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Wrongful Death

If a loved one has died as a result of the fault of someone or something else, there may be claims available under the law for your loss.

Types of Wrongful Death Claims & Compensation Under Louisiana Law

In Louisiana, there are two different claims that may be brought: (1) wrongful death and (2) survival action, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. The main difference between these two claims is whether the victim was killed immediately or survived for a period of time and then passed away.

Wrongful Death Claims

In Louisiana, a wrongful death action may be brought by a beneficiary of the deceased loved one.

A wrongful death claim for the loss of the loved one is a claim brought by the proper beneficiary for the loss that he/she suffered as a result of the death of the loved one (2016 Louisiana Laws Civil Code CC 2315.2 – Wrongful death action). Selecting the appropriate beneficiary to bring a claim depends on who survives the deceased person and in Louisiana, there are specific rules on who can be considered the appropriate beneficiary to present a claim.

What is the compensation for the loss of a loved one?

For wrongful death claims, the types of compensation awarded may include:

  1. loss of love and affection,
  2. loss of services,
  3. loss of financial support,
  4. medical expenses, and
  5. funeral expenses.

Survival Action Claims

If a person is injured in Louisiana, then suffers and survives for any period of time before dying, the law affords the deceased person certain rights known as a “survival action” (2011 Louisiana Laws Civil Code CC 2315.1).

Again, the appropriate beneficiary of the deceased person may bring the survival action claim on behalf of the deceased person in a proper court.

What compensation is available under a survival action?

The compensation available under a survival action is limited to the pain and suffering endured by the decedent before he/she died. The primary consideration for the assessment of damages includes the severity and duration of the injury.

There are strict deadlines in Louisiana for wrongful death and survival actions.

Specifically, in Louisiana, a beneficiary has only one year to file a claim in court. It is extremely important that you speak with an experienced trial attorney who has handled wrongful death and survival actions in order to determine what claims are available to you and your family.

Wrongful Death and FELA

When a railroad worker dies from their injuries while working for the railroad, their family or estate representative can file a lawsuit under FELA (Federal Employers’ Liability Act) to recover damages. The party filing the lawsuit is a personal representative of the decedent.  This person is typically a spouse or close family member. 

The time to bring a wrongful death claim is only three years from the date of injury or death. 

A FELA attorney will first determine what the railroad did wrong, such as a safety violation, which caused the victim’s death. Once he or she has established the railroad’s liability, they will then determine what damages, or compensation the victim’s family can pursue from the railroad.

The survivors under FELA can recover financial compensation for the following damages:

  • The medical expenses the family incurred as a result of the victim’s death;
  • The funeral and burial expenses the family incurred as a result of their loved one’s death;
  • The financial losses the family will suffer because their loved one is no longer able to provide certain support to the family.  This can include lost future wages, benefits, and services the victim would have provided for his or her family had they survived. Some of those services include household duties, childcare duties, and any other activities the loved one provided the family which will now have to be done by someone else and paid for by the family;
  • The pain and suffering the victim experienced from their injuries before they died.  This will include the fear of impending death and conscious pain and suffering.

Get Guidance After the Death of a Loved One

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and help you and your family through these difficult circumstances. Call us today for more information: 504-766-2200.