Losing a loved one is a tragic event. Many families question how their family member died and whether it was a wrongful death. Did they die because of a traffic accident, defective medical device, or nursing home abuse? If so, what action can they take to seek justice for their loved ones and their family?
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Louisiana
A wrongful death is a death caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. For example, a driver fails to yield the right of way, causing an intersection accident in New Orleans. The accident results in the death of the other driver. Another example of a wrongful death would be a nursing home resident’s death caused by neglect or abuse.
Under Louisiana wrongful death laws, the person’s surviving spouse and children have the first right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. When there is not a surviving spouse or child, the person’s parents may file a lawsuit followed by the person’s siblings if the parents are deceased. If none of the above individuals are living, the person’s grandparents may file the claim.
If a person dies and there is no one to file the wrongful death lawsuit, the estate’s personal representative can bring the action.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
The deadline to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana is short. Generally, it is one year from the date the person died. There could be factors that could change the deadline, but you should always assume you need to act quickly. Contacting a New Orleans wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible can help avoid missing a deadline.
What Compensation Can the Family Receive?
No amount of money is going to bring back a loved one. However, the judicial system can only provide financial compensation for the family. A monetary award can help family members pay living expenses and other bills as they continue to recover from the sudden loss of a family member.
Damages that might be awarded include:
- Loss of income for the deceased from the date of death through retirement age
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The cost of medical care from the date of injury through the date of death
- Loss of companionship, love, household services, and guidance
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death
Valuing a claim involving a death can be challenging. You may need experts to testify about the expected pain the person would have suffered before death or the estimated loss of income.
Get Help From an Experienced New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde or one of the other lawyers of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule your free consultation to discuss your case.