Baton Rouge Wrongful Death Lawyer
The unexpected death of a loved one can be traumatizing and stressful. However, while you are grieving for your loved one, you also will need to determine how to pay for outstanding medical bills and a funeral as well as how you will cope with the lost income moving forward.
If the carelessness or recklessness of others has led to the death of a loved one, you may be able to hold them accountable for their negligence. A Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyer can help you seek compensation on behalf of your deceased family member. By creating a comprehensive claim, a compassionate injury attorney can help you secure your family’s future.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful deaths occur in a variety of different scenarios, but they always involve individuals who have engaged in negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct that causes the death of another. Motor vehicle accidents, surgical errors, and workplace accidents are just a few examples of the situations in which a wrongful death may occur.
A Baton Rouge wrongful death attorney can assess the circumstances surrounding a potential wrongful death. By doing this, they can determine whether any claim for compensation exists.
Lawsuits in Baton Rouge
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit that seeks to get compensation from the individuals who caused the wrongful death of a loved one. These people are often responsible because they were negligent or reckless which caused an accident or other incident that led to the death.
This is different than a criminal suit or prosecution, in which the state prosecutes individuals for violating criminal laws. In some cases, however, such as those involving drunk drivers who cause fatal accidents, individuals may face both criminal prosecution and a civil wrongful death lawsuit.
Laws Determining Who Can Bring Claims
La. Code Civ. § 2315.2 sets forth who may file wrongful death claims on behalf of deceased individuals when the situation merits such a claim. The list of immediate family members who may file wrongful death claims are listed below, in order of their priority:
- Surviving spouse and children
- Surviving parents
- Surviving siblings
- Surviving grandparents
Essentially, when decedents leave no surviving spouse or children behind, the ability to bring a wrongful death claim on their behalf goes down the list to the next available family members. Similar to personal injury actions, wrongful death actions have a one-year statute of limitations. In the case of a wrongful death, family members may have only one year from the date of death to file their wrongful death claims.
Damages Available for a Wrongful Death
When a wrongful death occurs, surviving family members are not likely to have anticipated the expenses that go along with it. In their grief and anger, compensation may be the last thing on their minds. However, holding negligent parties accountable for their behavior may be important.
Family members may be able to use compensation from the proceeds of a wrongful death suit to pay for those unexpected and often high expenses. Some of the potential damages in a suit include:
- Final medical expenses
- Funeral, cremation, or burial expenses
- Loss of future earnings and financial support
- Pain and suffering
If surviving family members relied on the decedent to provide financial support for them, they must quickly adjust to the lack of income that may require significant changes in their lives. Obtaining compensation with the help of a Baton Rouge wrongful death attorney may be a way to help family members through a time of transition.
Working with a Baton Rouge Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one, particularly in a preventable accident, can be a heartbreaking experience. Dealing with the aftermath of the death of a close family member is not an easy task. As a result, you may wish to consult a Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyer who could assist you during this difficult time.
Working with an experienced attorney may enable you to get much-needed compensation to help defray the high costs of the funeral and burial. It also may allow your family some measure of financial stability as you struggle to deal with the loss of your loved one. Call today to learn more.