When the careless or negligent acts of another person or business entity lead to a person’s death, the victim’s surviving relatives may have a right to seek financial compensation from the responsible party. During these difficult times, a lawsuit is potentially the last thing on the minds of a grieving family. Fortunately, with a compassionate attorney by their side, the family can leave the lawsuit to professionals and focus on what matters.
If you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, an Avoyelles Parish wrongful death lawyer might be able to help you obtain justice through the legal system.
The Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim in the State of Louisiana. The right to file a lawsuit and share in the proceeds depends on the status of the victim’s surviving family. This right follows a priority list that begins with the surviving spouse and children.
- Surviving spouse and children – The right to file a wrongful death claim first sits with the deceased’s surviving spouse or children.
- Parent – If the deceased leaves behind neither a spouse nor children, the surviving parents have the right to file a wrongful death suit.
- Siblings – If there are no surviving parents, the right to file suit falls to the surviving siblings.
- Grandparents – Finally, if no surviving siblings exist, the grandparents of the deceased.
There are exceptions to this list. For example, a parent who abandoned a child in their youth may not have a right to file a wrongful death suit on their behalf. Additionally, any party responsible for the death cannot hold the right to a wrongful death lawsuit. The exceptions to this rule can be complicated, but an experienced Avoyelles Parish wrongful death attorney may be in the best position to explain them.
Types of Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit differ significantly from personal injury claims. While no amount of money can make up for human life, a wrongful death lawsuit can secure a family’s financial wellbeing.
Some of the commonly sought damages in a wrongful death suit include:
- Burial costs – The cost of a funeral and related expenses can be in the thousands of dollars, even with an active life insurance policy in place.
- Loss of support – If the surviving relatives of the deceased relied on them financially to survive, they might have a valid claim for loss of support.
- Medical costs – A wrongful death suit may also cover any medical costs accrued by the deceased. These medical costs must stem from the cause of death, however.
An Avoyelles Parish wrongful death attorney might be able to compile the costs, both direct and indirect, of the death. By filing a lawsuit, the surviving family may be able to recover those costs.
Speak with a Compassionate Avoyelles Parish Wrongful Death Attorney
Financial compensation is no substitution for the life of your loved one. However, in many cases, a deceased person leaves behind serious debt. To discuss your legal options, contact an Avoyelles Parish wrongful death lawyer and schedule a consultation.