Summer fun at the beach on a road trip or at a party can soon turn to tragedy if an accident occurs. A slip-and-fall, a sporting accident, a car crash or any other negligent or intentional act that leads to a person’s death can cause the victim’s survivors to suffer unbearable losses.

They are not only dealing with emotional grief, but they may be under the burden of the many financial aspects of an unexpected death. There will be funeral costs to contend with, medical expenses, the loss of companionship and the loss of future income their loved one would have provided, among other damages. For this reason, some may decide to pursue a wrongful death suit.

However, in Louisiana, not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim. Louisiana statutes outline who can pursue a wrongful death action. In Louisiana a wrongful death claim can be brought by both the surviving spouse of the deceased and the deceased’s children together, or by the spouse or children separately.

If the deceased had no spouse or children, then a surviving mother or father together or separately can pursue a wrongful death claim. If there are no surviving spouse, children or parents, then the surviving siblings of the deceased either together or separately can file a wrongful death claim. Finally, if there are no surviving spouses, children, parents or siblings, then a surviving grandmother or grandfather, either together or separately can pursue a wrongful death action.

As this shows, not just any one can pursue a wrongful death claim. Who can file such an action depends on who has survived the deceased, and some people, such as friends, aunts, uncles and cousins are barred from pursuing such a claim whatsoever. Those who want to pursue a wrongful death claim will want to seek professional guidance to determine if they have standing to do so.