In our state, if an individual dies due to the negligence or recklessness of another (who is ultimately at fault for the death), and that individual’s survivors suffered damages as a result of the death, they may wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. However, not just anyone is permitted to bring a wrongful death action.
Louisiana Code Article 2315.2 delineates who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit. First, if the deceased has a surviving spouse and child(ren), the spouse or the child(ren) can pursue a wrongful death claim. If the deceased has no surviving spouse or child, then the deceased’s surviving parents (either one or both of them) can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased has no surviving spouse, child or parents, then the deceased’s surviving sibling(s) can pursue a wrongful death claim. Finally, if the deceased has no surviving spouse, child, parents, brothers or sisters, then the deceased’s surviving grandparent(s) can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Those who, by law, are permitted to pursue a wrongful death claim have 12 months from the time the deceased passed away to do so. The right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit is heritable, but it does not extend or interrupt the one-year time limit for filing such a lawsuit.
Losing a loved one is never easy, especially if the loved one’s death could have been prevented. When a person’s death is the fault of another, that person’s loved ones may wish to take legal action to recover compensation for the damages they suffered. A wrongful death lawsuit is one way to accomplish that goal, while also holding the responsible party accountable for the death.