Wrongful Death Lawyers in Baton Rouge

Wrongful Death Attorneys Baton Rouge

Have you lost a family member or a loved one to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act? If so, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Babcock Injury are experienced Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyers. At our firm can help you navigate this process and fight for the justice and compensation your family deserves.

No amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a loved one. But filing a wrongful death claim can help ease the financial burden your family is facing. It can also hold the negligent party accountable and help prevent future tragedies. If you have lost someone and believe you may have a wrongful death claim or lawsuit then reach out to the wrongful death attorneys in Baton Rouge, La – Babcock Injury at (225) 500-5000 or fill out the form for a free consultation.

Wrongful Death

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit filed by the surviving family members of someone who died due to another party’s negligence or intentional act. In Louisiana, the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.

To win a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence or intentional act caused the death of the victim. The victim does not have to be killed instantly – if the death was caused by injuries sustained in an accident, the victim’s family may still have a case.

For example, if a loved one died in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, the victim’s family could file a wrongful death claim against the driver. If the victim died as a result of medical malpractice, the family could file a claim against the doctor or hospital.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The damages available in a wrongful death claim will depend on the facts of the case and the relationship of the victim to the surviving family members. In Louisiana, the following damages may be available:

Loss of support and services: The victim’s spouse and children can recover damages for the loss of the victim’s financial support. The amount of damages will depend on the victim’s age, earnings, and life expectancy.

Loss of love and companionship: The victim’s spouse and children can recover damages for the loss of the victim’s love and companionship.

Mental anguish: The victim’s spouse and children can recover damages for the mental anguish they have suffered as a result of the victim’s death.

Loss of earnings: The victim’s estate can recover damages for the loss of the victim’s earnings. The amount of damages will depend on the victim’s age, earnings, and life expectancy.

Funeral and burial expenses: The victim’s estate can recover damages for the funeral and burial expenses.

Punitive damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter others from similar conduct.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is one year from the date of the victim’s death. This means that the surviving family members must file their claim within one year or they will be barred from doing so.

It is important to note that this deadline may be different if the defendant is a governmental entity. For example, if the victim died in a car accident caused by a government-owned vehicle, the family would have to file a notice of claim within six months of the accident.

See La. Civ. Code § 2315.2 (2021).

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Baton Rouge?

While not anyone can file a wrongful death claim, this remedy is available to the following:

  • The victim’s spouse;
  • The victim’s child or children;
  • The victim’s parent or parents

If the victim was not married and did not have any children, the claim may be filed by the victim’s siblings or grandparents.

The Elements of a Wrongful Death Case

There are three elements that must be present in order for a family to have a successful wrongful death claim:

  • The death of a human being;
  • Caused by another person’s negligence or intentional act; and
  • Surviving family members who suffer monetary damages as a result.

Proving Causation in a Wrongful Death Case

To have a successful wrongful death claim, the family must be able to prove that the victim’s death was caused by the negligence or intentional act of another person. This can be done with eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, or expert testimony.

For example, if the victim was killed in a car accident, the family would need to show that the other driver was at fault. This could be done with eyewitness testimony, physical evidence from the accident, or expert testimony from a reconstruction specialist.

Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case

In order to prove negligence, the family must show that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, breached that duty, and that the breach was the cause of the victim’s death.

For example, if the victim was killed in a car accident, the family would need to show that the other driver owed the victim a duty of care to drive safely, breached that duty by driving recklessly, and that the breach was the cause of the victim’s death.

Proving Intentional Act in a Wrongful Death Case

In order to prove an intentional act, the family must show that the defendant intended to kill or injure the victim. This can be done with eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, or expert testimony.

For example, if the victim was killed in a car accident, the family would need to show that the other driver intended to kill or injure the victim. This could be done with eyewitness testimony, physical evidence from the accident, or expert testimony from a reconstruction specialist.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Case?

If the family is successful in proving their wrongful death claim, they may be able to recover the following damages:

  • The victim’s medical expenses;
  • The victim’s funeral and burial expenses;
  • The loss of the victim’s income;
  • The loss of the victim’s benefits (such as health insurance);
  • The loss of the victim’s services (such as childcare or household chores);
  • The loss of the victim’s love and companionship;
  • The mental anguish of the victim’s family members;
  • Punitive damages (if the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious).

It is important to note that each state has its own laws regarding what damages are available in a wrongful death case. For example, some states do not allow the recovery of punitive damages.

Tricks that Insurance Companies Play in Wrongful Death Cases

While we would all love to feel as though insurance companies legitimately have our best interests at heart, this unfortunately is not always the case. In fact, insurance companies in Baton Rouge and elsewhere are notorious for finding ways to avoid paying out on insurance claims – even legitimate ones.

Here are some of the most common tricks that insurance companies play in wrongful death cases:

Offering a Lowball Settlement

One of the most common tricks that insurance companies play is offering a lowball settlement. This is an initial offer that is significantly lower than what the family is actually entitled to.

The insurance company will often try to take advantage of the fact that the family is grieving and may not be thinking clearly. They will hope that the family will accept the lowball offer, rather than continue to fight for what they are actually owed.

If you are offered a settlement by an insurance company, it is important to speak with a wrongful death lawyer before accepting it. A lawyer can help you understand what your case is actually worth and will fight to get you the full amount of compensation that you deserve.

Denying the Wrongful Death Claim

Another common trick that insurance companies play is simply denying the claim. They may do this even if there is clear evidence that the death was caused by the negligence of their insured.

If your claim is denied, it is important to speak with a lawyer right away. A lawyer can help you understand why your claim was denied and will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Delaying the Wrongful Death Claim

Another common trick that insurance companies play is delaying the claim. They may do this by requesting additional information or documentation that they know will be difficult for the family to provide.

They may also drag their feet in conducting their own investigation into the claim. This can be extremely frustrating for the family, who is already dealing with so much.

If you are experiencing delays in your claim, it is important to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand why your claim is being delayed and will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve.

Offering a Partial Settlement on a Wrongful Death Claim

Another common trick that insurance companies play is offering a partial settlement. This is an offer to settle the claim for less than what the family is actually owed.

The insurance company may try to take advantage of the fact that the family is desperate for money and may accept the partial settlement just to get something.

If you are offered a partial settlement, it is important to speak with a lawyer before accepting it. A lawyer can help you understand what your case is actually worth and will fight to get you the full amount of compensation that you deserve.

Making Lowball Counteroffers on Wrongful Death Claims

Another common trick that insurance companies play is making lowball counteroffers. This is an offer that is significantly lower than what the family initially asked for in their settlement demand.

How Can a Baton Rouge Wrongful Death Attorney Help?

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. The experienced Baton Rouge wrongful death attorneys at Babcock Injury can help you understand your rights and options. We can also help you gather the evidence you need to build a strong claim. Contact us today by call (225) 500-5000 to schedule a free consultation or fill out the form.

Office Location

Babcock Injury Lawyers

10101 Siegen Ln #3c
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Phone: (225) 500-5000