Losing a loved one in a tragic accident can leave you in a difficult position. You probably have a lot of grief to deal with, from things left unsaid to all of your hopes for the future that will never come to fruition. On top of that, you have to deal with the practical consequences of losing a family member.
If there is someone responsible for the accident that claimed the life of your loved one, you may find yourself wondering if there is any way to hold that person accountable.
Under Louisiana law, surviving family members may have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against someone who causes a fatal accident. Whether that accident was the result of a wrongful act or negligence, surviving dependents may be able to pursue compensation for their provable losses after an accident.
Only certain family members have the right to wrongful death benefits
The closer your family relationship to the deceased, the higher priority the state of Louisiana gives to your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This right primarily focuses on surviving spouses and children. However, if the deceased was neither a parent nor married, then their parents have the right to bring a wrongful death suit.
In a situation involving somebody who has no surviving children, no spouse and no parents, their siblings or even grandparents may have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. That lawsuit must be filed within one year of the date of death under the statute of limitations in Louisiana.
Wrongful death lawsuits allow you to recoup certain losses
Louisiana wrongful death laws allow surviving family members to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses typically involve specific, measurable financial losses. These could include the funeral or medical expenses of the deceased, their lost wages, the value of the work they do around the house and any property damage that resulted from the accident.
The wrongful death lawsuit can also seek compensation for non-economic losses, which include the pain and suffering of your loved one after the accident and prior to their death, as well as your loss of emotional support and companionship after the accident.
It can be very difficult to place a price on the love and support of somebody you were close to, but that should not stop you from seeking compensation. A wrongful death lawsuit may provide you with a form of justice, even if there are no grounds for criminal actions against the person responsible for your loss.