Wrongful Death Elements: Do I Have a Case?

  • October 9th, 2018

wrongful death elementsWrongful death lawsuits are a kind of personal injury or tort claim. They are brought on behalf of a deceased victim by either their estate or their family.

Each state regulates:

  • How they try wrongful death lawsuits are tried,
  • Who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit, and
  • What the statute of limitations is on a wrongful death lawsuit.

In most cases, however, the standard of proof remains the same.

The attorneys at the Harville Law Offices have successfully litigated wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of grieving family members.

Our attorneys can help you and your loved ones recover damages if a loved one has been taken from you due to another’s negligence. Give us a call or contact us online for more information.

Below are the wrongful death elements in Kentucky.

Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

No matter how good your case is, if you don’t file it in time, you will never get another chance to file it.

The statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits in Kentucky is one year, unless the wrongful death claim stems from a motor vehicle accident. That means that your lawsuit must be filed within a one-year period of your loved one’s death. In motor vehicle wrongful death claims, you have two years from the date of the accident to file. If you don’t, you will not be able to file the lawsuit at all.

What is Wrongful Death, Exactly?

The State of Kentucky defines wrongful death as when either an intentional act or an act of negligence results in the death of another person (Kentucky Statutes § 411.130). While intentional acts are straightforward enough, negligence requires some explanation.

Negligence presupposes that an at-fault party in a wrongful death lawsuit owed the individual they harmed a duty of care.

For instance, drivers owe one another a duty of care to drive responsibly and according to traffic laws. Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care to treat them competently and to the best of their ability. Property owners owe others whom they invite on their property a duty of care to ensure that the property safe. If someone were to slip and fall on icy steps or in an icy parking lot, for instance, they would be liable.

The next factor in proving negligence is that there was a breach in the duty of care. As a result of that breach, a life was lost.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

There are very strict rules in place as to who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

After your loved one passes, the probate court will assign an administrator to their estate or they themselves will have assigned an executor if there was a will. The administrator will then bring the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the victim’s estate.

Separate damages are awarded to close relatives such as spouses, dependants, or others if there is no spouse and no dependant.

Contact a Kentucky Wrongful Death Attorney to Learn More about the Elements of Wrongful Death

These are several of the elements of wrongful death.

If another’s negligence or intentional malice took the life of a loved one, you, as a surviving member of their family, are entitled to collect damages from the at-fault party.

Harville Law Offices’ wrongful death attorneys can help you file this claim and will fight to see that you hold the at-fault party accountable for their carelessness.

To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call us at (502) 245-2333.


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