Tomeny Best

After a loved one’s death, you may feel helpless. However, if their passing was due to someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, you may be able to file a wrongful death action. This claim is not available to everyone, but when it is, it could help a person recover from the financial losses associated with an unexpected death.

It is wise to consult a skilled wrongful death attorney for help managing the claims process because you must act quickly. Louisiana only gives you a year to file a wrongful death claim. Our attorneys at Tomeny | Best could advocate for you as you file an Iberville Parish wrongful death action and help you seek the maximum compensation available for a claim.

Can the State File Wrongful Death Claims?

Louisiana Civil Code Article 2315.2 allows a person to pursue wrongful death as a part of a personal injury claim to provide compensation for the harm the family sustained. This harm can include economic losses as well as the grief and trauma associated with it. There are critical differences between criminal charges and wrongful death claims. The state brings criminal charges against the person responsible for the death, whereas the survivors bring a wrongful death claim.

Criminal Charges

If the state convicts a person for homicide, that person will most likely face jail time, and the family does not have to pay for the prosecution. The burden of proof is much higher in a criminal action because the state must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Families could use a criminal conviction in a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death Claim

The survivors bring a wrongful death claim, and the person who is at fault does not face criminal consequences; they only have financial consequences. Additionally, the burden of proof is lower. To establish it, the person bringing a claim must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence.

In some scenarios, the state may pursue a homicide conviction while survivors are pursuing a wrongful death action. However, just because someone’s negligence led to a death, it does not mean that their actions will meet the requirements of homicide. Survivors should not let the absence of criminal charges prevent them from filing a Plaquemine wrongful death claim with the assistance of a skilled Tomeny | Best attorney.

Who Can File a Claim?

To file a wrongful death claim in Iberville Parish, a person must establish a blood or legal relationship with the deceased. The courts recognize natural relatives and adoptive relatives. However, the statute does not provide rights to live-in partners, stepchildren, and stepparents.

The statute creates tiers of people who can file a wrongful death claim. For the next tier to collect, there can be no survivors in the prior tier. Their order of priority is spouse and/or children, parents, siblings, and then grandparents. Someone must survive the deceased to bring the action. While the law places parents in the second tier, it does so with limitations, as a parent who abandons their child in childhood is ineligible to file a Plaquemine wrongful death action.

Statute of Limitations/Prescription Period

One of the most essential details to keep in mind when filing a wrongful death claim in Iberville Parish is that Louisiana has a short statute of limitations or “prescription period.” Most states give people two or more years to bring a wrongful death claim, but Louisiana only gives people one year. If a person waits longer than a year, they may be unable to bring a claim. In a wrongful death action, the beginning date of the statute of limitations is the date of death.

An Iberville Parish Attorney Could Help You Take the First Step in Filing a Wrongful Death Claim

When you are considering filing a wrongful death claim, talking to a well-versed attorney should be your first step. Our skilled legal team could review your case to determine whether you have a wrongful death claim, a survival action, or both.

They could also provide an idea of settlement amounts and jury awards for similar injuries and go over the steps for filing an Iberville Parish wrongful death action. Schedule a free consultation and speak to one of the compassionate attorneys at Tomeny | Best today.

Tomeny Best

Tomeny Best