Was Your Loved One Killed in an Accident?
Wrongful Death Attorneys are Compassionate Yet Aggressive
Confusion, anger and grief cloud the period following the death of a loved one. In addition to coping with a heartbreaking loss, you face many difficult decisions about what to do next. This period is especially challenging when someone else’s negligence caused the death. Many states have different policies regarding wrongful death lawsuits. In Louisiana, the spouse, children or next family member may file a wrongful death lawsuit when a person dies due to the fault of another.
Wrongful deaths can be negligent, reckless or intentional. If a loved one has lost his or her life due to the actions of another party, it is important for you to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. You do not have to go through the agony of a loved one’s loss by yourself.
Our wrongful death attorneys have represented families of wrongful death victims since 1996, and our law firm can answer all your questions about your options moving forward.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Louisiana law is very specific when it comes to who can file a claim for a wrongful death.
- The spouse or children of the deceased have first priority in filing a claim. If the victim did not have a spouse or children, or if the spouse or children died, then:
- The parents of the victim may file a claim. If the parents are not alive or abandoned the deceased during childhood, then:
- The deceased’s siblings may file the claim. If there are none or they are all deceased, then:
- The grandparents of the deceased may file the claim.
- If all options for filing a claim have been exhausted, then the deceased’s estate may bring the claim to court.
Is Wrongful Death a Civil or Criminal Matter?
Wrongful death claims are purely civil and deal solely in monetary damages. That said, it is not unusual for the incident that caused the wrongful death to bring about criminal charges filed by the state. For example, a drunk driving accident could result in homicide charges for a drunk driver. A company might be penalized if a lack of attention to employee safety results in a death on the job.
You should know that civil and criminal cases are entirely separate. It is up to you or the closest relative to file a wrongful death claim. Waiting for the state to push criminal charges serves no benefit to you. You have one year from the date of death to file a claim in Louisiana.