It may seem hard to prove a wrongful death lawsuit, but in reality, it is very similar to a personal injury lawsuit. When someone loses their life due to another’s carelessness, the surviving family members can take legal action to recover compensation for the loss of their loved one, per Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §2315.2. This includes:
- The surviving spouse and any children of the decedent.
- If there is no spouse or children, then the decedent’s surviving parents.
- If there are no surviving parents, then the decedent’s siblings.
- If there are no surviving siblings, then the decedent’s grandparents.
A wrongful death lawyer in Louisiana can help you determine whether you or another family member has legal standing to bring a wrongful death action. It is important to act quickly to make sure you assert your rights before the time to do so expires.
Proving Fault in a Wrongful Death Case
In a wrongful death case, you will essentially need to stand in the shoes of the decedent and prove the other party acted carelessly. If the decedent would not have been able to bring a personal injury lawsuit had they survived, then you will probably not be able to bring a lawsuit either.
If you lost your loved one in a car accident, for example, you would need to show that the person who caused the crash failed to drive with ordinary care and skill at the time of the accident. One of the most common factors in accidents today is distracted driving. More than 2,800 people died in accidents involving distracted driving in 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some accident types like product liability and defective devices require you to prove different things. This can include proving that the device that caused your loved one’s death was designed in a dangerous manner.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Get Help with Gathering Evidence
It may seem like it is hard to prove a wrongful death case because you were not there and may not know what happened. Because your loved one has passed away, you do not have the benefit of their firsthand experience to help you understand what happened. This is why it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to determine whether you have a viable case before the evidence disappears or becomes harder to locate.
Working with a lawyer can take a lot of the guesswork and legwork out of the legal process. For most surviving relatives, this is their first experience with the civil justice system. There are countless procedural rules that you have to follow in order to receive compensation. Insurance companies can also make the process even more challenging and do not usually have your best interests in mind.
A Lawyer Can Take the Sting Out of the Discovery Process
A lawyer will work diligently to investigate your case and gather as much evidence as possible to prove your case. Because your lawyer has handled personal injury cases before, they will know what types of evidence to locate and how to obtain them as quickly as possible. Your lawyer can also conduct discovery on your behalf, which is a key stage in the litigation that allows you to obtain information from the other party.
And if you have to appear in court or have your deposition taken, your lawyer will make sure you are prepared when the day comes. They also can go with you to make sure your rights are protected.
Other services your lawyer can provide are:
- Calculating the amount of the damages you are entitled to receive
- Making sure the other party plays by the rules
- Answering your questions about the legal process
- Negotiating a settlement
- Preparing for trial
- Keeping track of key pieces of evidence and documents
Seek Justice for Your Loved One Today
No amount of money can truly make the pain and suffering you’ve experienced after losing a loved one so unexpectedly go away. Some surviving relatives are intimidated by the idea of pursuing legal action while others feel it is their best hope of receiving closure. Regardless, you deserve to know what your options are and how to pursue them.
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we want to help you during this challenging time. We provide a free consultation that is confidential, and there is no obligation. Call now at (337) 777-7777.