Louisiana Wrongful Death Attorney
When a loved one has died as the result of another’s negligent conduct, you may file a Wrongful Death suit. In Louisiana, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within one year from the date of death. Nothing can bring back your loved one, but finding justice can help ease your emotional pain and a settlement can alleviate financial losses caused by your loved one’s death.
Louisiana wrongful death lawyer Thomas V. Alonzo represented the family of a railroad worker who was crushed by an 18 wheel truck in Iberia Parish, Louisiana. The wrongful death lawsuit filed against the trucking corporation sought damages from the defendant including wage loss, loss of support, medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. After a four day jury trial, the jury returned a favorable verdict awarding the victim’s family a substantial monetary award.
How Do I Recognize a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim can result from a variety of negligent actions including medical malpractice, a traffic collision, a workplace accident, or a malfunctioning product. Someone who causes another person’s death through carelessness or malice could be responsible for a wrongful death. Examples of wrongful death would be a drunk driver who strikes and kills a pedestrian, a fatal blow to the head in a fight, or a death caused by an industrial explosion at an improperly maintained construction site.
Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation
If you are unsure whether you have a wrongful death claim, contact Thomas V. Alonzo for a free evaluation of your case. (337) 704-2615.
Who Can File a Louisiana Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When an accident, such as a car collision or construction accident, has caused a wrongful death, a spouse, parent, and child of a wrongful death victim may be able to sue the negligent party for emotional and economic losses. However, in Louisiana, spouses and children have the primary cause of action. When the victim does not have a living spouse or children, then the parents will have the primary cause. If the victim does not have a spouse, children or living parents, then the siblings have primary cause. Finally, if the victim does not have any of the above, then the grandparents will have primary cause. This is the order of family members who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Louisiana:
1. Spouse and children
How Is a Wrongful Death Award Calculated?
While the victim will not benefit from the financial award from a lawsuit, the family will be able to recover for losses that result from the death. Legal recovery includes:
All loss of wages or earnings. A wife or husband who has a spouse killed as a result of negligence may recover all of the lost wages of the deceased spouse. For example, if a 31 year old working nurse was earning $42,000 a year, the surviving spouse would be able to recover the amount the spouse would have made for the 30-35 years they would likely have worked until retirement. This would be approximately $1.2 – $1.4 million. Thomas Alonzo uses expert testimony from an economist who will use the victim’s tax and work records to show future income loss.
Medical expenses. Any past medical expenses including funeral expenses are recoverable
Future expenses. If the family incurs an additional cost as a result of a loved one’s death, that expense is recoverable. For example, if a widowed husband must now hire a babysitter for the children, that expense should be paid by the negligent party. Thomas Alonzo will work with you to determine all of your losses.
Loss of consortium. This is the legal term for emotional loss. The defendant should compensate the family for the emotional pain it suffers as a result of the death of their loved one. Mr. Alonzo will use expert testimony for this type of recovery because the jury or judge will place a financial value on this claim.
Pre-death pain and suffering. In addition to the claims of the family, the decedent or his estate has a cause of action for his or her pain and suffering before death. For example, if the victim survived for two months in a hospital before dying, the pain and suffering associated with this period of time is compensative.
How Do You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Louisiana?
The victim’s family has one year from the accident to file a Louisiana wrongful death claim. But if the family suspects that their loved one’s death was caused by another’s negligence, they should start the process as soon as they are able. Thomas Alonzo has experience handling Louisiana wrongful death lawsuits and knows time is of the essence. He will hire an investigator to immediately gather all facts, reconstruct the accident, go to the accident scene if possible, talk to witnesses, and document what occurred. This is done to establish that another person is at fault for the death and also to preserve the accident scene. Many wrongful deaths happen at businesses, worksites, roadways, and other sites that are constantly changing.
Mr.Alonzo will hire experts who calculate what the compensation should be for future lost wages, loss of companionship, emotional pain, and suffering. Wrongful death lawsuits, like personal injury lawsuits, are handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that the Thomas V. Alonzo Law Firm will pay all of the costs for filing, investigating and litigating the claim, and then will receive a portion of the compensation. If you have any questions about filing a wrongful death claim in Louisiana, please call (337) 704-2615 for a free case review.
Thomas V. Alonzo Can Help You File a Claim
Attorney Thomas V. Alonzo has the experience to personally guide you through the process of filing a Louisiana wrongful death claim. Mr. Alonzo will take the time to answer your questions and explain each step of litigating your claim. The initial consultation is free, and fees are on a contingency basis — you will be never be charged unless your claim is successful.