Metairie Attorneys Helping Families
The loss of a loved one is an extremely stressful time. When a loved one dies, families are faced with many difficult tasks and decisions while trying to cope with their grief. These challenges can be overwhelming.
We Protect the Family’s Rights in a Wrongful Death Action
Sometimes, the death of a loved one is because of someone else’s actions, inactions, negligence or misconduct. This is wrongful death. Certain surviving family members of the deceased have rights under the law to file a wrongful death action against the person or business whose fault caused the death.
Wrongful death actions can be brought as a result of:
• Automobile and trucking accidents
• Offshore accidents aboard ships, boats, barges, rigs and vessels
• Construction accidents
• Aviation accidents
• Chemical exposure
• Dangerous or defective products or drugs
• Medical malpractice
• Nursing home abuse and neglect
The decedent’s spouse and children or, in some cases, parents, siblings or grandparents can claim damages for wrongful death. These rights are completely separate from the rights that the deceased may have had if he or she had survived. A wrongful death action does not include pain and suffering or any other damages to the deceased, although such a claim can be made through a survival action, which is a separate claim that is also available under Louisiana law to the spouse and children, or, in some cases, the parents, siblings or grandparents. Instead, wrongful death actions are intended to compensate surviving family members for what they have lost when a loved one was taken from them because of the actions, inactions or negligence of someone else.
The types of damages available in a wrongful death action are different based on the applicable law, the relationship to the deceased and the age of the surviving family members. For example, a surviving spouse may have lost a financial contribution to the household in addition to the loss of companionship and love and affection of the deceased spouse. A child may have also lost a prospective inheritance or future support. Even if the deceased did not have an income, surviving family members may have damages for wrongful death, particularly if the deceased contributed to the health and well-being of the family, such as in the case of a homemaker. While no amount of money can truly compensate a surviving family member for the loss of a loved one, our laws and our courts recognize these losses as damages suffered by the survivors, and money can be awarded by a judge or a jury for those damages.
If a loved one has died and you suspect that someone else might be at fault, it is essential that you take action immediately. Over time, evidence can be lost or destroyed, witnesses can forget details or lose the will to get involved in a case, and the rights of the surviving family members can disappear. The law allows only a certain amount of time for a surviving family member to file a wrongful death action.
New Orleans Lawyers Assist Families With Wrongful Death Actions
Don’t delay: Call our experienced, knowledgeable lawyers to evaluate what rights you may have. The initial consultation is free.
Please call our New Orleans area office at 504-828-1224 or contact us online.