Lost a Loved One in an Accident? You Need a New Orleans Wrongful Death Attorney
When a person intentionally, negligently or recklessly causes injury to another individual, the victim has the right to take action to recover compensation for his or her injuries. In some cases, the personal injuries are so serious that the victim does not survive. A wrongful death occurs when a loved one has died due to the careless or negligent acts of another. Simply stated, wrongful deaths are deaths that could have been avoided had someone been more careful. Usually, wrongful death will have a direct link from the cause of the accident or death to someone else’s negligence. For example, if the developer of a condominium building knows there is a poorly-constructed balcony but does nothing to repair it and that balcony collapses while someone is on it, leading to their death, then a wrongful death has occurred. If you believe your loved one was the victim in a wrongful death situation, you should contact a New Orleans wrongful death attorney today.
Tragically, auto accidents, construction accidents, plane crashes, medical mistakes, and defective products take the life of many victims in Louisiana each year. Without talking to a New Orleans wrongful death attorney, loved ones don’t realize that they may be entitled to compensation.
When a death occurs because of negligence or wrongdoing, the person or entity responsible should not escape legal liability because the victim was killed. To ensure that the wrongdoer is held accountable for compensating surviving family members, every state in the U.S. has passed special laws called wrongful death statutes to help compensate the family members of wrongful death victims.
To bring a claim and obtain compensation for your losses, contact a wrongful death lawyer at Bloom Legal today.
Wrongful Death Cases in Louisiana
A wrongful death lawsuit is a case brought by the family members of the deceased against another person or entity that caused the loved one’s death through negligence, wrongdoing or breach of a legal duty.
These cases arise out of many types of incidents, from a fatal car accident to a construction accident to a severe dog bite to an aviation disaster. Wrongful death actions can only be brought by certain specific individuals with a close family relationship to the deceased. For example, a widow can file a wrongful death case, but a second cousin cannot. Since the individuals eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit vary from state to state, it is important to contact an attorney in your state to determine whether you are eligible to bring a case.
If your loved one has passed away from personal injuries sustained in an accident, you may be entitled to substantial compensation through a wrongful death case. However, it is up to you to protect your rights and file a wrongful death claim for compensation. Bloom Legal is personal injury law firm that can assist in determining if you have a case and outlining your rights and options.
Understanding Liability in Wrongful Death Cases
Proving that someone must be held accountable for your loved one’s death is essentially a four-step process.
- First, you will have to show that a duty of care existed, meaning that as the owner or proprietor of a particular property or business, that person had a duty to make sure that their premises or place of business was free from dangerous or potentially hazardous conditions.
- Next, you will need to show that the owner/proprietor violated their duty of care by failing to correct the conditions of their premises that could have potentially led to someone getting hurt.
- Third, you will need to demonstrate that these harmful conditions are what inevitably led to your loved one’s death.
- Finally, you will need to showcase that your loved one’s wrongful death left you in a bad position financially, mentally or physically, so that your attorney can calculate damages and demand that amount on your behalf.
There are several scenarios in which it’s more than possible that a wrongful death has occurred. Some of these scenarios include:
- Car accidents caused by a negligent or drunk driver
- Motorcycle accidents due to someone else’s reckless or careless driving
- Medical malpractice accidents
- Drowning when no lifeguard on duty
- Nursing home patient abuse or neglect
- Dog bites caused by an owner’s failure to leash their dog
- Product malfunction or product liability
- Slip and fall accidents on unsafe property that was not properly maintained
Many other situations can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit — including a death as a result of a crime. Thus, before you miss out on possible compensation, it’s best to consult with a New Orleans wrongful death attorney.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Louisiana
When a loved one dies unexpectedly or in an accident the surviving family may seek compensation for damages stemming from their death.
Successful wrongful death claims must prove two things:
- That the death of the loved one was a direct result of negligence or wrongdoing by another person or persons; and
- That the surviving family of the deceased has had their life directly impacted, emotionally and financially, as a result.
Wrongful death claims seek compensation for damages such as medical bills, funeral costs, loss of wages, loss of quality of life, and more.
Which Family Member Should Contact a New Orleans Wrongful Death Attorney?
The person filing the claim and seeking compensation is known as the plaintiff. Only certain people may file a wrongful death case, and these stipulations vary by state. A New Orleans wrongful death attorney can instruct you as to who can file in your state.
In Louisiana, the plaintiff in a wrongful death case must be the spouse or child of the deceased. If the deceased has no spouse or children, then their parents may file. If there are no parents, the siblings of the deceased may file. If there are no siblings, then the grandparents may file.
In each case, the plaintiff must be able to prove that their life was directly impacted by the death of their loved one. Loss of quality of life may be more difficult for grandparents of the deceased to argue convincingly than it would be for, say, the deceased’s children.
The Statute of Limitations
Louisiana courts generally require wrongful death claims to be filed in a timely manner, typically two years from the date of the person’s death. Therefore, you will want to make sure you’re aware of this time limit when reviewing whether a wrongful death claim is warranted. Likewise, if new information comes to light well after your loved one’s death, you will likely be able to file your claim from the date at which this new information arose, so long as the timeframe is reasonable.
How Your New Orleans Wrongful Death Attorney Will Help With Your Claim
Filing a wrongful death suit can be a complex and sometimes drawn-out procedure. You want to make sure you have an experienced New Orleans personal injury law firm on your side. Choosing the right wrongful death lawyer can have a huge impact on your case and how it goes.
Your wrongful death lawyer can help you file your claim, gathering the appropriate documents and filing with the court. They will research and compile evidence surrounding the death of your loved one.
Once your initial claim has been filed the defendant—the person, persons, or organization you are seeking compensation from—will be notified. They will hire their own representation, and insurance information will likely be exchanged.
Dealing with insurance companies can be a hassle and a half to say the least. Your wrongful death attorney can and should represent you in most dealings with the insurance company.
Insurance companies may often attempt to lowball their early offers for settlement. Once a settlement is agreed upon, the plaintiff may not seek further compensation for the same claim, even if they later realize they did not receive an appropriate settlement. Knowing this, the insurance companies and lawyers for the defendant will employ strategies to save as much money as possible on their end.
If both sides can not agree on a settlement during negotiations, then you and your wrongful death lawyer will have to sue, and take the defendant to court to get the compensation you deserve.
At this point, documentation will likely be requested and compiled, and depositions may need to be collected. You will likely need to appear as a witness and give your testimony before a jury if the case makes it to court.
However, as with many personal injury cases, wrongful death cases often don’t make it to trial. Most defendants and/or their insurance companies will want to settle out of court, saving time and money. The sides may reach a settlement at any point prior or leading up to trial.
This is another reason it’s so important to have an experienced New Orleans wrongful death attorney at your side. They can navigate the negotiation process most effectively, ensuring you are allotted the full settlement you deserve, whether before trial or through it.
When the Worst Happens, You Need the Caring, Compassionate and Skilled Team of Bloom Legal
At Bloom Legal, we understand that losing a loved one can be an emotionally traumatic and often life-altering event. You will likely have to not only take care of yourself, but your loved ones as well, your finances and well-being. However, if the death of your loved one was due to negligence or wrongdoing on the part of another, you should not be denied compensation for your pain and suffering. The legal team at Bloom Legal knows how devastating it can be when your loved one has suffered an untimely death as a result of the wrongful actions of others, and we sincerely want to help.
The experienced New Orleans personal injury law firm of Bloom Legal will fight for you. We will engage the insurance company on your behalf, collect evidence and file in court. We will negotiate to make sure you get the money you deserve, while you focus on what’s most important—being with friends and family, grieving and healing.
We offer caring, compassionate and skilled legal representation to those who have lost loved ones so they can secure the compensation they deserve. Our wrongful death attorneys represent individuals in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Call us at 504-599-9997 to schedule your consultation.
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Posted By: Tyler Ales