Wrongful Death & Survivor Damages in Lake Charles and Southwestern Louisiana
Lake Charles Wrongful Death and Survival Statute Lawyers
Injuries caused by the negligence of someone else give you a right to recover monetary damages to compensate you for your losses. However, if you or a loved one has suffered an injury, you likely know that money alone often cannot fully compensate for personal injury losses. Be that as it may, money is the only legal remedy available in these difficult situations and you should receive monetary damages for your loss. Lake Charles personal injury lawyers and Lake Charles wrongful death lawyers are experienced in assessing monetary awards and know what type of a settlement or award you might be able to expect from your claim.
When determining the value of a Lake Charles personal injury case, you must first consider the type and degree of loss or injury involved. The most severe loss is death, and there is a body of law dealing specifically with death. If your loved one has been involved in a tragic accident and died as a result, contact one of the Lake Charles wrongful death attorneys listed above today to discuss your options.
When someone is killed and the surviving family members believe a lawsuit may be in order, a Lake Charles wrongful death lawyer can help them assess the legal issues and prepare necessary documents and expert witnesses for trial. A Southwestern Louisiana wrongful death attorney will first assess who the proper parties are to make a claim.
Who can Recover Damages When Someone is Killed Through Negligence?
When someone is killed by the wrongful act of another in Louisiana, it is important to know who can recover damages. The following family members can make claims:
- Spouses - If the person who died (the decedent) was married, then the spouse is a proper party to file suit.
- Children - Natural and adopted children of the decedent may also maintain a wrongful death claim due to the death of their parent. There are sometimes large inequities in situations where a loving step-parent has raised someone else's child and then the step-parent dies. The hurt and emotional loss to the step-child is large, but Louisiana law does not currently allow recovery by a step-child. Lastly, it is significant that there is no restriction on the age that a child can be, should be, or must be to sue for the wrongful death of a parent. Even grown adult children have a cause of action to sue for wrongful death on behalf of their deceased parent and may wish to seek out the help of a Lake Charles wrongful death attorney in such cases.
- Parents - Parents of minor and of major (adult) natural and adopted children may also make a parental wrongful death claim.
- Estate - The decedent's Estate itself has a claim, under the Louisiana Survival Statutes, for anything the decedent could have sued for before he or she died.
What types of damages can be recovered when someone is wrongfully killed?
When negligence leads to a family member's death in Louisiana, there are multiple types of damages that can be recovered. The first are called survival damages. Survival claims are claims by the family that inherited when the decedent dies. This means the family can sue for anything that the decedent could have sued for between the instant he was injured and the instant he died.
For example, imagine that someone crossing the street when he is hit by a car. The driver doesn't stop. The person lays in the road, in serious pain, scared they will die and scared they might get hit by another car. It is dark, and another car does hit the person. The person lays in the road, knowing he will probably die, and just as the paramedics get him to the hospital, he loses consciousness and eventually dies. Survival damages are damages for the suffering that the man in the road experienced between when he was hit by the first car and when he died. This includes both physical pain, as well as fear and the knowledge that his life is about to end.
Louisiana allows the following types of recovery for a survival claim:
- Damages from the moment of the injury until the moment before death including physical pain and suffering that the decedent felt between being injured and dying;
- The mental anguish that the decedent felt between the time he was injured and the time he died; and
- The lost earnings from the time period when the decedent was injured but alive and unable to work.
The other type of damages allowed come from a Louisiana Wrongful Death claim. These damages allow the family to recover the damages they suffered as a result of their family member's death. The types of damages that family members can receive for wrongful death include:
- Loss of love, affection and companionship;
- Sorrow, grief and mental anguish;
- Loss of services (including household duties and chores);
- Loss of support from time of death to date of trial;
- Loss of future support;
- Loss of consortium (intimate relationship with a spouse); and
- Funeral and Medical expenses.
Negligent or Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
In some cases, Louisiana families may be put through severe emotional trauma and anguish due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing of another party. When this occurs, a Lake Charles personal injury attorney can help them pursue a claim for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED) or Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED). This claim may be brought in addition to other claims for monetary damages, and is often brought by the family members of an injury victim or deceased family member, for example, after witnessing a severe trauma inflicted upon their loved one. The specifics of when this type of claim can be brought are very complicated, but if you or your family members have witnessed a loved one who is a close relative being injured or killed due to negligence or intentional wrongdoing, and are now suffering mental anguish as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a Lake Charles personal injury attorney or Southwestern Louisiana personal injury attorney today to discuss your legal rights and remedies.
What legal actions should you take if your loved one has recently passed away?
When a family member or close friend passes on, it can be extremely difficult to think of all the mundane tasks that must be accomplished to get their estate in order, deal with bank accounts, pension funds, social security benefits, and any potential lawsuit you may want to pursue related to their death. If your loved one has been killed in a wrongful death accident, you may feel lost and need guidance on your proper course of action. Read a detailed list of steps you should take following the death of a family member.
How can a Lake Charles Wrongful Death Lawyer help you?
Lake Charles personal injury attorneys and Lake Charles wrongful death attorneys represent clients in claims involving a wide range of injuries and accidents and have the experience and skill necessary to get the job done right. Knowledge of a potential damage award is crucial to settling or successfully prosecuting any claim for personal injury or wrongful death and a Southwestern Louisiana personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer's experience with these types of cases can help you assess your options quickly.
Resources for those who have suffered the death of a loved one:
After a loved one has died, the last thing on your mind should be a difficult legal battle or lawsuit. However, if the death was due to negligence, recklessness, or malicious conduct, you may feel it is your duty to take legal action. In such cases, Lake Charles wrongful death attorneys can help you prepare your lawsuit, by arranging crucial witnesses, documentation, and evidence to present a strong case on behalf of your deceased family member. After a death, you may also find yourself in charge of preparing funeral arrangements and feel overwhelmed by small details in the face of such a traumatic experience. The following resources for funeral homes and florists may be helpful as you and your family prepare to bid your loved one farewell.
J. E. Hixson & Sons
Combre Funeral Home
James Funeral Home
Hixson Moss Bluff
King's Funeral Home
Fondel's Memorial Chapel
Johnson Funeral Home
Wendi's Flower Cart
The Flower Shop
Marilyn's Flowers & Catering
Mouton's Flower Shop
Kroger Floral Department
Jesse's House of Flowers
Heart Desires Florist
Moss Bluff Florist & Gift
Paradise Florist LLC
For your convenience, and to make this difficult time go by as easily as possible, we have also provided the following maps so that you and your family can locate a quality Lake Charles funeral home and florist near your home.
Lake Charles Funeral Homes
Lake Charles Florist Shops
Where can you find a Lake Charles Wrongful Death Attorney or Southwestern Louisiana Wrongful Death Attorney near you?
Serving clients throughout Southwestern Louisiana, including Carlyss, Holmwood, Iowa, Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Port of Lake Charles, Sulphur, Westlake, and other communities in Calcasieu Parish.
Lake Charles wrongful death law firms will zealously pursue your case through settlement negotiations or a trial. Call now for an explanation of your legal rights and options. Contact one of the experienced Louisiana wrongful death attorneys listed on this site for a free initial consultation and get justice for your loved one.