Wrongful Death Attorney Shreveport / Bossier
Have you lost a loved one due to another person’s reckless or negligent actions? Do you feel like there’s nothing you can do to bring justice for your loved one or worry that their loss will create financial problems for you and your family? You have options. If this sounds like you, you may want to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. At the law office of Michael J. Vergis, we understand how hard this time in your life can be and we want to help. Shreveport Attorney at Law Michael J. Vergis will work with you to defend the honor of your loved one and hold the guilty parties responsible for prematurely taking them away from you.
Wrongful Death FAQs
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim that a person may bring when the negligent (or intentional) act of another individual or entity directly causes the death of another person. These types of claims allow a representative of the estate or a loved one of the deceased person to file a lawsuit with the court against the party who is responsible for their death. These types of lawsuits generally allow the family of the decedent to recover damages in the form of compensation for the loss of their loved one.
A wrongful death lawsuit differs from that of a criminal conviction, though. One does not need to be found guilty in a criminal case in order to be found guilty in a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Causes a Wrongful Death?
There are various circumstances that might result in someone’s wrongful death. Generally speaking, any negligent act that a person could have prevented with reasonable care that results in another’s death constitutes a wrongful death claim. Here are a few more specific examples of causes of wrongful death:
- Medical Malpractice
- If a physician or other medical professional fails to provide the standard level of care for a patient, which results in that patient’s death, they may be held liable for wrongful death. This may be anything from a misdiagnosis to a surgical injury to a prescription error.
- Auto Accidents
- An auto accident may refer to an accident involving a car, truck, 18-wheeler, motorcycle, or even bicycle. Auto accidents are the most common cause of a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Product Liability
- Death that results from a product, whether it be a faulty design or manufacturing error, can be a basis for one of these lawsuits. There may be a long list of guilty parties in product liability cases, including designers, manufacturers, distributors, and sellers. All of these parties are legally responsible for minimizing the risk of potential harm of the product in which they are selling to the public. Failure to do so can lead to a consumer’s death and bring about a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Premises Liability
- Land and property owners are required to make a reasonable effort in maintaining the safety of their environment for visitors. If someone dies on another person or entitys’ premises and the court finds there were dangerous conditions that could and should have been prevented, there is a strong case provided for a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Work-Related Accidents
- Employers have a responsibility to keep their work environment safe for all employees. A work-related death that occurs as a result of company negligence (i.e. fires or explosions, faulty equipment, improper training, unsafe environment, etc.) offers the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Each state possesses its own laws regarding who is able to file a wrongful death claim for the deceased person. In several states, only a representative of the estate is eligible to file the claim on behalf of the decedent’s family. Louisiana’s wrongful death laws allow the family members themselves to file the claim directly.
However, there is a specific order in which relatives are able to file. It looks like this:
- The surviving spouse or children of the deceased person; or
- If there are no surviving spouse or children, the surviving parent or parents, or;
- If there are no surviving parents, the surviving siblings of the deceased person, or;
- If there are no surviving siblings, the surviving grandparents of the deceased person.
If there are no surviving family members to bring forth the claim, a representative of the estate may do so.
How Much Can You Sue for Wrongful Death?
There is no way to determine how much a wrongful death case may be worth without first understanding the facts of the case. The circumstances surrounding the death must first be analyzed, and then the damages will be tacked on. Damages in a wrongful death suit include the following:
- Any pain and suffering the person endured before their death
- Medical treatment costs
- Funeral/burial costs
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Loss of services + the value of those services
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of care
- Loss of companionship and consortium
How Long Does a Wrongful Death Case Last?
Just as there is no surefire way to tell the worth of a wrongful death lawsuit without knowing the facts, there is no way to know for certain how long the case will last. Most cases often take around a year to conclude. However, in some cases, it may take as long as a few years or as little as a couple months. Again, the timeline of the case depends on a number of factors involved. Having an attorney like Michael J. Vergis can ensure your case moves forward at the quickest possible rate.
How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim?
The statute of limitations in Louisiana grants relatives of a deceased person one year from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim with the court. Failure to file within this one-year period may result in a dismissal of your case as time-barred. Contact a legal representative immediately to ensure your time limit to file a claim does not expire.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Following the death of a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is dealing with the legalities and technicalities of a lawsuit. When filing a claim with Louisiana wrongful death attorney Michael J. Vergis, however, the vast majority of this will be taken care of. All you need to do is determine who in your family is going to be the one making the claim and leave the rest up to Michael. To get started on your claim, contact our Shreveport wrongful death attorney today.
Shreveport / Bossier Wrongful Death Attorney
We understand that compensation for your loved one’s loss won’t replace them, but it might help in lessening the weight of the financial burden that may come with losing them. A successful wrongful death lawsuit may also help bring a sense of peace, justice, and closure to your family. If you seek to file a wrongful death claim, contact the office of Michael J. Vergis today. Call our Shreveport-Bossier City office at 318-698-3724 or send us a message online. We look forward to providing you with unparalleled service in the most competent and caring manner.