Brusly Landing, LA – Some accidents will result in injuries that become fatal. If the victim’s family wants to take legal action to be compensated for their losses, they can choose to do so. However, there are also special rules related to these kinds of lawsuits, and the family should contact an attorney who has experience with wrongful death cases. Louisiana has a wrongful death law that is different from other states, therefore an overview of the procedures associated with bringing these kinds of cases is helpful.
Wrongful death laws in Louisiana
The state’s wrongful death statute applies when a person dies due to the fault of another person or entity. It allows civil lawsuits to be filed by a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or certain other family members depending on which party is available. Priority is given to the spouse and children if they are present. In the case, the plaintiff will either have to prove the elements of negligence, or that an intentional act was the cause of the death.
Note that this is only a civil case, and if there is suspected criminal activity as well the government decides whether to bring criminal charges against the defendant in the case. Criminal charges are much more likely when the death was caused by an intentional act, as most crimes have an intent element that must be demonstrated in order to sustain a conviction, and there is also a higher burden of proof for the state to win the case.
Time limits to take action
The wrongful death law has a statute of limitations like many other kinds of civil lawsuits. In Louisiana, a family only has one year to file the case before the statute of limitations expires. In practice, this means that the family should attempt to take action as soon as possible.
Compensation in wrongful death cases
The purpose of bringing the wrongful death case is to receive damages, or compensation for the losses associated with the accident and fatality. Many of the same types of damages are available as in negligence cases, such as final medical costs, lost income and wages, and projected future losses due to the person no longer having any earning potential. However, wrongful death cases also allow the victim’s family to receive compensation for things like burial costs and a funeral. Specific questions about damage amounts should be directed to an attorney during a consultation.
Additional help from a local accident attorney
Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that helps people after accidents in Brusly Landing and other parts of Louisiana. Anyone who needs to speak with a licensed attorney can schedule a meeting with them to learn more.
Firm contact info:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
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