Baton Rouge Wrongful Death Lawyers
Fighting for Those Who Have Suffered a Senseless Loss
Losing a loved one is never easy. When the loss is caused by another individual’s or company’s negligence, though, the pain and the tragedy are compounded. In addition to facing the immeasurable emotional damage that comes from losing someone close to you, your family may face the burden of unexpected and costly medical bills, funeral bills, and similar expenses. At Murphy Law Firm, LLC, our compassionate Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyers have many years of experience helping grieving families recover the compensation they need and the justice they deserve. We believe that with everything you are going through, you shouldn’t be forced to deal with ruthless insurance companies that would try to minimize your loss. Let us take on that burden for you.
Schedule a free consultation with our dedicated legal team today to learn what types of compensation you and your family may be entitled to in a wrongful death claim. We will not charge your family anything to evaluate or get started on your case. And we only accept payment if we secure money for you.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit. It is similar to a personal injury case: In both claims, the negligence of one person or business has caused harm to another person. In a personal injury case, the injured person lives to bring his or her own claim to court. In a wrongful death case, however, the accident has proven fatal. Since the injured person can no longer pursue his or her own claim, the surviving family members must bring the claim to court.
In some situations, a criminal case may be filed by the prosecutor’s office based on the same events. Although the existence of criminal charges does not prevent a family from filing a wrongful death claim, it can make the claim more complex. The presence of the media in certain high-profile cases can also complicate matters.
Determining who is liable for a wrongful death can also be complex, especially when there are several potentially liable parties or when the relationships between these parties are complicated (as is the case in many product liability claims, for example).
At Murphy Law Firm, LLC, our experienced Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyers will thoroughly investigate the accident that caused your loved one’s death and determine who was responsible, with the goal of securing full and fair compensation for your family.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Louisiana?
The Louisiana Wrongful Death Act specifies who may bring a wrongful death action to court. The statute includes a list in order of preference:
- The surviving spouse and children of the deceased person have first priority in bringing a wrongful death claim to court in Louisiana.
- If the deceased person had no spouse or children, the person’s surviving parent or parents may bring the claim to court.
- If there are no surviving parents, a sibling may bring the claim.
- If there are no siblings, a grandparent may bring the claim.
Generally speaking, family members by adoption have the same legal standing in a wrongful death claim as family members by blood. For instance, if a person dies as the result of a car accident caused by a negligent driver, that person’s adopted child could bring a wrongful death claim, just as a biological child could.
It is especially important to speak to a lawyer immediately if your family’s situation does not appear to fall under any of the categories laid out in the Louisiana statute. Our knowledgeable Louisiana wrongful death attorneys can provide guidance on your options.
It is also vital to speak to a lawyer promptly after a fatal accident has occurred because Louisiana enforces a strict timeline, or “statute of limitations,” on wrongful death claims. A wrongful death case in Louisiana must be filed within one year of the date of death.
Compensation in Louisiana Wrongful Death Claims
Louisiana law calculates damages differently in wrongful death claims, depending on whether the deceased person was an adult or a child. For most adults, Louisiana recognizes that families may recover two types of damages:
- Economic losses, such as loss of support, lost income, medical expenses, and funeral expenses
- Noneconomic losses, including loss of love, affection, companionship, care, attention, guidance, society, and consortium
When a wrongful death claim involves the untimely death of a child, however, the court considers a different set of factors. Damages awards are reached after considering factors such as:
- The closeness of the bond between the parties and the child
- The degree of love and affection in the relationship between the parties and the child
- The child’s age
- The parents’ station in life
- The probability that the child would have provided future support to the parties and the likely degree of support that would have been provided
- The child’s intelligence
- Other factors that related to the type of life the child could have expected to live if he or she had survived
Damages are not always distributed equally among every person involved in the wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, the court considers the type of relationship each person had with the deceased family member and may award damages accordingly.
Because these factors differ in every family’s situation, the outcome of every wrongful death claim differs as well. Working with an experienced wrongful death attorney you trust can help you understand how various factors apply in your situation.
Let Us Demand Justice for Your Loved One
The untimely loss of a loved one is one of the toughest blows a family can bear. That’s why our Baton Rouge wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to fighting on behalf of clients who are coping with such loss. We know you need this time to grieve with your family — not to fight with insurance companies or haggle over settlement amounts. We tackle the task of fighting for the compensation your family needs and deserves, so that you can focus on healing.
You’ve already lost someone you love. Don’t let insurance companies or big businesses victimize your family twice by protecting their bottom line at the expense of your well-being. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.