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Louisiana wrongful death basics

If one person commits a legally wrongful act against another, the bad actor may be liable to the other under Louisiana's legal system. Both intentional bad acts and negligent acts may result in this kind of liability, depending on the circumstances. This has been the case for a very long time. But what happens if the alleged victim dies before she can sue? It is often possible for a deceased plaintiff's estate to sue a defendant. This is called a wrongful death claim.

Sometimes, the defendant in a wrongful death action will also face criminal prosecution for the actions that gave rise to the wrongful death claim. This does not eliminate the possibility of a wrongful death suit; a defendant can both be prosecuted and sued for the same act. The defendant may not be found guilty of the crime after the criminal proceedings are concluded. This also does not eliminate the possibility of a wrongful death suit because the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit has a much lower burden of proof than the prosecution in a criminal case.

Many kinds of acts can give rise to a wrongful death claim. These can range from a criminal intentional act to acts of negligence such as medical malpractice, aircraft accidents or occupational exposure to hazardous conditions and substances.

The deceased party's personal representative is the person who brings a wrongful death action against a defendant. The main measure of injury in most wrongful death cases is financial injury. This often proceeds in a similar manner as when the alleged victim is still alive and bringing the lawsuit in person. There are many factors that are considered when computing damages in a successful wrongful death case.

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