.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Louisiana?
According to Louisiana State University, one person – who is usually a family member – can file the claim. The representative may also be the executor of the deceased’s estate.
The rules that determine who may sue for wrongful death vary from state to state. In Louisiana, the following parties may file the claim:
- Surviving spouse or children;
- Surviving parents or parent;
- Surviving brothers or sisters;
- Or surviving grandparents.
Adopted children also may be able to file the claim. If there is no surviving family member available or living, the estate may file the claim.
In many situations, a criminal case takes place in addition to the wrongful death claim. The outcome of the criminal case will not necessarily affect the outcome of the civil case.
What If the Deceased Was Partially at Fault?
Louisiana is a comparative fault state, so the family representative may still be able to make a claim if the deceased was partially at fault for the death. However, the recovery will be reduced by the deceased’s percentage of fault. For example, if the total damages awarded are $800,000 and the deceased was 25 percent at fault for the death, then the maximum recovery would be $600,000.
If your loved one died due to another person’s negligence, contact Morris Bart. Wrongful death cases are notoriously complex, but a Lafayette personal-injury attorney from our firm can help you navigate the claims process. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation.