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Wrongful Death Attorneys in Baton Rouge

A Baton Rouge wrongful death attorney can be a comforting hand in a dark time.

Losing a loved one due to an accident, injury, or illness is one of the hardest ordeals you can go through. If this has happened to you, we offer our sincerest condolences for you and your family’s loss. These fatal accidents can come about so unexpectedly that they leave those involved stunned, then grieving and empty space that seems unable to be filled.

When your loved one was killed due to the negligence or carelessness of someone else, your grief might turn to anger or other strong emotions. We know that nothing can repair the inexorable depths of your pain after losing them, but we’re here for you when you’re ready to explore your legal options. Our Baton Rouge wrongful death attorneys are standing by, ready to help— until then, you have our deepest sympathy.

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Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Whenever someone dies because of someone else’s violence, carelessness, or neglect, their surviving family can file a wrongful death suit to seek justice on their behalf. In addition, to represent the interests of the deceased’s estate, a personal representative will be appointed.

Not all accidental deaths qualify for wrongful death claims. It’s important to find an experienced Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyer to help you with your case and provide legal advice.

Eligibility for Filing a Louisiana Wrongful Death Suit

Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim—in Louisiana, there’s a specific list of people who can be eligible, in the order of the list:

Not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim—in Louisiana, there’s a specific list of people who can be eligible, in the order of the list:

  • The surviving spouse and/or children of the deceased or
  • If both spouse and children are dead, the surviving parents of the deceased or
  • If the spouse, children, and parents are dead, the surviving siblings of the deceased or
  • If the spouse, children, parents, and siblings are deceased, the surviving grandparents of the deceased

All of the above relations also include those relations by adoption. This statute, Louisiana CC §2315.2, also stipulates a 1-year statute of limitations on bringing a wrongful death claim to the court. While this right to bring a claim, known as a right of action, is heritable, inherited claims must still follow the statute of limitations.

What this means is that if your daughter suffered a wrongful death, then her husband and children died afterward, you could be eligible to bring a wrongful death claim on her behalf—but you’d need to file within a year of her death, regardless of other facts.

What Causes Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is defined, under Louisiana law, as a death “due to the fault of another.” This other party could be a person or an entity, for example, a corporation. Wrongful deaths can happen due to both intentional acts, including crimes, and negligence, which usually means inaction of some kind. Common causes leading to wrongful death claims include:

Possible Damages Awarded After a Wrongful Death Claim

Damages refer to the money and other considerations awarded to plaintiffs at the conclusion of a successful wrongful death case. Wrongful death damages that are awarded fall under one of three categories:

1. Economic Damages 

Economic damages refer to the economic costs and hardships suffered by the victim’s surviving family that can be recovered, including:

  • Medical bills, funeral expenses, and burial costs
  • Loss of benefits, such as medical insurance or retirement benefits, of the deceased
  • Loss of the deceased’s future income
  • Loss of inheritance due to the unforeseen death

2. Non-economic Damages 

Non-economic damages refer to those which lack an exact monetary value. These can include those considered priceless or otherwise non-economical, such as

  • Pain, suffering, and emotional anguish, also known as a survival claim
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of life enjoyment due to grief

3. Punitive Damages 

In extreme cases of wrongdoing or negligence, the plaintiff in a wrongful death case may be awarded punitive damages. Rather than compensating the plaintiff for their losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and dissuade them from repeating their negligent behavior. Punitive damages are usually only rewarded when the defendant grossly neglected their duty of care.

How to Prove a Wrongful Death Case

woman comforting family member

Like any other personal injury case, the plaintiff in a wrongful death case must prove the following four points to prove the defendant’s liability:

  1. Negligence. The plaintiff’s loved one must have been caused by the defendant’s reckless, careless, or negligent actions.
  2. Breach of duty. The defendant must have owed a duty of care to the victim, and have breached that duty through their actions or inactions. Examples of duty of care include doctors maintaining their patients’ health or drivers paying attention as they drive.
  3. Causation. The defendant’s breach of their duty of care must have led to the victim’s death, either in whole or in part.
  4. Damages. Finally, the victim’s death must have caused quantifiable damages, like those listed above.

Each of these points must be proved in order to receive damages after a wrongful death, and proving them requires strong and conclusive evidence. That evidence can take many forms, such as a police report, photographs of the scene, and even witness testimony, and figuring out how to best proceed can be complicated.

An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Baton Rouge can help you build your case, find and call witnesses, and prove your claim. No amount of money will return your loved one to you, but by holding the responsible party accountable you can start to heal.

How to Get Compensation for the Death of a Family Member

Losing a loved one is a devastating experience, and seeking compensation for their death can be a difficult process. When pursuing a wrongful death claim, there are several factors to consider.

  1. Determine the responsible party: This could be an individual, a company, or even a government entity.
  2. Calculate financial expenses: This includes medical bills, funeral costs, burial expenses, and any other financial burdens. 
  3. Quantify non-economic damages: These intangible losses could include pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and even loss of consortium. 
  4. Work with a Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyer: They will assist you in accounting damages, evaluate your case, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent you in court. 

Of course, nothing can fully compensate for the death of a family member, but with the right legal representation, you can seek justice and find some financial relief during this difficult time. Allow a skilled Baton Rouge wrongful death attorney to guide you through the legal complexities and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Negotiating a Settlement for a Fatal Accident

When it comes to a fatal accident, negotiating a fair settlement is of utmost importance. Insurance companies often try to minimize their financial liability and may offer lowball settlement offers or partial settlements. This is where the expertise of a Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyer becomes crucial. A skilled wrongful death attorney understands the tactics used by insurance companies and will:

  • Assess the value of your claim by considering various factors, such as the financial losses, emotional distress, and intangible losses suffered as a result of the fatal accident.
  • Gather evidence and consult with experts if necessary, and build a strong case to support your claim.
  • Negotiate and communicate with the insurance company to protect your rights and interests.
  • Fight on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

By entrusting your case to a Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyer, you can have peace of mind knowing that your legal rights are protected and that you have a skilled negotiator on your side. They will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve for the fatal accident that has forever impacted your life.

When Should I Call a Baton Rouge Wrongful Death Lawyer?

The logo of Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, experienced Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyers.

You’re probably experiencing a complex mix of emotions after your loved one’s wrongful death, including frustration, grief, and anger. You deserve compensation to help pay for their funeral and other costs, as well as to account for your immeasurable grief. The wrongful death attorneys at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys understand those feelings, and we can help you recover a wrongful death settlement to continue your life.

If you’re mourning the wrongful death of someone you love, call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys at 225.888.8888 for a free consultation. With 679+ years of combined legal experience, 200+ Personal Injury Million+ verdicts and settlements, and $3 Billion we’ve got what it takes to provide you with the consolation and expert legal advice that you need. We’ll get started on your case right away, and thanks to the G Guarantee, you won’t owe us a dime until we win.

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