Losing a loved one to a vehicle accident is a curveball no one expects in life. Along with the endless grief, you also have to face additional financial responsibilities from funeral costs, loss of income, outstanding medical bills of the deceased, and more. Obtaining compensation could help alleviate some of that financial burden by allowing you to recover some of the expenses that would not have been there without the at-fault party’s negligent behavior.
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, an Andrew fatal accident lawyer will be able to assist you in pursuing a wrongful death claim against those responsible for the fatal accident. Our law firm can review your accident during a free consultation to determine your best legal options moving forward.
To learn more about beginning a free consultation with our law firm, call us or fill out our contact form.
Proving Negligence and Liability in Deadly Car Accidents
When pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, you must always consider negligence and liability. According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), negligence is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”
To establish negligence in a wrongful death claim, you must prove four elements:
- The defendant owed the deceased a duty of care
- The defendant breached the expected duty of care
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the fatal accident
- The surviving family members suffered a compensable loss due to the loved one’s death
For instance, if the driver who caused a fatal car accident in Andrew was texting while driving at the time of impact, that driver would be found negligent since they breached their duty of care to safely operate their vehicle. The elements of causation and damages can be demonstrated through photographs, video footage, witness testimony, and medical expert interviews.
If the deceased’s surviving family has sustained damages – such as property damage, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium – you may be entitled to monetize these into one figure and present this in a settlement with the defendant’s insurance company or legal team.
If you suspect negligence was the cause of losing your loved one in the wreck, our Andrew fatal accident lawyer may be able to help you gather evidence that proves negligence and pinpoints liability.
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
Under CC Art. 2315.2, a successful wrongful death claim will help you recover the following damages:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of future income
- Funerary costs
- Accident-related medical bills
- Loss of value of the services that the deceased provided
- Surviving family’s pain and suffering
- Loss of care, guidance, and companionship
Some damages are easily provable with medical bills, funeral expense bills, and more. Other damages like emotional anguish and trauma you may have suffered from the loved one’s death are difficult to demonstrate and quantify. Insurance companies of the at-fault party may reach out to you to settle your case for a lump-sum amount. But know that you may be entitled to more than the offered amount.
An Andrew wrongful death lawyer will be able to use their experience in similar cases to calculative an appropriate value for your tangible and non-tangible damages.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
How We Can Assist in Filing an Evidence-Based Wrongful Compensation Case for You
Our wrongful death attorney and legal team can thoroughly investigate the circumstances that led to your loved one’s death. If we find that the cause of death was the other driver or another entity’s negligent behavior, we will hold them accountable through a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit.
Here are some of the tasks we can assist with:
- Identifying all the liable parties for your loved one’s death
- Gathering evidence through tests, medical records, photographs, video footage, witness testimony, and more
- Filling out and file all the necessary paperwork related to the claim
- Consulting with accident reconstruction experts to understand how the accident unfolded and to demonstrate its full impact
- Negotiating with insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Representing your case in court with an out-of-court settlement is not possible
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
The Statute of Limitations in Louisiana Limits Your Time to Pursue Legal Action
Under Louisiana Civil Code Section 2512.2, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is within one year of the victim’s death. This means you will only have 365 days from the loved one’s death to gather all necessary evidence and pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Should you choose to pursue legal recourse following the deadly car accident, you must gather as much evidence to support your claim. For example, you may need to obtain a police report following the accident, interview witnesses, and even obtain medical documentation. Other evidence that may pinpoint negligence against the opposing driver could include surveillance video, photographs, and phone records.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
Not Everyone Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Louisiana
Louisiana Law restricts the right to file a wrongful death claim to the loved one’s family members. Here is a quick overview of who can pursue a claim or lawsuit in the order of priority, per CC Art. 2315.2:
- Decedent’s surviving spouse or children
- If the decedent was not married and did not have children, then their surviving parent(s) can file the claim.
- If there is no spouse, children, or living parents, then the decedent’s surviving siblings can file the lawsuit.
- If there is no surviving spouse, children, living parents, or siblings, then the decedent’s grandparents can file the lawsuit.
Note that the law treats parental abandonment as if the parent were deceased when it comes to wrongful death claims. So, if the parent is alive but abandoned the decedent when young, the deceased’s siblings will have the right to bring their case to court.
Louisiana Fatal Car Accident Statistics
According to the Louisiana State University’s Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation, it is projected that approximately 677 fatal car accidents will occur in Louisiana by the end of 2020. The University’s data center also found that in 2019, approximately 676 fatal car accidents took place in the state.
Between 2015 and 2018, approximately 2,825 fatal car accidents occurred in Louisiana, which averages out to 706 fatal accidents per year during this period.
Additionally, the Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation found that 44,600 injury crashes took place along Louisiana’s roadways in 2019. There were also approximately 722 fatalities in Louisiana back in 2019 caused by motor vehicle accidents.
The Louisiana State University’s Center for Analytics & Research in Transportation has also released data on fatal crashes and fatalities by each Louisiana parish. In 2019, Louisiana State University found that East Baton Rouge parish held the most fatal crashes, with approximately 57 accidents. The second leading parish for fatal car accidents in 2019 was Orleans parish with 39 fatal accidents, followed by Caddo parish with 35 fatal accidents.
Learn More About How an Andrew Fatal Accident Attorney Can Help You During a Free Consultation Today
An Andrew fatal accident lawyer may be able to help your family pursue financial compensation against an at-fault driver that caused a fatal car accident involving your loved one. Following a free consultation, our law firm may be able to help your family address evidence that may be required to prove that the defendant was negligent and caused the deadly accident.
We will take the stress of filing a claim within Louisiana’s prompt statute of limitations requirements so you can focus on recovering and moving forward after the accident.