Losing a loved one in an accident caused by another person’s misconduct is a traumatic, confusing, and potentially life-altering experience. Financial compensation cannot make up for a life being cut short, but it is the only remedy available under civil law. It could also be crucial to protecting your family’s financial security and personal well-being.
Pursuing civil restitution for losses you have sustained due to the sudden death of a family member is a complex process, especially if you try to do it without guidance from a qualified personal injury attorney. With a compassionate Metairie wrongful death lawyer on your side, you could establish fault for your loved one’s passing and get paid what you need to mitigate its effects.
What State Law Says About Wrongful Death Claims
According to Louisiana Civil Code § 2315.2, a “wrongful death” is a death which occurs directly due to “the fault of another.” This can refer to the actions of an individual person, corporation, or government entity. Most wrongful death claims are built around the theory of negligence, which allows people hurt through another person’s reckless conduct to hold that person liable for their actions. It is also possible to pursue a claim over a wrongful death caused by professional malpractice or an intentional criminal act.
This statute establishes a priority order of family members who could pursue a wrongful death claim in the name of a deceased person, starting with the decedent’s surviving spouse or children. If there is no surviving spouse or children, the right to file a claim passes to the decedent’s surviving parent(s), then to the decedent’s surviving sibling(s), and finally to the decedent’s surviving grandparent(s) if applicable.
Relatives by adoption are considered equivalent to relatives by blood or marriage when it comes to the right to pursue wrongful death litigation over a family member’s death. As a Metairie wrongful death attorney could explain, a parent who has abandoned their child cannot seek compensation through a wrongful death claim if their child passes away.
What Damages Could Be Recoverable?
Both economic and non-economic losses experienced by eligible family members could be factored into a wrongful death claim. These losses could include:
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Lost household services or assistance
- Lost care, companionship, guidance, and love
- Funeral, burial, and medical expenses paid by the plaintiff(s)
- Lost future financial support and benefits from the decedent
Losses sustained by the decedent or the decedent’s estate between the time of injury and their death can be recoverable through a separate claim called a survival action. Families generally have no more than one year after their loved one’s date of death to file suit themselves. The law is strict about adhering to the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to file suit. Assistance from a wrongful death lawyer in Metairie could mean a suit is filed on time with less stress on families.
Speak With a Wrongful Death Attorney in Metairie About Legal Options
Wrongful death lawsuits can be both legally and emotionally challenging. Fortunately, you have help available from dedicated legal professionals who know how to pursue these cases effectively. They could handle the legal aspects of your loved one’s wrongful death, giving you more time and space to focus on your emotional healing and be with your family.
A Metairie wrongful death lawyer could answer questions and offer guidance about possible next steps during a confidential consultation. Call today to schedule yours.