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Metairie, LA Wrongful Death Lawyers

Metairie, LA Wrongful Death LawyersThe sudden loss of a loved one is devastating. When that loss is caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another person or entity, the pain can be compounded by feelings of anger and injustice. In such situations, Louisiana law allows surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for their loss and hold the responsible party accountable.  

Understanding Wrongful Death Actions in Louisiana  

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal claim filed by surviving family members when someone’s death is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another person or entity. These lawsuits aim to achieve two primary objectives: 

  • Compensation: Wrongful death claims allow families to recover financial losses incurred due to their loved one’s death, including medical bills, lost wages, and funeral expenses. Additionally, they can seek compensation for non-economic damages like loss of companionship, pain, and suffering. 
  • Accountability: By holding the negligent party accountable for their actions, wrongful death lawsuits serve as a deterrent and promote safety measures to prevent similar tragedies in the future. 

Wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases, separate from any criminal charges that may be filed in relation to the death. The burden of proof in a civil case is lower than in a criminal case, requiring plaintiffs to prove their case by a “preponderance of the evidence” rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt.” 

Wrongful Death Claims in Louisiana  

Louisiana law recognizes wrongful death actions under Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315. To have a successful lawsuit, you must prove that the death of your loved one resulted from the negligence of another party. Negligence refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care, which ultimately caused the accident or incident that led to the death. 

Common causes of wrongful death claims in Metairie, LA, include: 

  • Car accidents: Drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding, and faulty vehicles are all potential causes of car accidents that can lead to wrongful death claims.  
  • Medical malpractice: When medical professionals deviate from the standard of care and their actions result in death, surviving family members may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Examples include surgical errors, misdiagnoses, and medication errors. 
  • Workplace accidents: Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe work environment. If an employee’s death is caused by unsafe working conditions or employer negligence, a wrongful death claim may be considered. This is particularly relevant in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and oil and gas. 
  • Product liability: Defective products can lead to serious injuries and even death. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed against manufacturers, distributors, or retailers of such products. Examples include defective automotive parts, dangerous drugs, and faulty consumer products. 

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana is clearly defined by law. The surviving spouse and children of the deceased have priority. If there is no spouse or children, then parents or siblings can file the claim. In the absence of any of these close relatives, grandparents may pursue the lawsuit. If none of the above-mentioned family members survive the deceased, the decedent’s estate can file the claim. 

Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit  

Wrongful death lawsuits can recover two main categories of damages: economic and non-economic. 

Economic damages are those with a clear monetary value and aim to compensate for the financial losses incurred due to the death. These can include: 

  • Medical bills related to the final illness or injury 
  • Funeral and burial expenses 
  • Lost wages and income the deceased would have earned in the future 
  • Loss of household services provided by the deceased (e.g., childcare, housekeeping) 

Non-economic damages are more subjective and compensate for the intangible losses resulting from the death. These may include: 

  • Loss of companionship, love, and support 
  • Mental anguish and emotional suffering 
  • Loss of guidance and parental care (for children) 

It is important to note the distinction between a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action. A survival action is a separate legal claim that represents the legal continuation of the deceased’s claims for pain and suffering experienced before their death. This can include medical expenses incurred prior to death. 

In Louisiana, there is no cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the specific amount of damages awarded will depend on the unique circumstances of each case, such as the age of the deceased, their earning potential, and the extent of the family’s loss. 

The Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process in Louisiana   

The wrongful death claim process in Louisiana can be complex and requires experienced legal representation. Here’s a simplified overview of the key stages: 

  • Filing a Lawsuit: There is a strict time limit to bring a wrongful death action in Louisiana, known as the statute of limitations. Generally, you have one year from the date of your loved one’s death to file the claim. Missing this deadline could bar you from pursuing legal action. 
  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence that supports your claim. This may involve collecting police reports, medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions. In some cases, accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts may be consulted to help establish liability and causation. 
  • Negotiation and Settlement: Most wrongful death lawsuits are settled before going to trial. Your lawyer will negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for your losses. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. 
  • Trial: If the case goes to trial, your lawyer will present evidence and arguments before a judge and jury. The jury will then decide whether the defendant is liable for the wrongful death and, if so, the amount of damages to be awarded. 

While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, a successful wrongful death lawsuit can provide a sense of justice and financial security for the surviving family members. 

Secure What Your Family Deserves   

At Trainor Law Firm, our experienced wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to helping families seek justice and compensation for the loss of their loved ones. We understand the emotional and financial challenges you face and are committed to providing compassionate, personalized legal representation. 

Contact us today for a free consultation and case assessment. We are ready to go to work for you! 

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