Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in New Orleans?

Posted on Apr 1, 2016 in Wrongful Death

At Bloom Legal, we understand that no lawsuit can ever bring back a loved one who died due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another, and we also know there is no amount of money that can adequately compensate you for the loss you have suffered. That does not mean, however, that the responsible parties should not be held accountable, and the best way to do this is oftentimes by pursuing a wrongful death claim.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit brought in civil court to recover damages from the party that is responsible for the wrongful death of your loved one. It is not a criminal proceeding and there may be separate criminal proceedings. If, for example, your loved one is killed by a drunk driver, then there will likely be a criminal trial that is separate from your claim. In many cases, the party that will be responsible to pay damages will be an insurance company. Most wrongful death claims are settled before a trial, although a trial is sometimes required when the responsible party refuses to be reasonable.

When Does a Wrongful Death Claim Arise?

Any time the negligence or misconduct of one or more parties’ results in the death of an innocent party, there is a basis for a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims can be brought after fatal car accidents or truck accidents, as a result of medical malpractice, after industrial accidents, due to defective products, and in cases of nursing home neglect or abuse, just to name some of the more common examples. If your loved one has died due to the actions of another person, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced New Orleans wrongful death lawyer and determine whether or not a cause of action exists.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Orleans?

Knowing what a wrongful death claim is and when it can be filed is only half of the story. It is also important to understand who is entitled to bring a wrongful death action. Louisiana law allows the following people to file wrongful death claims against responsible parties:

  • The surviving spouse and/or children
  • If there is no surviving spouse or children, then the surviving mother or father
  • If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, then a surviving sibling
  • If there is no surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings, then a surviving grandparent

Family friends, domestic partners, significant others and any other close relationship not described above are not allowed to bring wrongful death claims in Louisiana.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Action?

Medical expenses and funeral expenses of the deceased can be recovered, as well as a dollar amount for the loss of financial support, household services and the loss of love and affection. The court looks at many factors when determining the amount of damages to award, including the life expectancy of the deceased, how close the relationship was between the plaintiff and the deceased, and the value of the deceased individual’s lost income for surviving family members. These factors help the court quantify the non-monetary losses.

Do You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?

If you are in one of the survivor categories listed above, you should consult with an experienced Louisiana wrongful death attorney. The team at Bloom Legal offers compassionate and skilled legal representation to qualifying survivors who have lost loved ones to a wrongful death in New Orleans, Metairie, Gretna, Harvey and the surrounding areas. Call 504-599-9997 to schedule a consultation and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.

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