The loss of a loved one is a shocking event. As you grieve with your family, you might also have a nagging fear that your financial life is about to get a lot worse, which is particularly true when a family breadwinner dies.
At Noakes Law, we understand that no amount of money can ever replace a loved one. But it is important to nevertheless to hold the person responsible for the death accountable by bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. Talk to us today.
What is Wrongful Death?
Kentucky statute § 411.130 defines wrongful death as a death caused by the “negligence or wrongful act” of another person. This wrongful act can be unintentional, such as accidentally backing over someone in a parking lot, or it can be an intentional act, like an assault. The key is that the defendant’s actions were wrongful, so they must be held legally liable for the death.
What Kind of Accidents Can Cause Wrongful Death?
The key is to prove fault. In most cases, this will mean establishing that the defendant did not use sufficient care, meaning they were negligent. Someone who runs a red light or who drives while drowsy has certainly been negligent, as has a property owner who does not fix or warn visitors of hidden dangers.
Someone can also be killed when a person intentionally assaults them, such as punching, stabbing, or shooting them. Even if there is a criminal prosecution, you can still bring a civil action for wrongful death. They are separate lawsuits.
A person can die as a result of many kinds of accidents, such as:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Dangerous premises
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
Who Can File this Lawsuit?
Noakes can handle your wrongful death case.
Your loved one’s personal representative files the lawsuit in court. This person should be identified in the deceased’s last will and testament. If they had no will, then the probate court will appoint the personal representative, who is usually a family member.
Although the representative files the lawsuit, family members receive the bulk of the compensation if the wrongful death case is successful.
What Can You Receive in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death case is a civil action, so all you can receive is monetary compensation. You can’t send the defendant to jail or punish him in any way, which is the sole responsibility of the criminal law system.
The money you can receive is called damages, and you can receive damages for the following:
- The amount of money your loved one could have earned had she or he lived
- The loss of parental guidance, love, and support a child experiences
- The loss of consortium a spouse experiences
- Your loved one’s conscious pain and suffering from the date of the injury until their death
The damages will be distributed to family members in the following manner:
- A surviving spouse with no children receives the entire amount
- If a spouse and children survive, then the spouse gets half of the award and the children will split the remaining half
- If only children survive, they receive the entire amount of compensation
- The deceased person’s parents will receive compensation if there is no surviving spouse or surviving children
The deceased person’s estate can also receive reimbursement for funeral and burial costs as well as for the costs of seeking the lawsuit.
How Noakes Law Can Help
Noakes can handle your wrongful death case.
How Long Do I Have to Sue?
Not long. Kentucky’s statute of limitations gives the personal representative only one year from the date of death to file the suit. If you wait too long, the defendant can ask the judge to dismiss the case, and you will not have the ability to refile. This means the defendant who wrongly caused your loved one’s death gets off without having to pay anything.
Remember that you need the probate court to appoint a personal representative, who files the wrongful death lawsuit. This process takes time, so avoid delay. If you suspect your loved one died under suspicious circumstances, you should reach out to a Kentucky wrongful death attorney.
Other Practice Areas
Our experienced attorneys are here to provide you with legal representation when your future depends upon it. Noakes Law Group has the experience and resources necessary to win cases and we are prepared to handle your unique case. Our practice areas include.
Contact Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Kentucky for a Free Consultation
During this turbulent time, you need compassionate and steady legal guidance. At Noakes Law, we have helped many grieving family members bring wrongful death lawsuits and receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives.
These cases are not easy, which is why it is vital that we get started as soon as possible. Contact us today. You can call 888-915-0505 to schedule a free consultation.
Contact Noakes Law Group Today
Our lawyers have the skill set and experience you’re looking for, and know how to bring forth successful claims. Call our legal team today for a free consultation for answers to your questions.