A wrongful death arises when a person’s death is the result of another’s negligent, reckless or intentional actions. When this occurs, the victim’s surviving dependents may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party to receive compensation.
However, only certain parties are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana. Below, Simien & Simien’s Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyers discuss which parties may be considered a dependent of the deceased and are entitled to compensation from the at-fault party.
For additional information on filing a wrongful death lawsuit, or to obtain qualified legal representation, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Only certain individuals may pursue a wrongful death claim in Louisiana. These parties include the decedent’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Parent or parents, if the deceased does not have surviving a spouse or child
- Siblings, if there is no surviving spouse, children or parents
- Grandparents, if there is no other surviving family members to bring a claim
Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed after a person died in an accident caused by another’s negligence or intentional actions, such as:
- Construction accidents
- Auto accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Criminal behavior
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Medication errors
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective products
- Workplace accidents
Compensation for a Wrongful Death Case
By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, the decedent’s surviving dependents may be entitled to pursue compensation for:
Often, accident victims who succumb to their injuries incur large medical expenses before their death. This can include:
- Emergency room visits
- Surgery expenses
- Hospital stays
- Follow up treatment
- Medication costs
The surviving dependents may be able to pursue compensation for the income the decedent would have earned had he or she survived the accident.
There are several factors that may be considered when pursuing compensation for loss of income, such as the decedent’s:
- Average income
- Health before the accident
- Work history
- Education level
Another type of compensation you may be able to pursue through a wrongful death lawsuit may include the decedent’s funeral costs. This can include compensation for:
- Memorial service
- Transportation costs
- Burial plot
Pain and Suffering
The decedent’s surviving dependents may also be entitled to pursue compensation for pain and suffering.
However, these damages are typically reserved for situations where the decedent suffered significantly during the final days or hours of his or her life. This may occur if the decedent was in severe pain, discomfort or died in an extreme manner.
Suffering the loss of a loved one can take a heavy toll on the victim’s family. In this situation, the decedent’s surviving dependents may be entitled to compensation for emotional distress.
This may include compensation for:
- Sorrow for losing a loved one
- Mental anguish
- Psychological loss
Loss of Companionship
Loss of companionship is compensation for the love and support the decedent provided while he or she was still alive. Often, this type of compensation is reserved for the decedent’s spouse, partner or children.
However, it can be difficult to prove loss of companionship and often requires you to show how the private aspects of your personal life have been affected by the at-fault party’s negligence.
How Long You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you are pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana, you must file your case within one year of the decedent’s death.
It is important to contact a lawyer soon after the incident to discuss options and gather evidence to prove the negligence of the at-fault party or the willful criminal behavior of the other party.
Contact a Lawyer for Assistance
If someone you loved died as a result of another’s negligence or intentional harm, you may be entitled to pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Simien & Simien’s Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys understand the difficulties many people face after losing a loved one in an accident. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and help you determine if you can pursue compensation from the at-fault party. We do not charge upfront fees for our services and only require payment if you are compensated for your claim.