Premises liability can cover a person’s death if there is evidence to show that the property owner’s negligence caused it. A wrongful death occurs when someone loses their life due to foreseeable circumstances that a property owner failed to address.
If a Lafayette, LA, property owner, or another liable entity, failed to meet their duty to keep their premises safe and free of hazards – or at least warn of such risks – this is negligence. In such a case, a decedent’s survivors may be able to file an insurance claim or wrongful death lawsuit to hold them accountable.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Premises Liability Wrongful Death Case?
Family members of those who lost their lives in a premises liability incident may be able to pursue a wrongful death case against a business, property owner, homeowner, or another entity. They may be able to recover damages that could help them pay for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Final bills of their loved one (including medical bills before the decedent’s death)
- Lost inheritance
- The decedent’s lost wages and benefits
A decedent’s survivors may also be able to recover damages that do not have a dollar amount, such as:
- Loss of the decedent’s love and companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Emotional pain and suffering
When you work with our personal injury law firm, we may be able to identify additional recoverable damages related to your loved one’s injuries and death. It may also be possible to seek survival damages, which are the costs and losses your family member incurred between the day their injury occurred and when they passed away. This may significantly increase the value of a wrongful death case under some circumstances.
A Lawyer Can Help You Prove Negligence in a Lafayette Wrongful Death Case
While premises liability can cover wrongful death, these cases are not always as straightforward as they may appear. The fact that a death occurred on an owner’s property is not enough to bring forth legal action and hold them accountable.
An attorney from our team can help your family determine if you have a wrongful death case based on premises liability. If so, we can help you navigate the process and manage your case from start to finish. This includes investigating and collecting evidence to help build the case and negotiating with all involved parties, such as insurers or legal representatives.
Types of Premises Liability Cases That Could Involve Wrongful Death
Many types of incidents and accidents could support this type of case. Examples include:
- Slips, trips, and other falls
- Deck collapse or broken railing
- Falls and other injuries on stairs
- Pool accidents and drownings
- Diving accidents
- Dog bites or animal attacks
- Lack of lighting
- Deficient security
- Intentional acts
Having an attorney from our team on your side can make this process much more manageable. It may be difficult to focus your attention on legal or financial matters right now. Our law firm can take care of your case and keep you up to date about the progress. You can spend time with your family without worrying about the process.
It is important to get started as quickly as possible following your family member’s death. You generally only have one year to sue if you cannot reach a settlement with the property owner’s insurer.
What do I Need to Prove to Recover Compensation?
For a property owner to be held liable for wrongful death, you will first need to show that your loved one was on the property legally, either as a customer, guest, or authorized visitor. There may not be the same protections for adults who trespassed as there are for those legally on the property.
If your loved one was on the property with permission, or to benefit the property owner, then those tasked with overseeing the property had a duty of care to protect them from foreseeable hazards and injuries. You and your lawyer will also need to prove:
- The property owner demonstrated negligence or engaged in a wrongful act that caused a dangerous condition on the property.
- The property owner either knew or should have known about the hazard.
- The dangerous condition caused the person’s injury or death.
You will also need to present evidence to show why you believe the accused party is liable. For example, a lessee may care for a property despite someone else owning it. You will need to show who should have removed or repaired the hazard.
Lastly, you will need documents to support your demands for compensation. This could include bills, receipts, and other paperwork, expert testimony, and more.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Lafayette, Louisiana?
CC Art. 2315.2 lists the individuals who can pursue a wrongful death action when someone suffers fatal injuries. They include the decedent’s:
- Spouse and child/children
- Parent or parents, if there is no surviving spouse or children
- Siblings, if there is no surviving spouse or children
- Surviving grandparents, if there are no surviving siblings
Family members with a qualifying relationship to the decedent, either biologically or through adoption, could pursue a lawsuit. In addition, a personal representative of the decedent could file on behalf of the decedent’s estate if there are no surviving family members.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers About Your Case Today
If you lost a loved one in a premise liability accident, you may be able to seek legal action. A team member in our main office in Lafayette can answer your questions and help you review your options and next steps.
Call our legal team today for a free case evaluation at (337) 777-7777. We handle these cases based on contingency fees. You will pay us nothing up front.