Baton Rouge Wrongful Death Lawyer
The legal definition of wrongful death is “the death of a human being as the result of a wrongful act of another person.” Wrongful death occurs most often as the result of negligent behavior or an accident. The family members of the deceased can sue an individual or institution for wrongful death, however, certain states may have different laws about who can sue on the deceased’s behalf, as well as different statute of limitations.
Wrongful death cases are often accompanied by funeral arrangements and severe emotional upheaval, which is why it’s crucial to work with a Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyer at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown. Our legal team has decades of combined experience in litigating both criminal and civil lawsuits. We can teach you how a wrongful death lawsuit works, represent you and the deceased, negotiate a settlement with an insurance company, seek compensation from the responsible parties, and fight for your loved one’s justice in court if necessary. Call the Law Offices of Ossie Brown at 225-343-1111 to file a wrongful death claim today.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
It’s important to note the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and something like manslaughter or murder charges. Criminal charges seek to punish the wrongdoer while a wrongful death lawsuit seeks to compensate the grieving family. You may have a case for both. However, if you’re suing a company or non-singular entity, wrongful death may be the only option. There are several instances which could lead to a wrongful death suit.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents are one of the most common wrongful death claims, as they are typically unexpected and accidental. Any car accident, truck accident, distracted or drunk driving accident, pedestrian accident, or motorcycle accident that results in a person’s death can result in a wrongful death claim. Specifics on fault and damages will depend on individual state laws. In Louisiana, as an at-fault state, you can expect negligent drivers to be held liable for both economic and non economic damages including medical bills, burial costs, car repairs, and so much more.
As we’ve mentioned, criminal charges and wrongful death charges function differently in the legal system when it comes to monetary damages awarded. Especially in the case of violent crime, you as the family member or surviving spouse may sue the negligent party for wrongful death, while the state may prosecute them in a criminal case. This may affect the wrongful death settlement amounts and timeline, especially if the responsible party is sentenced to jail time, so be sure to talk to your wrongful death attorney about your priorities when it comes to wrongful death actions.
Violent crimes that may result in wrongful death include:
These are just some instances that have legal precedence being classified as violent crime. However, any intentional act that causes a wrongful death may be considered a violent crime, depending on the court or state laws.
The reason that liability insurance is so important for business owners is because of things like wrongful death claims as a result of premises liability violations. If a person dies because of their surroundings — for example: wet floors or broken stairs – then the family members may sue for wrongful death. In this case, the wrongful death case would be leveraged against the property owner or business.
If the death caused is irrefutable, then these cases may be settled out of court by the corporation or property owner. Whether or not a wrongful death case can be settled out of court will be up to the legal counsel and family members of the deceased to accept a fair settlement. If the settlement is not deemed good enough to cover the financial burden associated with the victim’s death, then you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Medical malpractice is another common cause of wrongful death lawsuits. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional makes avoidable diagnostic errors, medication errors, surgical errors, or other medical errors that lead to personal injury or an unexpected death. In these cases, the surviving family must prove that a physician acted negligently in rendering care. To do so, the four following legal criteria must be met:
- There is professional duty owed to the patient;
- There was a breach of such duty;
- Injuries or wrongful deaths were caused by the breach;
- The surviving family suffered a variety of damages for which they deserve fair financial compensation.
Because of the nature of medical treatment being such high stakes, many medical professionals are required to have malpractice insurance, which would cover certain payouts in wrongful death suits, such as medical and funeral expenses. The average pay-outs for medical malpractice settlements in the U.S. is around $242,000.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
Louisiana allows close family members to sue on behalf of the deceased. This would include, in order:
- The surviving spouse;
Long-term companions outside of legal marriage are not able to bring wrongful death action forward on behalf of any deceased person in the state of Louisiana. In that case, the onus would fall on any surviving family members.
How to Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim
When you file a wrongful death claim, you’ll have to prove wrongful death was the direct result of an avoidable situation. This could mean proving medical malpractice, unsafe working conditions, or another negligent act that caused the decedent’s death. Proof in these instances could look like camera footage, autopsy findings, police reports, and other official documents. Ultimately, it will be up to the judge to determine if the proof you’ve provided is enough to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the someone’s death was wrongful.
Because the burden of proof in these cases can be high, and incredibly stressful, it’s incredibly prudent to hire experienced wrongful death lawyers at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown to help you navigate the case. They can not only act as your personal representative, but may be able to expedite the entire legal process.
Wrongful Death Damages
If a wrongful death occurred due to negligence or intentional acts, the decedent’s heirs and immediate family members have the right to sue in civil court and recover fair compensation. A Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyer at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown can help you recover compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages of the deceased person (especially if they were the main breadwinner of their family)
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium and/or emotional support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages from the at-fault party
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Louisiana?
Louisiana statute of limitations mandates that a surviving parent or child must file a wrongful death lawsuit within one year of the unexpected death.
If no wrongful death action is taken in those two years, then you can longer sue an individual or corporation for wrongful death settlements.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be incredibly taxing, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Working with the right legal team can give you the confidence and ability to pursue justice for a lost loved one.
Call a Baton Rouge Wrongful Death Lawyer at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown TodayIf a car accident or violent crime caused your loved one’s death, then you have grounds to take legal action. Baton Rouge wrongful death attorneys at our law firm have the skill and experience necessary to pursue maximum compensation through a civil lawsuit on your behalf. We understand how devastating an unexpected and preventable loss of life can be. We want to provide legal and emotional support for your family during the grieving process. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.
Let us review your case at no cost to you. We want to take the time to get to know you and understand your legal goals and objectives.
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