What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The loss of a family member is devastating, but losing them due to someone else’s negligence is worse. Your loved ones can no longer speak for themselves and right the wrong that occurred, but the family can through a wrongful death lawsuit. For many people, the idea of a wrongful death claim is shrouded in mystery. To alleviate that problem, let’s look at the Louisiana law that permits such a claim, who can file and how the claim is structured regarding damages. We’ll also examine the time limit you have to file in this state.

Law in New Orleans

According to Louisiana State Law, a person is wrongfully killed when they die due to another party’s negligence. This includes another person, a commercial business or a government entity. There are three main categories of wrongful death. They are:

  • Accidental: Here, an accident led to the person’s demise. The accident typically is caused by a negligent party in a car crash.
  • Intentional: In this case, a person causes the death of another intentionally. An example of this would be the slaying of another out of anger.
  • Medical malpractice: A situation where a medical professional failed to provide appropriate care, which led to their patient’s demise. 

Claimants in the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Family members file a claim. This includes:

  • The spouse of the deceased
  • The children of the decedent
  • The parents if a spouse or children did not survive the deceased (if the parent abandoned the deceased when they were a child, the parent may not file.)
  • Siblings if the deceased left no spouse or children
  • Grandparents if the decedent left no spouse, children, parents or siblings

Damages the Family Can Claim

When someone dies due to negligence or an intentional act, the family can file a claim to collect the damages the person’s demise caused. The most common damages are listed below:

  • End-of-life expenses: This includes funeral and burial expenses. For many families, the cost of interring and preparing for a funeral is financially crippling. 
  • Loss of support: If the deceased provided monetary support for the family, this loss can be devastating. An experienced attorney will research and calculate the support the decedent provides currently and would provide in the future along with bonuses and retirement monies. This gives the family the chance to remain in their home, pay household bills and provide for younger family members.
  • Loss of emotional support: This loss makes it even more difficult for family members to face the devastating changes a death in the family brings. 
  • Medical expenses: Depending on the case, families are often responsible for medical costs surrounding the person’s demise. If the person lived for a period after an accident but then succumbed to their injuries, a survivor action can be filed.
  • Household jobs: In most families, specific family members have jobs such as child care, mowing the lawn or others that are necessary to keep the household functioning. After the person’s demise, it may be necessary to hire someone to perform such tasks, and a lawsuit can recover this cost.
  • Survivor grief: This is non-economic damage that is covered in the claim.
  • Loss of consortium: This refers to the emotional and physical loss a husband or wife experiences after the person’s demise. 

Deadline to File

In Louisiana, the family members have one year from the date of the loved one’s demise to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the case is not filed within this time, it will not proceed. A lawyer will ensure that a claim is filed properly and on time.

Olinde Wrongful Death Lawyers

The lawyers and staff of the Olinde Law Firm apply their compassion and experience to help clients whose family member was killed due to negligence or intention. Call us at (504) 587-1440 to schedule a free case review. Let the negligent party or perpetrator know that they will pay financially for their actions. You can also contact us online if that is easier for you.