No matter how you lose a loved one, the emotional impact can have a long-term effect on your life. However, when a loved one passes unexpectedly as the result of another person’s negligence, you may struggle not only with the emotional aspect but also the financial instability associated with their loss, as well. No amount of compensation can replace your loved one, but it can help you restore your stability and get back on your feet.
If the negligence of another person resulted in the loss of your loved one, a Louisville wrongful death lawyer can help you hold them accountable for the harm they caused. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 593-3443 to speak with us about your case.
The Basics of Wrongful Death Claims
Victims’ loved ones can bring wrongful death claims against individuals responsible for causing the death of the victim, as well as organizations and even government agencies. The types of compensation a claimant may qualify for depends on the circumstances of their situation, but it may include measurable economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages and/or non-economic damages, which refer to intangible losses such as pain and suffering. In cases in which the court finds the actions of the defendant particularly heinous, they may also impose punitive damages, which serve as a punishment and potential deterrent to prevent similar instances from taking place in the future.
An attorney can help you determine if you have a case and assess your damages so you can seek fair compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Louisville, call (800) 593-3443
Circumstances That Can Lead to Wrongful Death Cases
An incident in which another person’s reckless act, failure to act when necessary, or unintentional negligence may constitute wrongful death. Some circumstances that lead families to pursue compensation for the loss of their loved one include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Medical malpractice
- Products liability
- Premises liability
- Mesothelioma due to workplace exposure
If you lost a child, spouse, parent, or other loved one in one of these or another tragic event, the lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you seek compensation. Contact our legal team online at any time with more information about your case.
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Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death in Kentucky
Families of deceased victims of negligence can typically file wrongful death claims within one year of the injury that caused the decedent’s passing. However, this time frame may vary depending on whether or not the decedent left behind a will. If the family fails to file a wrongful death claim before this deadline, they forfeit their opportunity to seek financial awards from the liable party.
As civil actions, wrongful death claims have no bearing on any current or potential criminal charges faced by the defendant. Civil claims exist for the sole purpose of providing survivors with compensation for the damages they incurred as a result of their loved one’s death. However, the defendant may face criminal charges in separate court proceedings at the same time as wrongful death proceedings. In some cases, the court may require that criminal proceedings take precedence, after which the family can continue with civil actions.
Especially with such a short statute of limitations in place on wrongful death claims in Kentucky, you may benefit from contacting a Louisville wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. They can investigate your case, determine if you qualify to file a claim, and get started on the process right away to help you avoid delays and deadlines.
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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky
According to Kentucky Revised Statutes § 411.130, only the personal representative of the victim’s estate can file a wrongful death claim against the party who holds responsibility for their passing. If the decedent did not leave a will, Kentucky Revised Statutes § 395.015 holds that the surviving spouse will become the executor unless the spouse waives their right to appointment, at which point they may select another individual to serve as representative of the estate. If the victim did not have a spouse, their spouse waived their appointment and did not choose someone else in their place, or their spouse cannot act on behalf of the decedent, other family members can apply for court appointment as the estate’s representative.
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Distribution of Wrongful Death Settlements
Although the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the right to file a wrongful death claim in Kentucky, they also have the responsibility of distributing a settlement among family members as follows:
- If only a spouse survives (no children or dependents), the entire settlement goes to the spouse.
- If a spouse and children survive, the spouse receives half, and the children receive half.
- If children survive, but there is no spouse, the children receive the entire settlement.
- If no spouse or children survive, the parent or parents of the decedent receive the settlement.
- If no spouse, children, or parents, survive, the settlement becomes part of the estate for distribution among more remote relatives.
The executor of the estate can only distribute the settlement among the family after first paying debts incurred by the decedent’s loss, such as funeral and legal expenses.
A Louisville Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we have witnessed the immense pain families suffer when they lose a loved one as the result of another person’s negligence. You do not deserve your loss or the damages you accumulated as a result of your loved one’s passing, and our lawyers can help you prove negligence, evaluate your damages, and seek just compensation from the liable party on your behalf.
We know that your finances may not allow for legal assistance right now, so we do not charge you anything unless we achieve financial recovery in your favor. Call us today at (800) 593-3443 to discuss your free wrongful death case evaluation with our legal team.
Call or text (800) 593-3443 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form