The death of someone you love will completely change your life. Emotionally and mentally, you will likely never be the same person again. Financially and socially, many things will likely change in rapid succession.
It can be a struggle to adjust to a loss, especially when it was sudden and unexpected. If someone else directly caused the death of your loved one through misconduct like drunk driving or overt negligence, like failing to maintain their vehicle or their home, you could potentially be in a position to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who has the right to make a wrongful death claim under Louisiana law?
State law focuses first on the rights of dependent family members
The closer your legal and familial relationship to the deceased individual, the greater the chances that you have a right to seek compensation. In Louisiana, the first priority for a wrongful death claim typically goes to a surviving spouse.
However, children, parents, siblings and even grandparents can also file a wrongful death claim under state law. In the rare situation that someone does not have any surviving immediate family members, the representative of their estate could bring a claim against the responsible individual or business in civil court.
There have to be financial losses to claim
The losses from the crashes often include property damage to a vehicle and medical costs for the trauma care your loved one received.
There could also be additional losses in the form of unearned income and lost household contributions of the deceased person, as well as their future potential contributions. The contributions someone makes to your life largely dictate what compensation you can receive.
Family rights only last for so long after a tragic loss
Grief causes depression, numbness and mental fogginess that can be hard to overcome. Months can pass in a blur because of how your grief affects you.
In Louisiana, it is of the utmost importance that you do not let your suffering overshadow the need to pursue justice. You typically will only have one year from the date of your loved one’s death to initiate civil action against the personal business responsible.
Reviewing the situation that led to your loss can help you decide if a wrongful death lawsuit is the right way for your family to seek justice.