Unfortunately, some people will never have an opportunity to recover after a serious accident. Whether your loved one has passed away at the site of an accident or while receiving medical care following an accident, Rhorer Walker Law Firm can help. Our injury firm is here to serve as your compassionate legal counsel during a difficult time. Under Louisiana laws, family members of those who die at the hands of another have the right to pursue financial compensation to cover the costs of the funeral, medical expenses, and the loss of love, support, and companionship.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Relatives who want to pursue a wrongful death claim must follow a predetermined order. A surviving spouse and children always have the right to file a lawsuit first. If a decedent does not have a spouse or child to file a claim, then the parents may file one. If the decedent does not have parents to file a claim, then the right falls to his or her siblings. Finally, if a descendent has no other listed relative to file a claim, then his or her grandparents may do so.
In adoption cases, the state looks at the adopted family member as it would any other relative. If a descendent does not have any surviving family members, his or her estate reserves the right to file a claim.
The Difference Between a Survival Action and a Wrongful Death Claim
You may hear about survival actions filed simultaneously with wrongful death claims. Wrongful death claims provide a direct benefit to familial survivors after someone’s death, and they are focused on the survivors’ economic and non-economic losses. Survival actions, on the other hand, are designed to recover compensation for the victim’s experience from the time of injury until the time of death. Survival actions may result in damages to cover the cost of pain, suffering, and emotional trauma resulting from an incident.
When Is a Wrongful Death Claim Appropriate After an Accident?
If your loved one has passed away because of a car accident, surgical implication or someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim. You have the right to file a wrongful death claim even if criminal prosecutors are pursuing actions against the defendant, and you can pursue a claim regardless of the outcomes of any criminal trial. Although civil and criminal proceedings are distinct, they may affect one another directly or indirectly. Rhorer Walker Law Firm can help you determine if and how a criminal case will affect your wrongful death claim.
According to the Louisiana state statutes of limitations, most survivors have one year from the date of their relative’s death to file a wrongful death claim. While some exceptions exist, we recommend speaking with a wrongful death attorney soon after the date of death.
My Loved One Was Partially at Fault for the Incident. Do I Still Have a Claim?
In the State of Louisiana, the courts operate under a comparative fault rule. The state may reduce the amount of damages awarded based on the percentage of fault your loved one bore, but the circumstances will not preclude you from filing a claim or securing some damages. Our team can help determine if moving forward with a wrongful death claim would offer the compensation you need to start healing after your loved one’s death.
If you need representation in a wrongful death suit, the experienced attorneys at Rhorer Walker Law Firm will investigate your case thoroughly to ensure we discover all possible defendants. We understand that the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences to face in life. As we pursue your claim for justice, compensation, and closure, we will never forget to serve as your compassionate supporter and legal advisor.
For more information about wrongful death claims or for a free case evaluation, contact us today!