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Lafayette Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful Death Attorney

If you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, you need a Lafayette wrongful death attorney. A wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana can be brought for any number of reasons— car wrecks, truck accidents, motor-carrier accidents, unsafe pharmaceutical product or nutritional supplement, medical or prescription errors and/or medical malpractice, dangerous property defects, automobile accident due to a drunk driver or a dog mauling claims.

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While it will never bring your loved one back, a  lawsuit is designed to help you recover costs from his or her medical care, funeral expenses, loss of income, the deceased person’s pain and suffering, and even your emotional damages from loss of companionship under some circumstances.

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What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?

A lawsuit for wrongful death is filed when the death of one is caused by the wrongful act of another. A person has died as a result of another person’s negligent, careless, or illegal behavior. It means that the victim’s death could likely have been avoided.  In general, if an incident occurs for which someone could have brought a personal injury claim if they had lived, then that would translate to a claim if the victim is deceased as a result of the incident.

In other words, a wrongful death lawsuit is one that would be a personal injury lawsuit, except that the person is no longer alive to recover from that action. Instead, his representatives (or survivors) must bring the suit on his behalf to recover damages. In Louisiana, specified surviving family members can file a  claim if their loved one died due to the fault of another person. 

What Is Survival Action And How Is It Different?

Though some individuals will use the terms wrongful death and survival actions interchangeably, they are two different legal claims. A wrongful death claim arises when a person passes away and is intended to benefit the surviving family members who are injured by the loss. A survival action is a legal claim that arises during the deceased person’s life and is intended to compensate the decedent. For example, a surviving personal injury claim may exist if a person was severely injured in an accident and then passed away weeks later. It is known as a survival claim because the decedent’s legal claim survives their death.

While wrongful death damages are based on the survivor’s injuries, the damages from a survival claim are those incurred by the decedent between the time of the accident and their death. Wrongful death damages typically go straight to the surviving spouse, parents, and children. Survival claim damages go to the decedent’s estate and then are divided among the decedent’s heirs. Under a survival action, other heirs than the spouse, parent, or children may also be able to recover compensation, including siblings.

Consult With A Lafayette Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

For over 30 years, Craig and his team has helped thousands of personal injury victims pursue compensation for damages owed to them. We are dedicated to providing competent, compassionate legal support, and giving you and your family the personalized attention you deserve. Our lawyers are committed to fighting for your rights and helping you recover maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Give us a call today. Our conversations are always free and you don’t pay anything unless we win your case!

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Common Type of Wrongful Death Cases:

Car Accidents – Injuries resulting immediately or after a car crash.

Motorcycle Accidents– Injuries resulting from an automobile crash involving a motorcycle.

Truck Accidents – Injuries resulting from accidents where a semi-truck is involved.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect – Injuries to a loved one due to mistreatment from nursing home facilities.

Dangerous Drugs – Any medical harm as a result of taking a defective drug.

Medical Malpractice – Injuries from dangerous medical procedures or bad advice.

Dog Bites – Injuries resulting from a dog mauling or any animal bites.

Slip and Falls – Injuries sustained from floors or walkways that are properly inspected and maintained.

Defective Medical Devices – Extreme complications due to faulty or defective medical devices.

Pedestrian Accidents – Injuries resulting from being hit by a car, truck or bus.

Workplace Accidents – Incidents that take place at the work place of your loved one.

What Damages Can I Claim For Wrongful Death?

Surviving family members can seek compensation for economic or non-economic damages incurred due to their loved one’s death as long as the claim is opened before the one year mark of the incident.

Economic Damages

Examples of economic damages in a claim may be:

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages in a claim could include:


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Wrongful Death FAQs

What kind of compensation can I get for a wrongful death lawsuit?

Your lawyer will probably evaluate the costs associated with:

  • your loved one’s pain and suffering endured between the time of the accident and his or her eventual death
  • loss of wages that would have been earned if the person had lived,
  • funeral and burial costs,
  • recovery of the survivors’ damages for grief and loss of companionship, and more.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Louisiana?

Under Louisiana Law, certain family members are allowed to file a claim:

  • If the deceased has children or was married, their surviving spouse or children can file a claim.
  • If the deceased was not married or had no children, their surviving parent(s) can file a claim.
  • If the deceased has no surviving spouse, children, or parents, their surviving sibling(s) can file a claim.
  • If the deceased has no surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings, their surviving grandparent(s) can file a claim.
  • If none of the above family members have survived the deceased, their estate can bring the claim to court.

Louisiana law allows adopted family members the same rights as those related by blood or marriage, but a parent who abandoned the deceased as a child may not be allowed to file a claim. In those cases, parental abandonment is treated as though the parent is deceased.

Is my wrongful death settlement taxable?

According to IRS Rule 1.104-1, the settlement money you receive in wrongful death settlements are exempt from taxation. Because the compensation is considered to be a component of a claim stemming from a personal injury or physical illness, the IRS declares it to be non-taxable.

Keep in mind that wrongful death refers to a certain type of personal injury case in which the injured party passes away, making the family members or the estate of the deceased the recipient of compensation. 

How is wrongful death different than personal injury?

A personal injury claim is the result of someone being injured due to someone else’s negligence. Wrongful death lawsuits generally would have been a  personal injury claim, had the victim survived.

Thus, the main difference between the two is who files the claim—since a victim can’t file a claim for themselves, a family member must do so on their behalf. If your loved one has died as a result of someone else’s reckless behavior, your lawsuit likely qualifies as a wrongful death.

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