Bringing Suit For Wrongful Death In Louisiana
Losing a friend or a loved one is never an easy thing to get over, particularly when it happens because of another person’s negligence or reckless behavior. If this happens to you, it can be very tempting to simply want to move on, instead of trying to hold the responsible person accountable for what they have done. However, it is generally possible to file suit against the person, and potentially hold them liable for their negligence. While no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back, it can help support your family with future needs.
An experienced Shreveport wrongful death attorney can offer compassionate and dedicated representation for you and your family at a time when you may very much need a listening ear. Holding an allegedly negligent driver liable for your family’s expenses can help keep your family afloat, particularly if the deceased was the family breadwinner
Not A Criminal Proceeding
Wrongful death in Louisiana happens when a person dies due to the fault of another. There are as many potential causes of wrongful death as there are causes of death in general, though some are much more common than others. Among the most common are vehicle crashes, medical malpractice, and crimes such as driving under the influence – though in theory, any negligent act may cause the death of another person, placing the negligent actor on the proverbial hook for liability.
Keep in mind that these lawsuits are civil, not criminal – it may be that the defendant in your case committed a crime in causing the death of your loved one, such as drunk driving, but a wrongful death suit is always brought in civil court. Any criminal proceedings that might result against the person will be pursued in criminal court.
Only specific people may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana, and only in a certain order. For example, the law lists the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, and grandparents as people who may file suit, but the spouse and children take priority over the other relatives. It does specify that adopted relatives may file suit if no blood relatives remain, but the order of priority is still in effect.
Filing Suit & Seeking Damages
When anyone files a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages, they have to have a good grasp on exactly what they are seeking. In a Louisiana wrongful death lawsuit, a person can seek both economic and non-economic damages, meaning they can seek damages that are both tangible and intangible. Economic damages include those that are readily quantifiable, like medical bills or funeral expenses for the deceased. Non-economic damages are less tangible, but still very much able to be valued; examples include loss of companionship, loss of quality of life, and mental pain and suffering.
Be advised that the statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death lawsuit is very short – Louisiana law allows only one year from the date of your loved one’s passing in which you can file. This may seem like a decent amount of time, but in reality, by the time you decide to file and gather the evidence, it may run out before you know it. It is crucial to move fast once your family has decided to file suit.
If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, you have the right to seek compensation for what your family has suffered. A Shreveport-Bossier County wrongful death attorney from Rice & Kendig can handle the little things like obtaining medical records or police reports, and manage the legal load while you and your family focus on recovery. We will fight for you – call our offices at 318-222-2772 for a free consultation.