The loss of a loved one can be caused by any type of accident in Kentucky. According to statistics, accidents are the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. The most common causes of accidental deaths that could be due to the negligence of another person or business include motor vehicle accidents and falls. In addition, nursing home abuse or medical malpractice also constitutes a large number of fatalities than is reported, where at least one study suggests that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States – even ahead of motor vehicle accidents and falls, combined. These wrongful deaths often result in not only emotional hardship, but also significant financial strain for a victim’s family. If you have lost a loved one due to the reckless or careless actions of another person or business, call our wrongful death lawyer in Louisville for help.
Here at the Louisville Injury Law Firm, our compassionate and experienced legal team can help answer questions that families have after the loss of a loved one in Kentucky. There is no charge for a case evaluation, allowing families to ask as many legal questions as they may have and to get as many legal answers as we can give. If you choose our law firm and if we accept your case, there are also no upfront costs to your family. We pay everything upfront, and only get the costs and our legal fees reimbursed after we recover compensation for your family. And when that happens, our legal fees are only a percentage of the total amount we recover – meaning your family will take home money after a settlement, verdict, or another type of award. To get started, contact our experienced wrongful death lawyer in Louisville to schedule your FREE consultation today.
Not all deaths are considered a wrongful death under Kentucky law. In order for a person’s death to be considered a wrongful death, Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) section 411.130 requires a victim’s death to be caused from an injury inflicted by either the negligence or wrongful act of another. That means that the death could be recklessly caused in an accident or it could be caused by a wrongful act such as a criminal act like assault leading to manslaughter or murder.
The law also acknowledges that damages can be recovered against either the person who caused such death or by an “agent or servant” who caused the death. What this means is that a party could be vicariously liability for a victim’s death. This comes up in situations where a car owner allows another person to drive the owner’s car, and that driver causes a fatal crash. Or it could come up in an employer-employee situation, where an employee causes a fatal accident while working in the scope of employment for the employer. In that situation, an employer is deemed to be liable through the doctrine of respondeat superior, which imputes liability of a negligent worker on the worker’s employer.
Under Kentucky law, a wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by a personal representative for the decedent’s estate. Generally, this means the executor or executrix of a Last Will, which is someone that the decedent had appointed to handle his or her estate affairs. This individual may or may not be a family member. The proceeds of the claim go into the estate, and not to the personal representative directly.
However, if there is no Last Will or if the executor/executrix declines or otherwise agrees, a family member can petition to be appointed an administrator and personal representative of the estate. What this means is that a family member can become eligible to commence a wrongful death action in Kentucky in certain situations.
Once a personal representative recovers compensation in a wrongful death case, the proceeds go into the estate. Unlike how the personal representative may or may not be a family member, individuals who may obtain compensation from the wrongful death claim are typically just family members. There is a hierarchy of who may recover such damages, which includes the following:
Kentucky law explains that there are two types of damages in a wrongful death claim. The first is the actual damages sustained, and the second is punitive damages in certain instances. These damages are different and parties may not be entitled to both if a claim is not properly developed and presented by an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Louisville like ours.
Generally, families who lose a loved one may be entitled to compensation for the following:
Our experienced wrongful death lawyer in Louisville handles cases differently than other bodily injury law firms. At the Louisville Injury Law Firm, clients are treated like family and receive personalized, dedicated service. You are not just a case file here, but an exceptionally well-treated and respected member of our family as we solve your family’s troubles. This cannot be truer in the event of a wrongful death of a loved one, where families need physical, emotional, and financial support.
That’s why the Louisville Injury Law Firm has free consultations, pays the upfront costs of litigation, and only takes a percentage of what we recover for families and only after we recover it. We pride ourselves in zealous advocacy and have a track record of standing up to some of the largest defense lawyers and insurance carriers in the region. To learn more about how we can help you and your family, contact our experienced wrongful death lawyer in Louisville to schedule your free consultation by calling (502) 242-9000 or by sending a message through our contact us box here.