Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Louisiana
If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, the grief can seem unbearable. You may also be concerned about how your family is going to survive financially without the income, benefits, and support your loved one provided. Fortunately, you may be able to recover compensation for your loss. These damages can help your family during this difficult time and provide some security for the future through a Louisiana wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Scenarios in Louisiana
Wrongful death lawsuits can typically be filed when someone’s death is the direct result of another person’s negligence, as long as the responsible person is not a family member. Some examples of wrongful death include:
- A pedestrian being hit by a motorist while walking on the sidewalk
- A drunk driver who caused a fatal car accident
- E. coli poisoning as a result of eating undercooked food at a restaurant
- A death caused by a defective or dangerous product
- A death caused by medical malpractice, including a doctor’s failure to correctly diagnose a treatable ailment until it is too late
However, there are some factors which may influence how or if wrongful death lawsuits may be filed, such as if the accident occurred on the job or as the result of the actions of the decedent. This is where the expertise of a Louisiana wrongful death lawyer can be invaluable.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Only certain people are entitled to file—or act as a beneficiary—from a Louisiana wrongful death lawsuit. These include the victim’s:
- Parents (biological or adoptive)
- Children (biological or adopted)
- Estate executor or executrix
These individuals are not always allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in all circumstances. For instance, if the person was married and had children, the decedent’s parents may not have standing in court. Likewise, siblings or cousins may be able to act as beneficiaries in some circumstances where the deceased does not have a spouse, children, or living parents. Once again, an experienced Louisiana wrongful death lawyer can help you determine if and how to file a wrongful death lawsuit based on the specifics of your case.
Louisiana Statute of Limitations
When considering a Louisiana wrongful death lawsuit, you must be acutely aware of the statute of limitations, which is the deadline by which you are required to file suit against another entity. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana is 1 year from the person’s death. This means that loved ones must act quickly in order to ask a court for damages related to their loved one’s passing.
Types of Wrongful Death Damages and Compensation
There are several types of compensation or damages which plaintiffs may receive from a Louisiana wrongful death lawsuit, including:
- medical bills which preceded the person’s death
- funeral and burial costs
- unearned future wages
- lost retirement, pension, or insurance benefits
- compensation for the pain, suffering, and mental anguish of loved ones
- punitive damages
Each case is different, so a judge or jury will decide the amount of monetary damages awarded to survivors based on the individual circumstances of the death, what negligence occurred, and that person’s role in the family.