Premises liability can cover wrongful death if it can be proven that someone lost their life due to foreseeable circumstances that a property owner failed to address, per the Legal Information Institute (LII).
If a property owner (or another entity) failed to meet their duty to keep their premises safe and free of foreseeable hazards or warn of such risks, this is negligence. In such a case, a decedent’s survivors may be able to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit to hold them accountable.
Damages You Can Claim in a Premises Liability Case Involving Wrongful Death
Survivors of those who lost their lives may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one against a business, property owner, homeowner, or another entity. Damages they receive 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
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
A Lawyer Can Help You Prove Premises Liability in a 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 a wrongful death action.
An attorney can help the decedent’s family determine if they have a wrongful death case. If so, the lawyer can help them navigate the process and manage their case from start to finish. A lawyer can investigate and collect evidence to help build their case and negotiate with all involved parties, such as insurers or legal representatives.
Having an attorney can be helpful, as it is likely that the entity facing litigation will have a legal team ready to challenge any claims or lawsuits that come about from the incident.
How a Lawyer Establishes Negligence
For a property owner to be held liable for wrongful death, it must first be established that the decedent was on the property legally as a guest or authorized visitor. If they were, then it is implied that the owner or manager had a duty of care to uphold to them.
A lawyer will also have to prove:
- The property owner demonstrated negligence or engaged in a wrongful act that caused a dangerous condition on the property that resulted in a person’s injury or death.
- The property owner either knew or should have known about the hazard.
- The dangerous condition caused the person’s injury or death.
Parties Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Louisiana
Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §2315.2 lists the individuals who can pursue a wrongful death action when a person is injured fatally. They include:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse and child/children
- The decedent’s parent or parents, if there is no surviving spouse or children
- The decedent’s siblings, if there is no surviving spouse or children
- The decedent’s surviving grandparents, if there are no surviving siblings
Family members related to the decedent either biologically or through adoption can pursue a lawsuit, and so could the decedent’s estate if there are no surviving family members.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you lost a loved one who was fatally wounded in an accident on a property, and you are interested in seeking legal action, an attorney in our Lafayette office can answer your questions and help you review your options and next steps. Call our legal team today for a free consultation at (337) 777-7777.