A wrongful death claim is any case in which someone is killed due to the negligence or recklessness of another. While the state may criminally prosecute the responsible party, a civil wrongful death suit can also be brought by surviving family members of the deceased.
Under Louisiana law, certain family members are allowed to file a wrongful death claim:
- If the deceased has children or was married, their surviving spouse or children can file a wrongful death claim.
- If the deceased was not married or had no children, their surviving parent(s) can file a wrongful death claim.
- If the deceased has no surviving spouse, children, or parents, their surviving sibling(s) can file a wrongful death claim.
- If the deceased has no surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings, their surviving grandparent(s) can file a wrongful death claim.
- If none of the above family members have survived the deceased, their estate can bring the wrongful death claim to court.
Louisiana law allows adopted family members the same rights as those related by blood or marriage, but a parent who abandoned the deceased as a child may not be allowed to file a claim. In those cases, parental abandonment is treated as though the parent is deceased.
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