If your spouse or child dies in Louisiana because of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing, you have the right to sue that person for the wrongful death of your loved one. As FindLaw explains, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action where you sue the person responsible for your loved one’s death for monetary damages.
Most wrongful death suits arise after a person dies in a motor vehicle accident or as the result of medical malpractice. However, you can also bring a wrongful death action should your loved one die due to someone’s criminal misconduct, such as assault, battery, robbery, homicide or other crime. Bear in mind that in such a situation it makes no difference whether or not a jury convicts the person; your wrongful death action is separate and apart from any criminal prosecution.
Wrongful death damages
Wrongful death damages come in two types: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages consist of the losses that you and/or your loved one suffered to which a dollar amount can easily be shown. Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, consist of the intangible losses you and/or your loved one suffered to which it is impossible to assess a specific dollar amount. Put together, your wrongful death damages could include the following:
- The amount of your costs for your loved one’s medical and funeral expenses.
- The pain and suffering your loved one endured from the date of his or her injuries to the date of his or her death.
- The support you lost and will continue to lose as the result of your loved one’s death.
- The services and guidance you lost and will continue to lose as the result of your loved one’s death.
- The loss of inheritance you expected to receive from your loved one.
- The interest on any of the above amounts from the date your loved one died.
In addition to the above, the jury could award you punitive damages above and beyond your economic and noneconomic losses should it find that the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious. While no amount of money will ever compensate you for the loss of your loved one, prevailing in a wrongful death suit can help you through your grieving process and give you a sense of justice.
This educational information is not legal advice, but it can help you understand the different types of wrongful death damages.