Wrongful Death

WRONGFUL DEATH

INFORMATION AND WHAT TO DO

There are few experiences in life more difficult than losing a loved one. When the death of a loved one is caused by the negligent or wrongful acts of another, the grieving process can be even more troubling. At Murphy Law Firm, our Louisiana wrongful death attorneys are prepared to advocate for the rights of your family. We understand that what you are going through is extremely difficult, but with decades of experience and millions of dollars in recoveries, you can trust that your case will be in good hands at Murphy Law Firm.

Instead of the courts lumping them in with personal injury cases, wrongful death claims abide by their own laws and regulations in Louisiana. If a loved one has died in a car accident, workplace incident, animal attack, hospital, on someone else’s property, or because of a defective product, consult with one of our attorneys to see if you meet the elements of a wrongful death claim. Peyton Murphy and his associates can make sure your family does not miss any important deadlines or other requirements. Louisiana wrongful death laws to know include:

There are two types of "wrongful death" actions in Louisiana:

The survival action

The survival action means that the rights to the claim survive the decedent person for one year after the person's death.

A.  If a person who has been injured by an offense or quasi offense dies, the right to recover all damages for injury to that person, his property or otherwise, caused by the offense or quasi offense, shall survive for a period of one year from the death of the deceased in favor of:

(1)  The surviving spouse and child or children of the deceased, or either the spouse or the child or children.

(2)  The surviving father and mother of the deceased, or either of them if he left no spouse or child surviving.

(3)  The surviving brothers and sisters of the deceased, or any of them, if he left no spouse, child, or parent surviving.

(4)  The surviving grandfathers and grandmothers of the deceased, or any of them, if he left no spouse, child, parent, or sibling surviving.

B.  In addition, the right to recover all damages for injury to the deceased, his property or otherwise, caused by the offense or quasi offense, may be urged by the deceased’s succession representative in the absence of any class of beneficiary set out in Paragraph A.

C.  The right of action granted under this Article is heritable, but the inheritance of it neither interrupts nor prolongs the prescriptive period defined in this Article.

D.  As used in this Article, the words “child”, “brother”, “sister”, “father”, “mother”, “grandfather”, and “grandmother” include a child, brother, sister, father, mother, grandfather, and grandmother by adoption, respectively.

E.  For purposes of this Article, a father or mother who has abandoned the deceased during his minority is deemed not to have survived him.

Acts 1986, No. 211, §2; Acts 1987, No. 675, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1317, §1, eff. July 15, 1997.

Source

The wrongful death action

The wrongful death action is when the deceased dies in the accident:

A.  If a person dies due to the fault of another, suit may be brought by the following persons to recover damages which they sustained as a result of the death:

(1)  The surviving spouse and child or children of the deceased, or either the spouse or the child or children.

(2)  The surviving father and mother of the deceased, or either of them if he left no spouse or child surviving.

(3)  The surviving brothers and sisters of the deceased, or any of them, if he left no spouse, child, or parent surviving.

(4)  The surviving grandfathers and grandmothers of the deceased, or any of them, if he left no spouse, child, parent, or sibling surviving.

B.  The right of action granted by this Article prescribes one year from the death of the deceased.

C.  The right of action granted under this Article is heritable, but the inheritance of it neither interrupts nor prolongs the prescriptive period defined in this Article.

D.  As used in this Article, the words “child”, “brother”, “sister”, “father”, “mother”, “grandfather”, and “grandmother” include a child, brother, sister, father, mother, grandfather, and grandmother by adoption, respectively.

E.  For purposes of this Article, a father or mother who has abandoned the deceased during his minority is deemed not to have survived him.

Acts 1986, No. 211, §2; Acts 1997, No. 1317, §1, eff. July 15, 1997.

Source

Who Can File:

Initial filing rights go to the surviving spouse or children of the deceased person. If these parties do not exist, surviving parents get the right to file. Then, the rights fall to surviving siblings or surviving grandparents. Family members related to the decedent via adoption have the same rights to file as blood relatives. The decedent’s estate may bring the claim if there are no surviving family members.

Damages Available:

The damages, or forms of compensation, differ from other personal injury claims. The plaintiff can recover for the loved one’s pain and suffering, medical bills, property damage, and lost wages, but the courts can also award damages such as funeral and burial expenses, the lost value of household services, and the loss of the loved one’s love, care, support, guidance, and companionship.

Time Limit for Filing:

Louisiana has a shorter time limit for filing than most other states. While most states grant two to five years after the date of death, in Louisiana you only have one year from the date your loved one passes away to bring your claim with the local civil courts. If you try to file after this deadline, the courts will most likely dismiss your claim.

The unexpected death of your spouse, child, parent, or sibling caused because of someone else’s negligence can be impossible to come to terms with. At Murphy Law Firm, we can help you and your family in the face of wrongful death litigation. You need a strong, aggressive confidant to uphold your rights and fight for maximum compensation. If a loved one recently passed away and you suspect someone could – and should – have prevented the death, talk to our attorneys before it is too late. Our consultations are always 100% confidential and come with no fee or obligation to retain our firm.

Success Story:

A jury awarded a $1,800,000 verdict for a 34-year-old male who grabbed an electric line 12 inches from a rooftop and was electrocuted. The father made a claim for the death of his son. The electric line violated the National Electric Safety Code (NESC) and the protective insulation was worn off. Entergy of Louisiana claimed that the deceased son had 50% fault even though Entergy is considered a superior actor. After a three-day trial, the jury awarded $1,800,000. The jury held Entergy 65% at fault and the son 35% at fault for his death.

*Results May Vary*

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