A loved one’s wrongful death has a devastating effect on a family, both emotionally and financially. While nothing can bring your loved one back, the Russell Law Firm can hold the responsible party accountable and bring justice to family members under the Louisiana wrongful death laws.

Wrongful death claims allow certain family members to seek financial compensation for the losses they sustained due to the death of another family member at the hands of someone else.

Wrongful death claims are litigated in “civil” court – not to be confused with “criminal” charges that are litigated in criminal court. If the responsible party committed a crime in the process of killing your loved one, such as in a drunk driving accident, any criminal charges that party might face are in addition to the wrongful death claim and are litigated separately from the wrongful death claim.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Although there are multiple people directly affected by the death of a loved one, not just anyone can file a wrongful death claim.

The Louisiana Wrongful Death Statute provides a list of certain individuals who can bring wrongful death claims. However, not everyone falling on the list can bring a wrongful death claim at the same time. The list prioritizes classes of individuals who can bring a claim, beginning with the lower numbered class and moving to the higher numbered class (top to bottom), as follows:

In numerical order based on who has the most priority (ascending order):

  • Spouses or Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents
  • Representatives of decedent’s estate

How long do you have to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Louisiana has a very short statute of limitations, or as we call it in Louisiana, “prescriptive period.” Generally, you have one year from the date of the death of your loved one to bring a lawsuit. Having an attorney review your case can help you understand the timeline of the wrongful death claim process and approximately how long the process will take. Building a viable case takes time, and that is why it is recommended that you speak with an attorney as soon as you are able.

What Types of Damages Are Available?

  • Loss of Support
  • Loss of Services
  • Loss of Love and Affection
  • Loss of Wages and Benefits
  • Mental Anguish
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses

For certain damages, such as loss of future wages, an expert, such as an economist, may be brought forward to assist in proving the amount of earnings the individual may have earned over their lifetime.

Common causes of wrongful death:

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Truck and Automobile Accidents
  • Defective Products
  • Dangerous Drugs
  • DWI Accidents
  • Maritime Accidents
  • Motorcycle Collisions
  • Nursing Home Neglect
  • Fatal Workplace Injuries or Occupational Diseases
  • Slip and Fall Incidents
  • Environmental Health Damages
  • Pedestrian & Cyclist Accidents