When mourning the loss of a loved one, you may consider a civil suit against the person responsible. Even though it may be the right thing to do, filing a lawsuit might seem too emotional or burdensome.
While there is no doubt that filing a wrongful death suit can be taxing, it is one of the only ways to recover damages. These damages can be for economic and noneconomic losses that you and your family have suffered.
If you are thinking about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky, here’s an overview of you what you need to know about the process.
How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Kentucky
To start, you need to determine if you have the grounds to file.
According to a Kentucky statute, you can file a wrongful death claim when your loved one died as a result of the wrongful act or negligence of another.
Second, you need to determine if you personally can file the suit. In Kentucky, only the personal representative of a decedent’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim.
If you have grounds for a lawsuit and you are the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, then the process is as follows:
- Procure the appropriate paperwork. In order to file a civil suit, go to the circuit court’s office and obtain the proper paperwork. Fill out the paperwork, and then file it with the court.
- Serve the defendant. Once your file your suit, ensure that the defendant is served with the complaint.
- Gather evidence and prepare your case. If you haven’t already, gather supporting evidence. This may require talking to eyewitnesses, hiring accident reconstruction experts, working with medical experts, and more. You also need to prove the extent of damages.
- Understand the settlement process. The majority of civil claims settle out of court through negotiations with each party’s insurance company. Filing a lawsuit is rarely necessary. If you have to file a lawsuit because out-of-court negotiations fail, you may need to litigate your case before a court.
Working with an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer Is Key
If you believe that your loved one’s death was wrongful and due to the negligence of another, hire an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Kentucky.
Your attorney can help you well before your case ever needs to be filed before a court, assisting you in identifying the liable party, gathering evidence, issuing a demand letter, negotiating with an insurance adjuster, and more. If your claim does require a civil lawsuit and litigation, your lawyer can also represent you during each phase of this process and in court.