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Louisiana Wrongful Death Lawyer

The loss of a loved one can have an economic as well as an emotional impact on a family. Unexpected deaths, whether they are caused by an accident or a crime, place a family in a difficult situation. Not only do they need to properly grieve the loss of a loved one, they must also make considerations for the future.

Louisiana only allows the family of the recently deceased a short time to file a claim for damages in these unfortunate times. Louisiana wrongful death lawyers work with compassion and vigor to hold the people responsible for an untimely death responsible in civil court. Experienced personal injury lawyers strive to bring some peace of mind and closure to the families of those who were taken from us before their time.

What is a Wrongful Death Suit?

People die every day from natural causes or acts of god. However, some deaths are considered wrongful when they are the result of another person’s negligence or intentional act. It can be helpful to separate these two categories of wrongful death.

Wrongful deaths that occur from an accident are handled in much the same way as any other personal injury case. If a person is involved in a car accident, and later passes away from their injuries, the plaintiffs in the case need to show that the at-fault driver was responsible for the accident.

The main difference here is that the injuries caused a death. In situations like these, the damages calculations need to consider not just the immediate impact of the accident, such as medical bills, but also the future economic impact upon the person’s family. One special area of law states that damages may be enhanced if the plaintiff can demonstrate that the death was caused by a drunk driver under Louisiana Civil Code 2315.4.

Separating Types of Applicable Damages

All cases for wrongful death are separated into economic and non-economic damages. With the use of economists and actuaries, a Louisiana wrongful death lawyer are able to present juries with pictures of how the death will impact the surviving family. This process allows juries to more accurately determine the full impact of the death.

These cases can also arise from an intentional act. Most of the time this will result in criminal prosecution for the defendant. It is important to remember that any criminal proceedings are undertaken independently from any civil case.

If a person is convicted in criminal court, it will help a civil case, but the claim will still need to be filed if the family wishes to collect compensation. In situations where the defendant is acquitted, the family may still bring a civil case.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

Normally in personal injury cases, the plaintiff is the person who was hurt. This is, of course, impossible in wrongful death cases.

Louisiana law specifically states who may be the plaintiff in wrongful death cases alleviating some of the confusion that can result in other jurisdictions. Louisiana Civil Code 2315.2 (A) states that an action may be brought by:

  • The surviving spouse or child of the deceased,
  • The surviving father and mother of the deceased,
  • The surviving siblings of the deceased if no parents or children survive, or
  • The surviving grandparents of the deceased if no parents, children, or siblings survive

Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Cases

There is a short time limit within which a plaintiff must file a claim. Known as the statute of limitations, Louisiana Civil Code 2315.2 (B) gives plaintiffs in wrongful death claims only one year from the date of death to initiate a claim in civil court.

This is an extremely short time frame for these complicated cases so potential plaintiffs are encouraged to contact our Louisiana wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible. In the case where the death is caused by an act classified as an act of violence, Louisiana Civil Code 3493.10, such actions are subject to a time limit within which to initiate a claim in civil court of two years.

Let a Louisiana Wrongful Death Attorney Assist

Pursuing a wrongful death claim after the loss of a loved one can be an emotionally trying time. In some situations, a family may be fighting a large corporation who engaged in poor business practices. In still others, a surviving spouse may be forced to face a person whose crime resulted in their partner’s death.

Louisiana wrongful death lawyers are here to provide both guidance and strength in pursuing justice for lost loved ones. Dedicated attorneys fight with both vigor and diligence to pursue all possible avenues for compensation and to protect the families of those recently deceased.