The loss of a loved one is never easy. The situation can be worse when it is apparent that the loss was a result of someone else’s negligence. Thankfully, Louisiana laws acknowledge such situations and therefore, the laws have provisions under which the accident victim’s surviving family members can claim compensation. Such legal actions, which are called wrongful death actions, can compensate the survivors for medical expenses and pain and suffering before the accident victim passes away. The compensation can also cover lost wages if the accident victim earned a salary.
However, only certain people can file a wrongful death claim according to Louisiana laws. For example, the victim’s spouse and children have the first right to claim damages for a wrongful death. In the event that the victim does not have a spouse or children, the right to claim compensation for wrongful death lies with the victim’s parents.
If the accident victim does not have a spouse, children or parents, the siblings of the deceased accident victim may choose to file a wrongful death claim. If the victim does not have a surviving spouse, children, siblings or parents, it may be possible for the victim’s grandparents to file a claim for wrongful death.
However, in all cases, the claim must be filed within one year from the death of the victim. Also, the right to claim damages for a wrongful death can be inherited from a previous generation. However, even in that case, the wrongful death claim must be filed within the same time frame. In cases such as this, it may also be possible for an adopted family member to file the claim.
While the laws pertaining to wrongful death may be relatively clear on paper, taking action based on those laws can often be challenging for many people. Therefore, it may be a wise decision to hire an attorney who is experienced in personal injury law and wrongful death cases. With the right guidance, it may be possible to recover some of the losses from the victim’s tragic death.
Source: Louisiana State Legislature, “Art. 2315.2. Wrongful Death Action,” accessed on June 2, 2015