Lake Charles Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Lake Charles Wrongful Death Attorney

Coping with the death of a loved one is stressful. You must be there to support your family while making funeral arrangements. While it may not seem like the time to think about the financial impact of your loved one’s death, you must consider how it will affect your family’s future. When another party is at fault for your loved one’s passing, you should discuss your situation with a Lake Charles wrongful death lawyer.

If a family member died in an accident caused by a negligent individual, employer, or manufacturer, there is hope. In these situations, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit for financial compensation. This can help with the financial impact of a loved one’s death and bring you and your family some peace in the days to come. It can also hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. This process is made much easier with an experienced attorney by your side.

Find Committed Wrongful Death Attorneys in Calcasieu Parish

Losing a family member and loved one is always going to be impossibly overwhelming. When their death should have been avoidable if individuals took proper care, it can leave you and your family with even more anger and frustration. Financial compensation through a wrongful death claim will not replace your loss, but it can provide you with financial stability during this time.

Wrongful death cases are common, but they are not an easy process. The good news is the Lake Charles wrongful death lawyers at the Cox Law Firm are here to help. We’ll take care of the paperwork and phone calls, handling every detail so you can focus on your family. Our firm has more than 135 years of combined legal experience, and we use our knowledge to give a claim its greatest chance of success. Our team works collaboratively to give you the most legal support possible.

At the Cox Law Firm, we are aware of the immense emotional, legal, and financial difficulties you are likely facing. We work diligently to provide you with caring, straightforward, and efficient legal representation. Our team investigates the accident, determines if another party is at fault, helps you understand the worth of your claim, and walks you through every other step in the filing and negotiating process.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death is any fatality resulting from the negligent actions of an individual or organization. The deceased may have died during the incident or at a later date from their injuries. The at-fault party may be a single person, a company, an employer, or other parties.

These claims are filed when the deceased could have filed a personal injury claim, had they survived the accident or injury. Negligence is the most common cause for wrongful death claims, but acts of intentional misconduct can also be the basis for wrongful death claims. In some cases, a party is held strictly liable, such as a product manufacturer that creates an unreasonably dangerous product.

Wrongful death lawsuits provide compensation to the deceased’s living family members. There’s no need to prove the at-fault party is guilty or acted maliciously since wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases, only that the at-fault party had a duty to act with reasonable care and failed to do so. All the things below need to be proven in a wrongful death case in Louisiana:

  • Someone died.
  • The death was the result of a person’s or party’s negligent actions.
  • That person or party owed the deceased a duty of care.
  • The surviving family has suffered financially.

If all these elements are provable, then the party is considered at fault and liable for the total economic and noneconomic damages suffered by the surviving family members.

Not all deaths are eligible for wrongful death claims. It’s important to discuss your unique situation with an attorney to determine the viability of a claim. Your attorney can investigate and determine if there is evidence to prove fault for the incident.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?

Only certain family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana.

Only certain family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana. Who can file a lawsuit depends on the surviving family. Depending on the victims’ family situation depends on who can file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claim can be filed by family members in the following order:

  • The victim’s spouse or children
  • If there is no spouse or children, the victim’s parents may file a lawsuit
  • If there are no parents, a lawsuit may be filed by the victim’s siblings
  • The victim’s grandparents may file a lawsuit if there are no siblings,
  • Family members related to the deceased by adoption or marriage may also file a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • If there are no living family members, the person managing the deceased’s estate can file the lawsuit.

Some unique circumstances can disqualify family members, such as if a parent abandoned the deceased during their years of minority.

What Is the Highest Wrongful Death Settlement?

The value of a wrongful death settlement will depend entirely on the direct financial losses suffered by a family, the severity of the emotional damages, and whether the at-fault party acted in a grossly negligent manner. When you prove that a party is at fault, they are liable for all the compensable damages caused by the incident, which may be anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. More severe financial losses will result in a higher settlement.

What Damages Can Be Awarded for Wrongful Death Suits?

The family members filing a wrongful death lawsuit can seek compensation for economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are measurable and include things like:

  • Funeral & Burial or Cremation Costs
  • Medical Expenses From Before Death
  • Lost Wages/Loss of Earned Income
  • Loss of Household Services
  • Loss of Benefits and Inheritance
  • Property Damage Expenses

Noneconomic damages are damages without a set financial value. Rather, they are the emotional and life losses that are recognized by the court as deserving financial compensation. These damages can be difficult to accurately calculate without an attorney. Noneconomic damages include losses like:

  • Mental and Physical Suffering of the Deceased
  • Loss of Companionship
  • Loss of Society
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Emotional Anguish
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Most claims only result in these compensatory damages. If the actions of the at-fault party are considered grossly negligent or showing reckless disregard for others’ safety, then the court may provide punitive damages. These are assigned to punish the at-fault party.

What Can Cause a Wrongful Death Situation?

The cause of your loved one’s wrongful death is essential to determining the at-fault party. Even the mildest accident or injury can result in wrongful death. As lawyers, we have handled wrongful death cases caused by:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

These include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and vehicle accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians. Any type of motor vehicle accident can result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. When smaller passenger cars collide with large commercial trucks or less-protected motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians collide with larger vehicles, fatalities are more likely.

When a driver is distracted, under the influence, or otherwise behaving negligently, they may be liable for the damages. You may be able to file a car insurance claim against the at-fault driver as a surviving family member, or you could file a civil wrongful death claim.

Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries can happen at any workplace. Some worksites are especially hazardous, such as offshore oil rigs, natural gas drills, construction sites, and maritime operations. These work locations are more likely to have incredibly dangerous and fatal accidents, like heavy machinery accidents, vehicle collisions, explosions, and fires.

Chemical Exposure

Exposure to dangerous chemicals is more common if someone works with them at their worksite on a day-to-day basis. If an employee isn’t provided with the right protective gear or equipment, they could suffer chemical burns or developmental conditions from constant exposure. Contamination can also occur if spills or explosions affect the air, soil, or water around an industrial location.

Construction Accidents

There are many potentially fatal hazards on these worksites. Construction accidents include falls, falling objects, collapsing trenches, heavy machinery malfunctions, and vehicle accidents.

Offshore & Maritime Accidents

Maritime and offshore employees have some of the most hazardous and deadly forms of employment. When maritime employees die, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. Family members, in some cases, can also file under the Jones Act for additional compensation.

Dog/Animal Attacks

Dog bites and attacks are the most common form of animal attacks, but other domesticated and wild animal attacks also occur. In Louisiana, you must prove that a pet owner was negligent to hold them liable for an attack by a domesticated animal. Wild animal attacks only qualify for wrongful death claims in very specific situations, such as if a property owner was aware of the danger of these attacks and failed to take measures to keep guests safe.

Catastrophic Injuries

Many types of accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. These injuries include traumatic brain injuries, neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe burns, disfigurement, and loss of limbs.

Other causes of wrongful death claims include medical malpractice, medical negligence, defective products, and violent crime.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for These Types of Claims?

According to Louisiana Civil Code Ann. Art. 2315.1, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is one year from the date of death. This is an extremely short window and is one of the many reasons you’ll need an experienced Lake Charles wrongful death lawyer. If the lawsuit is filed past the statute of limitations, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss the claim, denying the compensation you’re entitled to.

When Should I Contact an Attorney?

No amount of money can replace your loss.

That said, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is one way you can get financial stability for your family.

While you can handle a wrongful death lawsuit on your own, the defendant’s insurance company will make it difficult. They will try to settle out of court, often offering your family far less than they deserve. They don’t care that you are suffering; they want to close the case and pay as little as possible. If you suspect that a loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, you may have a case.

Our job is to negotiate a fair settlement. If an agreement can’t be reached, we will take your case to court. We will defend your best interests and do everything to secure your family’s financial well-being. All you need to do is schedule a free consultation with the attorneys at the Cox Law Firm.

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