What You Need to Know About Compensation For Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims allow certain individuals to seek financial compensation for the losses they’ve sustained from the death of a loved one, as a result of another person’s negligence (“accident”), recklessness, or intentional conduct such as in a car wreck, trucking accident with an 18-wheeler, offshore accident, or any other incident. Louisiana law places a value on the guidance, love, and support provided by a loved one to you during his or her lifetime and contemplates the potential losses that could result if that loved one is no longer there to provide those things to you. The wrongful death statute intends to provide compensation for those losses, under the following categories of damages. SPECIAL DAMAGES

  1. Loss of Wages – compensation for past and future loss of income that the decedent was providing to the household, calculated from the (1) date of death to the date of trial (past losses), and (2) from the date of trial through the duration of the decedent’s work-life expectancy (future losses).
  2. Loss of Support – compensation for the past and future loss of monetary support that was being provided to you, calculated from the (1) date of death to the date of trial (past losses), and (2) from the date of trial through the duration of the decedent’s work-life expectancy (future losses).
    1. Examples: a parent’s support for a child’s food, clothing, tuition, shelter, & etc.; and a spouse’s support to the other spouse for rent, utilities, mortgage, & etc.
  3. Loss of Services – compensation for the value of services that your spouse provided to the household prior to death, that you have to pay someone else to perform now.
  4. Funeral Services – funeral bills paid or being paid for your loved one’s funeral.
  5. Medical Bills – medical bills incurred for any medical treatment provided to the deceased.
  6. Hospital Bills – hospital bills incurred if the deceased was taken to the hospital.


  1. Loss of Love, Affection, and Companionship – compensation for the loss of love, affection, and companionship you sustained. The closeness of the relationship that existed between you and the deceased is a primary consideration when determining a proper award to you.
  2. Grief & Anguish – compensation for your grief and anguish from your loved one’s death. The closeness of the relationship that existed between you and the deceased, is a primary consideration here as well, when determining a proper award to you.
  3. Mental Pain, Suffering, and Distress – compensation for mental pain, suffering, and distress, IF you meet ALL of the following criteria:
    1. You are the spouse, child, or grandchild of the deceased;
    2. You viewed the event that cause the injury and death of your loved one or arrived at the scene of the event soon thereafter;
    3. The harm to your loved one was severe enough to reasonably expect that someone observing as you did, would suffer serious mental distress; and
    4. Your emotional distress must have been “severe, debilitating, and foreseeable.

Cost of Living Courts understand that the purchasing power of the dollar changes over time, so when granting awards, they constantly increase the awards by the rate of inflation. Class of Beneficiaries As mentioned in our previous article, you must fall under one of the proper “classes of beneficiaries” in order to bring a wrongful death claim in Louisiana. If you are unsure if you fall under one of those classes, I strongly advise that you immediately contact an attorney experienced in wrongful death lawsuits in Louisiana or click on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit to read our article entitled, “Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?” If you have recently lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing and you are a qualifying survivor of the wrongful death victim, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Call an experienced attorney in wrongful death lawsuits to discuss what compensation applies to you and how to receive that compensation. The Russell Law Firm, LLC represents clients in wrongful death cases throughout the State of Louisiana, including the parishes of East Baton Rouge Parish, West Baton Rouge Parish, Plaquemines Parish, Livingston Parish, Ascension Parish, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Charles Parish, Terrebonne Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafayette Parish, Lafourche Parish, Lafayette Parish, St. Landry Parish, Evangeline Parish; and the cities of Baton Rouge, Livingston, Denham Springs, Walker, Gonzales, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, Brusly, Addis, Lafayette, Napoleonville, Kenner, Harvey, Marrero, Estelle, Gretna, Metairie, New Orleans, Terrytown, Westwego, Ville Platte, Eunice, Opelousas, Thibodaux, Houma, Belle Chasse, and Hahnville. Danny Russell is an experienced and skilled attorney in wrongful death cases. If you have suffered the death of a loved one, call the Russell Law Firm, LLC at 225-307-0088 or visit our website at Russell Law Firm, LLC LLC. Mr. Russell will take a hands-on and aggressive approach towards compensating you for your losses. The Russell Law Firm, LLC offers free, no obligation, initial consultations.

By: Danny Russell, Esq.

Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice. ****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.

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