The unexpected death of a loved one can lead to significant personal hardship for those who are left behind. Individuals may find themselves struggling with depression and other mental health challenges related to their grief. Their household may also experience significant financial struggles as they not only absorb the costs inspired by the end of someone’s life, like funeral and medical expenses, but also the loss of the deceased family member’s household support and income.
Life may never go back to the way that it was before the tragic incident that ended someone’s life, and the whole family will need to find ways to adjust to the new reality for the household. One of the few options for justice and closure after a tragic loss is a wrongful death lawsuit. Either businesses or individuals that cause the death of someone through negligence or misconduct may face legal and financial responsibility for someone’s death in this regard. A wrongful death claim can compensate survivors for the full financial impact of someone’s untimely passing.
State law empowers family members to seek justice
Under the existing wrongful death statutes in Louisiana, immediate family members will typically have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit after someone’s untimely passing. It is often the surviving spouse or the children of the person who died that will initiate legal action against the person or business responsible for the fatal incident. However, when someone dies without a spouse or children, their parents have the statutory right to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. If someone doesn’t have surviving parents, their siblings or other family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit.
There is typically only one year after someone’s date of death when it is possible for people to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, so establishing one’s right to do so quickly is often of the utmost importance, as grief might lead to procrastination which ultimately could deny a family economic justice.
Taking legal action against the party responsible for someone’s death can hold them responsible for their actions or failures and reduce the harm cause for surviving family members. However, it is important to act quickly, so seeking legal guidance proactively is generally a good idea.