If you suffered due to the wrongful death of a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. A compassionate wrongful death attorney in Lafayette can help you determine the validity of such a claim and help you get the best possible outcome. You can learn more during a free case evaluation with our team.
According to the Louisiana Civil Code, a wrongful death claim will occur when an individual dies due to the fault of another. The death can be caused by another individual or occur as a result of wrongdoing by an entity such as a corporation. An accident or a purposeful action can lead to wrongful death. Thus, it covers everything from recklessness to negligence to intentional conduct.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Lafayette?
A wrongful death claim can be equated to a personal injury claim, with a key difference that the injured individual is no longer available to fight their own case in court. Instead, the family members of the victim must file the claim to seek damages.
Under Louisiana law, there are specific categories of people who can file a wrongful death claim in court in the event of a fatal injury, per CC §2315.2. They include the decedent’s:
• Spouse or children
• Parent or parents in the absence of surviving spouse or children
• Siblings in the absence of surviving parents, spouse or children
• Grandparents if there are no surviving siblings, parents, spouse, or children
For each of these categories, the deceased’s family members who are related by adoption can also file a wrongful death claim just as family members related by marriage or blood may.
Damages That a Loved One’s Estate Can Collect in a Wrongful Death Case
Economic and non-economic losses may both be covered by wrongful death damages claims. Specific, measurable losses with a fixed dollar amount are counted as economic losses. These can include:
- Burial and funeral costs
- Medical expenses, including costs of emergency care associated with the deceased individual’s final injury or illness
- Loss of benefits and income
- The value of lost household services
- Pain and suffering experienced by your loved one
- Property damage
Losses resulting from a wrongful death that cannot be supported with proof, such as a receipt or bill, are categorized as non-economic. Pain and suffering endured by the deceased individual in their final moments, loss of companionship, loss of guidance, loss of care, and loss of emotional support experienced by the family due to the untimely death can be categorized as a non-economic loss.
These damages can be challenging to prove because they have no dollar amount. However, our wrongful death lawyer serving Lafayette can calculate them accurately. In the absence of any surviving family members who can pursue this claim in court, the executor or personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate can bring a claim to seek damages for losses incurred by the estate.
How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You Build a Strong Case
There are multiple things we can do to help you pursue your wrongful death action. We can review your evidence and investigate the circumstances in your wrongful death case to determine who acted negligently and is therefore liable for your loved one’s death.
In addition to establishing negligence and calculating your damages, we will:
- Handle all documents and relevant paperwork in your case
- Explain your rights to you and keep you up to date on all case developments
- Meet all your important deadlines, including Louisiana’s statute of limitations deadline
- Communicate and negotiate with insurance companies, legal representatives, and others in your case
- Seek a settlement or verdict award if a settlement is unreachable
When Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim?
CC §2512.2 states that a wrongful death claim may be filed when a person passes away due to the negligent actions of another person or entity. Such a claim may be considered valid when negligence or recklessness by another party is proven to be the direct cause of death.
Any accident which could have served as grounds for a personal injury suit had the deceased individual survived may also serve as grounds for a wrongful death suit if the consequences of that accident were fatal.
There are still several key differences between different forms of wrongful death cases. A case involving a car crash versus one centering around premises liability may play out differently. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney from New Iberia could help you navigate through whatever legal processes are relevant to your case.
You Have a Limited Amount of Time in Which to File, So Don’t Delay
The state of Louisiana grants a short statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim. According to Louisiana state law, the estate of the deceased loved one has only a one-year prescriptive period in which to file wrongful death claims, per CC §3492. It is essential to file any wrongful death claim in a timely manner. If you miss this deadline, you risk losing your opportunity to seek compensation for your loved one’s death.
Whenever a loved one passes, there may be an untold amount of financial hardship in the form of protracted medical bills prior to death, funeral expenses, and loss of wages. A tenacious Iberia Parish attorney may be able to help recover these wrongful death damages for the estate and potentially additional compensation for interpersonal and emotional damages.
Speak with a Lafayette Wrongful Death Attorney Today
When your family member dies in a fatal accident or fatal injury, it can lead to immense turmoil and pain along with extensive financial and other losses. Though money cannot make up for the loss, it can help you cover the extensive financial losses. Call our team at (337) 777-7777 for a complimentary consultation where we can help you determine the best course of action for you.