What Is The Meaning Of Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or violent act of another party.

Tragically losing a loved one in an automobile accident, trucking incidents, or workplace mishaps due to the negligence of someone else are examples of wrongful death cases.

What Are Wrongful Death Claims?

Wrongful death claims are civil suits filed by surviving relatives of the deceased with the help of a personal injury lawyer.

The evidence needed in wrongful death claims is similar to the evidence needed in criminal trials—however, the burden of proof is lower for wrongful death lawsuits.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Louisiana?

In the state of Louisiana, certain surviving family members may bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit. The deceased person's spouse and their biological or legally adopted kids are the first people who can start a wrongful death claim.

According to Article 2315.2, the following persons have the right to bring a wrongful death action in Louisiana:

  • The surviving spouse and/or children
  • The surviving parents, or either parent if the decedent left no surviving spouse or children
  • The surviving siblings, or any of them if no spouse, child, or parent survives
  • The surviving grandparents, or either of them if no spouse, child, parent or sibling survive

The relationship need not be biological. Adoption creates the same legal relationship between the decedent and surviving family members.

Seeking Justice Through Wrongful Death Claims in Louisiana

Losing a loved one due to someone else's negligence is a profoundly distressing experience, and seeking justice through a wrongful death claim can be a complex and emotionally charged process. In Louisiana, a wrongful death attorney's role is pivotal, as they possess the expertise to gather and present compelling evidence to establish the case's key points.

A wrongful death lawyer in Louisiana will be able to gather and present evidence that helps prove these points in a court of law. This evidence may encompass a wide range of materials, including:

  • Medical records
  • Police reports
  • Witness testimony
  • Pictures and video footage
  • Statements from medical experts

Proving wrongful death is particularly difficult without a lawyer because the victim is not there to testify about what happened to them. However, a skilled attorney will be able to use the available evidence to build a strong case that proves the wrongdoer’s negligence.

The wrongful death lawyers at LJB Legal have the experience to craft cases based on the evidence. Contact us today at (985)-240-9773 to speak with a wrongful death lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights.

How Long Do You Have To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Louisiana?

According to article 2315.2, the prescription period that applies to wrongful death claims in Louisiana gives surviving family members one year from the date of the death to file a wrongful death suit.

In Louisiana, a "prescription period" is the legal term used to refer to the statute of limitations, which is the time limit within which a person must take legal action for a particular type of claim.

This means that a legal action seeking compensation for wrongful death must be initiated within this one-year period, or the right to seek justice and recover damages may be lost. It's important to consult with a wrongful death attorney in Louisiana to understand the specific details and exceptions that may apply to your case.

What is the Burden of Proof for Wrongful Death in Louisiana?

Duty – In a wrongful death case, "duty" means the responsibility someone had to be careful and prevent an accident that led to someone's death. For example, a truck driver has a duty to follow the rules of the road and to take appropriate rest breaks. A trucking company owner has a duty to hire trained, licensed commercial drivers. To win a wrongful death case, you need to show that the person who caused the accident didn't do their duty and that this failure was a big reason why the person died. The person who brings the case (the plaintiff) needs to show how the duty of the defendant existed and that there was a breach of duty as a result of their careless or negligent actions.

Causation – The plaintiff in the lawsuit will also be required to prove how the negligence of the defendant caused the death of their loved one. This might sound easy to prove, but that is not always the case because several factors could have caused the wrongful death and not all of them may be attached to the defendant’s actions.

Damages – To win a wrongful death case, you also have to show that the death caused measurable loss and economic damages. This could involve:

  • Loss of income and potential future earnings including benefits and pension plans.
  • Loss of companionship, protection, and consortium
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Costs for the burial and funeral.

Proving damages through a wrongful death lawsuit in court requires the production of strong evidence. Some may require the testimony of expert witnesses.

What Is The Difference Between A Wrongful Death Claim And A Survival Action?

A survival action is a claim filed on behalf of the victim and involves damages that the deceased individual would presumably have been entitled to if they had survived their injuries. In other words, a survival action allows individuals to pursue a personal injury claim on behalf of their deceased family member.

According to Louisiana Article 2315.1, the same family members who can file a wrongful death claim are entitled to a survival action and are likewise limited by a 1-year prescriptive period (statute of limitations).