Losing a loved one is hard enough. But when that person is killed in a tragic accident, it is even more devastating. When you know your family member is sick, you have time to make peace with the fact that you’re going to lose them. This isn’t the case in a wrongful death action. Most Baton Rouge wrongful death cases involve negligence. Negligence is when someone doesn’t exercise reasonable care and someone dies as a result. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous drug cases
- Workplace accidents
In order to prove that someone is liable for the death of your loved one, your wrongful death lawyer in Baton Rouge needs to prove the following four (4) things:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care
- They breached that duty
- Your loved one died
- Their death was the direct result of the defendant’s breach
If your lawyer can prove all of these things, you may be able to recover under wrongful death. The types of damages you can recover depend on the facts of your case.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Louisiana?
Anyone whose loved one dies as a result of an accident can sue for wrongful death. It’s just a question of which particular individual in your family will have to file the claim. As you can imagine, the immediate family members are the ones who have the right to file suit.
Your Baton Rouge wrongful death attorney can discuss this with your family during your initial consultation. The following people are allowed to file for wrongful death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana:
- The spouse of the victim
- If there is no spouse, the decedent’s children can file suit
- In cases where there is no spouse or children, the victim’s parents can file a wrongful death claim
- There are times when there are no immediate family members other than sisters and brothers. In these cases, the siblings do have a right to file for wrongful death.
- If there are none of the above, the decedent’s grandparents can file suit
There are unique cases where there are no immediate family members alive who can sue on behalf of the accident victim. In these situations, the estate can actually file suit. Whoever is the personal representative for the estate can file the wrongful death claim. Any damages they recover will become part of the estate and pass on to the decedent’s heirs.
What Kinds of Damages Can You Recover Under Wrongful Death?
Nothing can bring back your loved one. Your Baton Rouge wrongful death attorney understands this. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to justice. Your lawyer can make sure the people responsible for your loved one’s death are held accountable.
The point of filing a wrongful death claim is to recover damages. There are two main types of damages for wrongful death in Louisiana: economic and non-economic damages.
The following are the types of economic damages allowed in a wrongful death claim:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills incurred as a result of the accident
- Lost wages and benefits
- The value of household services your loved one provided
- Bills for any property that may have been damaged in the accident
All of these damages are measurable. Your lawyer will have to submit proof that your family suffered these damages. This will usually involve receipts, invoices, etc.
The other type of damages is non-economic damages. They include:
- Pain and Suffering endured by the victim before they passed
- Loss of care, companionship, guardianship and emotional support your loved one supplied while they were alive
If you win your case, all of your damages will be added up. The damages will be paid to the person who filed the wrongful death claim. If the estate is the party who filed suit, the damages will become part of the estate. The estate will then distribute these damages to whoever is a beneficiary of the estate.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney in Baton Rouge
If your loved one has been killed in any sort of accident, you should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney in Baton Rouge. Your attorney at Babcock Injury Lawyers can review your case and let you know if you have a valid claim.
Call today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s absolutely free and you pay nothing until your case settles.