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What damages can you recover in a wrongful death suit?

If your loved one dies as the result of someone’s negligence or misconduct in Louisiana, you can sue that person for your loved one’s wrongful death. As FindLaw explains, wrongful death lawsuits are civil suits that usually follow a person’s death after a motor vehicle accident or a medical malpractice situation. They can, however, also arise when a person dies because someone else allegedly murdered or deliberately injured him or her, whether or not a jury finds the alleged perpetrator guilty of the criminal charge.

If you prevail in your wrongful death suit, you can recover monetary damages such as the following:

  • Your loved one’s medical and funeral expenses
  • Your loved one’s pain and suffering from the time of his or her injuries to the time of his or her death
  • Your loss of your loved one’s support
  • Your loss of your loved one’s services and guidance
  • Your loss of your loved one’s inheritance
  • Interest on the about amounts from the date of your loved one’s death

In addition, should the jury find that the defendant’s actions were particularly egregous, it could award you punitive damages on top of your actual damages.

Wrongful death elements

You must prove all four of the following to win your wrongful death suit:

  1. That your loved one died
  2. That (s)he died because of the defendant’s negligence or intent to harm him or her
  3. That you are a surviving family member who suffered monetary damages because of his or her death
  4. That your loved one’s estate has a properly appointed personal representative

While no amount of money can compensate you for the loss of your loved one, many people who win wrongful death lawsuits say that their win gives them not only a sense of closure, but also a sense of justice.

This information is not legal advice but it can help you understand the wrongful death process and what to expect.

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