When a loved one passes away, it can be devastating for the family members left behind. It can be especially difficult if the person’s death was caused by the negligence of another person, also known as a wrongful death, because it can leave the deceased person’s family with more questions than answers about what to do next.
There is helpful information available about pursuing a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death lawsuit takes place in civil court. There are several elements that must be proven for it to be successful.
There must have been a death of a human being that was caused by another person’s negligence, there must be surviving family members who are suffering monetary damage as a result of the person’s death and the claim must be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.
When determining monetary loss, the court will often look at the age, health, life expectancy and earning capacity of the deceased person. There may be additional considerations for the loss of a child or an elderly person. The compensation the family may receive is specific to the circumstances of the situation.
There are several situations when a wrongful death can occur. The most common are medical malpractice that causes a patient’s death, car accidents, plane accidents and occupational exposure to hazardous conditions and substances.
It’s important that wrongful death claims are filed timely. In Louisiana, the wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within one year, which usually starts from the date the person passed away. An experienced attorney can provide advice and guidance about next steps.