Louisiana’s wrongful death laws generally allow immediate family members to sue for wrongful death, as long as they do so before the deadline passes. However, they will need to have evidence to support the claim and be able to document their related damages.
Wrongful death cases stem from accidents that occur because of negligence. You can learn more by speaking with our law firm. We regularly handle these cases and can explain if you qualify to take legal action, then help you gather the necessary support for your case.
What Makes a Death “Wrongful”?
A death is wrongful when it occurs because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or negligent actions. To move forward with a lawsuit based on a loved one’s wrongful death, you will need to show that the defendant was at fault in the death.
Wrongful deaths can be the result of:
- A car crash
- A slip and fall
- A dangerous or defective product, device, or medication
- Medical malpractice
- Pool accident
- Dog bite
- Another premises liability accident
- Other types of personal injury incidents that cause fatal injuries
A simple way to evaluate if your loved one’s death was “wrongful” is to determine if the victim would have a personal injury claim if they survived. If the answer is yes, then a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate. A wrongful death lawyer from our firm can represent your case and investigate the cause of death to determine if another party is legally liable.
Who Has the Right to Sue for Wrongful Death in Louisiana?
In most personal injury cases, the victim has the sole ability to demand compensation in court. In wrongful death actions, the parties who can take action include only close family members, in most cases.
CC Art. 2315.2 provides a list of who can sue following a loved one’s wrongful death. The statute gives priority to:
- A decedent’s surviving spouse and/or child
- To their mother or father, if no spouse or children
- To brothers and sisters, if no surviving parents
- To grandparents, if no closer relatives
It is also worth noting that these relationships do not require a connection through blood. A person who becomes a parent or child through adoption has the same right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit as a natural relative.
Working with our law firm can ensure you have the correct representatives to move forward with a wrongful death claim in Louisiana.
Immediate Family Members Can Pursue Wrongful Death Damages
In many cases, the only way a family can hold the at-fault party accountable for their loved one’s death is to pursue damages through an insurance claim or civil action at trial. This action allows them to seek and recover compensation for a range of damages they experienced because of the death of their family member.
Each case has its own unique expenses and losses, but examples include:
- Related medical bills
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost income
- Other relevant financial losses
- Additional related expenses
- Intangible losses experienced by family members
It may also be possible for the deceased’s estate to recover some of the losses your loved one suffered following the accident but before their death. This includes damages such as:
- Lost wages until the date of death
- Expenses incurred during this time
- Vehicle repairs or other property damage
- Their conscious pain and suffering before their death
Working with an attorney from our firm can make it easier to document and prove your range of losses and pursue financial recovery based on them. Our legal team is well-versed in wrongful death cases and knows how to identify your recoverable damages.
There are Strict Time Limitations on Louisiana Wrongful Death Lawsuits
There is no doubt that the sudden, preventable death of a loved one is a traumatic experience for a family. However, it is essential to act quickly to hold the at-fault party accountable and collect compensation. This can relieve your financial stress and allow you to pay funeral costs, cover medical bills, and make up for lost income.
According to CC Art. 3492, families generally only have one year to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana. This means that family members who have the right to sue must submit their cases to the court before the first anniversary of the victim’s death. Exceptions to this law could give you more or less time.
This is an extremely short time to:
- Gather evidence
- Calculate losses
- Identify defendants
- Try to reach an out-of-court agreement
- Prepare paperwork
An attorney on our team can help you build the case and take quick action to file your claim and/or lawsuit while meeting all applicable deadlines. However, we will need to go to work on the case as soon as possible.
Speak with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for Free Today
The wrongful death team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is here to help if your loved one died in a Louisiana negligence accident. We can take care of all the details in your case, allowing you to focus on your family and future.
Reach out to us today at (337) 777-7777 to get started. Our consultations are free, and we handle these claims based on a contingency fee.