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New Orleans Wrongful Death Lawyer

Compassionate Legal Help for Families Who Have Lost Loved Ones

When you lose a loved one, it is always a painful and emotional time. But when a person’s death is not only unexpected but also the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, the trauma can be overwhelming. In these circumstances, the family members of the deceased may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. A wrongful death claim can allow families to recover compensation for their losses and hold negligent parties accountable for the harm they have caused.

At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we understand that no amount of money can bring back your loved one or make up for the pain you have suffered. However, we also know that families who have lost loved ones in preventable accidents often face significant financial burdens. That’s why we are committed to helping families recover the compensation they need to find some sense of justice and security after a tragedy.

Contact us online or by phone at (504) 226-6777 to request a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer at Mike Slocumb Law Firm.

What is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to a death that is caused by someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. When a person dies due to the wrongful conduct of another, the surviving family members and the deceased person’s estate may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil case, which means it is not brought by the state or federal government. Instead, it is filed by the surviving family members of the deceased person and is designed to compensate the family for the losses they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s untimely death.

Keep in mind that a wrongful death claim is a separate legal action from any criminal charges that may be filed against the person who caused the death. In some cases, a person who is responsible for another person’s death may face both criminal and civil charges. However, a wrongful death claim is a civil case, which means the goal is to recover monetary damages, not to punish the wrongdoer.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Louisiana, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is typically granted to certain family members or beneficiaries of the deceased. The Louisiana Civil Code outlines who has the legal standing to bring forth such a lawsuit.

Here's a breakdown:

  1. Surviving Spouse and Children: The surviving spouse and children of the deceased are generally the primary individuals with the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased had a surviving spouse but no children, the spouse is entitled to bring the lawsuit alone.
  2. Surviving Parents: If there is no surviving spouse or children, the surviving parents of the deceased may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
  3. Surviving Siblings: In cases where the deceased had no surviving spouse, children, or parents, surviving siblings may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
  4. Designated Beneficiaries: Louisiana law also allows designated beneficiaries, such as those named in the deceased's will or other legal documents, to bring forth a wrongful death claim if there are no surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings.

What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?

One of the most common questions we hear from clients is, “What is my wrongful death case worth?” It’s important to understand that every wrongful death claim is different. The value of your claim will depend on many factors, including the specific circumstances of your loved one’s death, the losses you have suffered, and the evidence you are able to present to support your claim.

Generally speaking, the damages available in a wrongful death claim fall into two categories: the damages suffered by the family members and the damages suffered by the deceased person’s estate. The family’s damages are typically non-economic in nature, which means they are not easily quantifiable. The damages suffered by the estate are more easily quantifiable and often involve economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

Some of the most common types of damages that may be available in a wrongful death claim include:

  • Medical expenses: If your loved one received medical treatment for the injuries that caused their death, you may be able to recover the cost of their medical care. This may include the cost of hospitalization, surgery, medication, and any other treatment they received.
  • Funeral and burial expenses: Funerals are expensive, and the cost of burying a loved one can be a financial burden. If you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to recover the cost of your loved one’s funeral and burial expenses.
  • Lost wages and benefits: If your loved one was a primary wage earner, their death may have left you and your family in a difficult financial situation. You may be able to recover the value of the wages and benefits your loved one would have earned if they had survived.
  • Lost inheritance: When a person dies, their family members may lose out on an inheritance that they would have otherwise received. If your loved one’s death has caused you to lose an inheritance, you may be able to recover the value of the inheritance in a wrongful death claim.
  • Loss of care, support, and guidance: A wrongful death can leave a family without a spouse, parent, or other loved one to provide care, support, and guidance. If you have lost a loved one in a preventable accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the loss of their care, support, and guidance.
  • Loss of consortium: The loss of a loved one can have a devastating impact on a person’s personal relationships. If you have lost a spouse or parent, you may be able to recover compensation for the loss of their love, companionship, and support.
  • Pain and suffering: The family members of a person who dies in a preventable accident may be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering their loved one experienced as a result of their fatal injuries.
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, the family members of a person who dies in a preventable accident may be able to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the family for their losses. Instead, they are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. Punitive damages are typically only available in cases where the wrongdoer’s conduct was especially egregious.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Louisiana, surviving family members have one year from the date of the wrongful death to file a claim. If the lawsuit is not filed within this one-year period, then the family cannot file a claim whatsoever.

How Can a Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Me?

When you lose a loved one, you may be unsure of what to do next. You are likely dealing with a wide range of emotions, and you may not be in the right frame of mind to handle complex legal issues. That’s where a wrongful death attorney can help.

Our New Orleans wrongful death attorney can answer your questions, help you understand your rights, and guide you through the legal process. We can also handle all aspects of your case, from gathering evidence to negotiating with insurance companies to filing a lawsuit on your behalf. This can allow you to focus on what matters most: grieving your loved one and healing.

Call (504) 226-6777 or contact us online today to let us guide you through the complexities of your case.

Client Testimonials

  • I thank Mike Slocumb so much for changing my life.

    “I thank Mike Slocumb so much for changing my life. David and Mike were like Angels to me. I didn’t know if I would ever walk again.”

  • Mr. Gracie handled my case, he was superb.

    “Mr. Gracie is really, really experienced and an exceptional lawyer.”

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  • Great Communication!

    “I dealt with Lowell Moore here and I’ll recommend him to anyone, anytime! The defining factor was his communication... I was able to always deal with Lowell firsthand about any questions or concerns I had.”

  • Incredible Attorney!

    “Attorney Lowell Moore was awesome in the whole process! He kept us included in every move made for our accident/injury case. Never had an issue with communication and he really showed us he cares about his clients!!!”

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