Coping with the loss of a loved one is one of the most challenging times in your life. When the family member’s death was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, the grieving process becomes even more trying. Even the fact that you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit doesn’t take away all of the pain, but it does provide some closure and relieves any financial burdens that the death of your loved one may have caused.
The first step to take toward filing a wrongful death claim is to contact a wrongful death lawyer Louisville as soon as possible. This is a move best made as soon as possible after the event while the details are fresh. This contributes to the strength of the case so that full compensation can be pursued.
Why Wrongful Death Happens
There are many accidents that can lead to wrongful death. Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, falling objects, assaults, complications from slip and fall injuries, animal attacks, and much more can lead to a person losing their life. There is really no good reason for the wrongful death of another human being. Wrongful death can happen in any of the following types of accident cases:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Pedestrian accidents
- Animal attacks
- On-the-job accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
The list can go on and on because a person can cause an accident through their own negligence in virtually any situation. Doctors can prematurely discharge patients, a pharmacist can dispense the wrong prescription, or a third party can cause an accident on a construction site. The possibilities are seemingly endless.
Four Things You Should Know About Kentucky’s Wrongful Death Law
1. Claims are Brought Under the State’s Wrongful Death Statute
If your family member or loved one was killed in an accident in Louisville, your claim will generally be brought under the Kentucky wrongful death statute (Kentucky Revised Statute 411.130).
This statute allows a personal representative of the victim to seek compensation for the wrongful death. Among other things, the Kentucky wrongful death laws govern when the claim needs to be filed, what plaintiffs must establish to be successful, how much financial relief should be made available, and how the financial recovery will be distributed.
2. Liability is Generally Based on Negligence
In most Kentucky wrongful death cases, liability is fundamentally based on negligence. To hold one or more defendants legally liable for your loved one’s passing, you must be able to prove that their reckless or careless conduct contributed to the death. When the wrongful death occurred because of a willful or grossly negligent act, punitive damages may be available.
3. A ‘Personal Representative’ of the Deceased is Responsible for Filing the Claim
Another key thing to know about the wrongful death statute Kentucky is that the legal claim itself must be filed by a personal representative of the deceased — often the estate of the victim. This representative is responsible for protecting the rights and interests of all parties that have a legal claim. This includes spouses, children, parents, and other dependants.
4. There is a Strict Statute of Limitations
The Kentucky wrongful death statute of limitations requires most claims to be filed within one year of the date of the victim’s death (Kentucky Revised Statute 413.180). Though in some cases, the deadline may be adjusted slightly.
Still, there is no time to waste to take action. If your family member was killed in an accident, you should consult with an experienced Louisville wrongful death attorney immediately.
Compensation for Wrongful Death
When a person loses their spouse or children lose a parent, Kentucky allows them to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There are certain items taken into consideration by the court when determining the damages that the family can receive. Those are:
- Compensation for the lost earnings by the deceased
- The degree to which the survivors financially depended on the deceased
- Loss of companionship
- Expenses incurred by the survivors for any medical costs and funeral costs
- The savings account balance of the deceased
While these are expenses that the law says are compensable under a wrongful death, these cases can be complicated. While the complexity shouldn’t be a deterrent for filing a wrongful death claim, it is important to go into the case knowing that your attorney will work diligently to overcome every hurdle that presents itself during the case.
Other things to expect from your attorney include answers to your questions when you need them, advice that will help you make informed decisions in your case, support where you need it the most, advocacy designed to get the results that you and your family need, and the understanding that what you are going through is one of the hardest things you will ever have to deal with in your life. Your loved one can’t be brought back by winning a wrongful death case, but you can experience some justice in the matter.
Hear from One of Our Clients:
“Brad immediately contacted me back regarding a legal issue. He took the time to listen, assess the situation and put our best interest first. He genuinely cares about his clients. He definitely knows his stuff and I would recommend him to anyone looking for an amazing attorney.”
Call an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one because of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it is your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.
With the help of the Harville Law Offices, PLLC, you can recover compensation that will help you and your family get back on your feet. To learn more please click here to read my legal summary of wrongful death in Kentucky, or call today at (502) 245-2333 to speak with a qualified attorney. You can also fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation.