Tomeny Best

When a loved one passes away, it can be difficult for family members to understand what steps they should legally take while they are overwhelmed with grief. While coping with death is difficult, for it to be considered wrongful, someone else must have caused the death due to an intentional action, sheer reckless behavior, or negligence.

Our compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Tomeny | Best focus on these cases and could examine your claim’s facts so you can understand how to file a Lafayette wrongful death action. Let us advocate for you during this challenging time so that you can focus on being with your family.

When Is Death Legally Wrongful?

Louisiana allows survivors to take two different types of actions after the death of a loved one: survival actions and wrongful death suits. These two suits are complementary but serve two functions. Wrongful death suits recover for the losses the survivors experience after a death. Survival actions are for the damages, pain, and suffering that a deceased person experienced before they died. Generally, wrongful death actions are more accessible than survival actions because they do not require demonstrating suffering on behalf of the deceased.

Louisiana Civil Code Art. 2315.2 establishes when a wrongful death action can be filed and by whom. In general, survivors who plan to take legal recourse must be relatives by blood or through adoption. Different groups of survivors have priority in bringing a suit, and the next category can only bring a suit if there are no survivors in the group above it. The categories move in this order:

  • Surviving spouse and/or children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

Parents who abandon their children when they are minors are not able to bring an action. A Lafayette attorney could determine whether there is any additional evidence that a person could use to see if they could bring a wrongful death action.

Proving Negligence for Wrongful Death

For a wrongful death case, a person must prove that negligence was involved. Their survivors bringing a claim must demonstrate three details to the court. They must show that a defendant owed the injured person a duty of reasonable care, that it was breached via action or inaction, and that the breach of duty was the legal and factual cause of the injuries the person sustained.

Before filing a wrongful death action in Lafayette, it may be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney from Tomeny | Best. Our skilled legal team could examine the circumstances surrounding a claim and provide professional advice about negligence’s role in the accident.

Options for Pursuing Damages

When filing a wrongful death action, Lafayette’s compensation includes general and special damages.

Special Damages

Special damages compensate the family for financial losses. Some examples of special damages include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost earnings, and the value of household services that the deceased would have provided. For example, if the decedent provided childcare while another person worked, the expense of hiring a childcare provider would be considered special damages.

General Damages

General damages are how the courts attempt to compensate people for non-financial losses. Grief and anguish at the loss of a loved one, as well as the loss of companionship, care, and emotional support, fall into this category.

Contact a Lafayette Attorney About Your Options for Filing a Wrongful Death Action Today

Louisiana has one of the shortest statutes of limitations for wrongful death actions, and you only have a year to bring a claim. Therefore, it is essential to bring a lawsuit as soon as possible.

When you are uncertain whether filing a Lafayette wrongful death action is a step you should take, consult a well-versed lawyer from Tomeny | Best, who could analyze the facts surrounding your circumstances and help you decide to move forward. Contact our firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Tomeny Best

Tomeny Best