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What is a Wrongful Death Suit in Louisiana?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2019 | Firm News

If your loved one lost his or her life in an incident that involved negligence by a third party, such as an auto accident or medical error, you could have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Louisiana state law defines wrongful death as any death caused by the fault of a person or company.  Wrongful death claims must be filed within one year from the date of death to be valid. These are the steps required to file a wrongful death suit in the state.

Determine Eligibility

Only the children and/or spouse of the person who has died can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If he or she had no living children or spouse, his or her parents may file a wrongful death suit. In the absence of a surviving spouse, children, and parents, surviving siblings may file the suit. Surviving grandparents can file a wrongful death suit only when there are no surviving siblings or other family members.

Gather Documentation

To be awarded monetary damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members who have filed the suit are required to prove the following:

  • The death was caused by another party’s willful act, reckless behavior, or negligence, and not by his or her own action or failure to act.
  • The person filing the suit suffered measurable damages as a consequence of his or her loved one’s death.

An attorney who specializes in wrongful death can help gather the evidence you need to help your lawsuit.


The following are some of the damages that the surviving family member may be able to recovery for a wrongful death claim:

  • The value of lost household services such as child care
  • The value of projected lost earnings and benefits such as health care
  • Medical bills associated with the deceased person’s final injury or illness
  • Funeral and burial expenses for the deceased
  • Property damage costs associated with the incident in question
  • Loss of emotional support, companionship, and care
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering

Smith Shanklin Sosa offers free consultations for individuals considering a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit in Louisiana, and we have years of experience representing clients in these types of cases. Contact us online to schedule an appointment or call our team at 225-424-6094.