Are you struggling after the untimely loss of a loved one in Lafayette, Louisiana? Was their death caused by someone else’s negligent or intentional conduct? You may be able to hold the at-fault party financially responsible for your losses.
We have over a decade of experience and are dedicated to securing fair settlements and verdicts for our deserving clients.
Contact our law office online to schedule a free initial consultation. We’re here to offer compassionate, honest legal advice and guide you and your family through the complex wrongful death claim process.
How Kenny Habetz Injury Law Can Help With Your Wrongful Death Claim in Lafayette, LA
A lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind if your family is grieving after a fatal accident. However, although money won’t bring your loved one back, it can help if you relied on them for financial support.
If you retain a Lafayette personal injury lawyer from Kenny Habetz Injury Law for help with your wrongful death case, we’ll:
- Investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the fatal accident to identify every party who may share liability
- Gather evidence proving each element of your claim
- Calculate the full extent of your losses, including financial and personal damages
- Negotiate with insurance companies and others for a fair settlement
- Litigate the case in a court in Lafayette Parish if we fail to secure an agreeable settlement
It’s crucial to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after your loss. Louisiana’s statute of limitations only gives you one year to take legal action, and it takes time to build a solid case.
Our Lafayette, LA personal injury law firm offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation, so contact us today for immediate assistance.
What Is Wrongful Death in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, specified surviving family members can file a wrongful death action if their loved one died due to the fault of another person.
A wrongful death claim is a civil matter filed to recover compensation on behalf of the decedent’s survivors. It is separate from any criminal proceedings that the State might initiate to hold the defendant criminally responsible for their actions.
For example, if a drunk driver killed your loved one, the State of Louisiana may file criminal charges, and the defendant may have to serve jail time and pay fines to the state. You can file a separate wrongful death claim against the defendant to seek compensation for your damages, including funeral costs and other losses.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Lafayette?
Louisiana law allows the following family members of a decedent to file a wrongful death action:
- Surviving spouse and/or children
- Surviving parents if there’s no surviving spouse or children
- Surviving siblings if there’s no surviving spouse, children, or parents
- Surviving grandparents if there’s no surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings
This includes children, siblings, parents, and grandparents by adoption. However, it doesn’t include a parent who abandoned the decedent when they were a minor.
What is a Survival Action?
Family members can file a survival action in Louisiana if the decedent survived for a period of time after the accident. While a wrongful death action seeks compensation on behalf of the surviving family, survival actions seek compensation on behalf of the decedent.
For example, someone survived a truck accident and was transported to the ER. They spent several days fighting for their life but ultimately died from their injuries. A survival action would allow you to pursue compensation for the victim’s medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.
How Common Are Fatal Accidents in Louisiana?
According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, around 987 people died in statewide car accidents in 2021. Most of these fatalities involved roadway departures (54%), driving under the influence (40%), and failing to wear a seat belt (34%).
Another 141 people were killed in fatal workplace accidents in Louisiana. Most of the fatal occupational injuries resulted from transportation incidents (37%), exposure to harmful substances (21%), violence (13%), and slip and fall accidents (13%).
What Causes Most Fatal Injuries in Lafayette?
Any type of accident or incident can lead to someone’s untimely death in Lafayette, LA, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Boating accidents
- Bus accidents
- Assault and other acts of violence
- Injuries caused by defective products (product liability)
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
If you lost a loved one in Lafayette, LA, contact our wrongful death lawyers to learn more about your legal rights.
What Is My Lafayette Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The value of a wrongful death claim depends on many different factors. Fatal accidents can happen in many different ways, and all victims, surviving family members, and defendants are unique.
Here are the details that can impact how much your wrongful death claim is worth:
- The financial support your loved one provided, including household income and employment benefits
- The decedent’s life expectancy
- The costs you incurred due to the fatality, such as funeral and burial expenses
- The loss of emotional support you and your family have endured
- The age of dependent children the decedent left behind
- Whether your loved one contributed in any way to the cause of their untimely death
- The strength of your evidence
Hiring a wrongful death attorney is the best way to ensure that you are fully compensated for your losses. Contact us today to learn more about calculating the value of your case.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Lafayette Wrongful Death Action?
Surviving family members can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages incurred due to their loved one’s death.
Economic damages in a wrongful death claim could include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial costs
- Lost financial support, including benefits and income
- Out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to your loved one’s death
Non-economic damages could include:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of household services the decedent would’ve provided had they lived
- Loss of support, including parental guidance and emotional support
It can be challenging to calculate damages in a wrongful death claim – especially non-economic losses. Our Lafayette wrongful death attorneys know how to identify losses and put a fair dollar value on them.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Fatal Accident in Louisiana?
Many fatal accidents are due to negligence – meaning they result from another person’s carelessness.
To prove negligence in a wrongful death case, you need to establish the following elements:
- Duty of care: The defendant owed the victim a duty of care. Individuals owe others an obligation to avoid causing harm or injuries.
- Breach of duty: The defendant’s conduct was unreasonable under the circumstances (in other words, they acted carelessly or recklessly, breaching their duty of care).
- Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty directly led to or caused the victim’s death.
- Damages: You and/or your family suffered losses due to the victim’s death.
Proving each element of negligence in a Louisiana wrongful death claim requires evidence, which could include:
- Accident reports, police reports, and other documentation arising from the fatal incident
- Medical records, if available
- Videos and photos of the accident scene
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert witness opinions and testimony
- Statements, bills, and invoices showing the expenses you’ve incurred due to the death
- Testimony regarding the loss of support you and your family have endured due to your loss
Contact us for more information regarding how to prove a wrongful death case in Lafayette.
Can I Recover Compensation If My Loved One Is Blamed for Their Fatal Accident in Lafayette, LA?
Louisiana follows a pure comparative fault rule, meaning you can recover compensation even if your family member contributed to their fatal accident. However, the fault apportioned to your loved one will reduce your financial recovery.
For example, if the decedent was 40% responsible for causing a deadly car accident, you’ll only be entitled to 60% of your awarded compensation.
Insurance companies use comparative negligence to limit the amount they have to pay. And oftentimes, they don’t have evidence to support their claim. Contact our Lafayette wrongful death attorneys if your loved one is being blamed. We’ll fight these allegations and work to maximize the compensation you receive.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Louisiana?
Louisiana’s statute of limitations only gives you one year from your loved one’s date of death to file a wrongful death claim. If you miss the statutory deadline, you’ll lose your legal right to hold the at-fault party responsible for the loss of your loved one’s support.
Contact our personal injury lawyers in Lafayette as soon as possible so that we can begin gathering evidence and building a strong case.
Contact Our Lafayette Wrongful Death Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Did you lose a loved one in an avoidable, unexpected accident in Lafayette, LA? Kenny Habetz Injury Law is here to help you pursue justice and financial accountability from the responsible party.
Contact our experienced Lafayette wrongful death lawyer for a free legal consultation. We’ll discuss your options, what you can expect throughout the process, and the compensation you can seek.
Wrongful Death Lawyer Review
Our Lafayette, LA personal injury law office also provides:
- Car Accident Attorney in Lafayette, LA
- Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Lafayette, LA
- Boating Accident Attorney in Lafayette, LA
- Brain Injury Lawyer in Lafayette, LA
- Construction Accident Lawyers in Lafayette, LA
- Maritime Injury Attorney in Lafayette, LA
- Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Lafayette, LA
- Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Lafayette, LA
- Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Lafayette, LA
- Premises Liability Lawyers in Lafayette, LA
- Truck Accident Attorney in Lafayette, LA
- Workplace Accident Lawyer in Lafayette, LA
- Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers in Lafayette, LA
- Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Lafayette, LA
- Product Liability Attorney in Lafayette, LA