You cherish the deep and meaningful relationships you have with your family members. After all, not only do your loved ones provide emotional support, but they also help you deal with life’s unexpected events. If someone close to you is suddenly gone, your life may never be the same.
Even under normal circumstances, the death of a close relative can be traumatic. If someone else’s negligence or intentional actions caused the loss of your loved one, though, you may feel downright despondent. Fortunately, Louisiana law may allow you to pursue reasonable compensation from the individual who caused your relative’s death.
Who has standing?
Some legal terms are hard to understand. “Standing” is not one of them, however. Simply put, standing is the legal ability to file a lawsuit. When it comes to wrongful death in Louisiana, not everyone has standing. Here are four individuals who may bring a wrongful death claim:
- A surviving spouse or child
- A surviving parent, if the deceased person had no surviving spouse or children
- A surviving sibling, if the deceased person had no surviving spouse, children or parents
- A surviving grandparent, if the deceased person had no surviving spouse, children, parents or siblings
What compensation is available?
Civil lawsuits must identify damages and assign a monetary value to them. If you have a successful wrongful death claim, you may be eligible for compensation for the following:
- Your deceased loved one’s lost income and other support
- Your deceased loved one’s medical and funeral expenses
- Your emotional harm
When must you file a wrongful death claim?
Even though you likely have many matters to address after the death of a loved one, you must not wait too long to file a wrongful death claim. Typically, you must file the claim within a year after your relative’s death. There are exceptions to this rule, however.
While money does not fill the void left by the loss of a loved one, it may help you better cope. Additionally, the compensation you receive may allow you to seek professional help for your emotional anguish. Either way, understanding your options under Louisiana’s wrongful death statute is essential.