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May 26, 2024

New Orleans Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your family member was killed in an accident because of someone else’s careless actions, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue a settlement. Consult a wrongful death attorney in New Orleans for guidance through the claims process.

New Orleans is an urban city known for its fun atmosphere. People flock to the Crescent City to let loose and enjoy some needed time away from responsibility. Unfortunately, having too much fun can sometimes lead to fatal accidents. If you’ve lost a loved one because someone was reckless, it can be a difficult thing to accept.

Although New Orleans is a carefree city, the law doesn’t stand for negligent behavior, especially when it leads to death. You can file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party in your family member’s accident and seek the justice your loved one deserves. A wrongful death lawsuit can also give your family the compensation needed to move on from this tragedy.

A New Orleans wrongful death lawyer from Smiley Injury Law, LLC, can fight for you in court and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Our team will work hard to maximize your claim using evidence from your loved one’s accident in New Orleans. 

Determining When a New Orleans Accident Qualifies as Wrongful Death

Although fatal accidents do happen in New Orleans, they aren’t always caused by negligence. Some fatal accidents occur because of negligence on behalf of the victim or because of an uncontrollable circumstance.

For example, a fatal accident isn’t considered wrongful death if a driver falls asleep behind the wheel, runs into a tree, and dies. But, if a drowsy driver hits another vehicle in New Orleans and they kill a passenger in that vehicle, the drowsy driver has committed wrongful death.
Alternatively, if a construction worker falls off a ladder and dies in New Orleans, no one is at fault. But, if a defective nail gun kills a construction worker, the product manufacturer may be held responsible for the wrongful death.

Who Can File a New Orleans Wrongful Death Claim?

Louisiana limits the filing of wrongful death claims to specific family members. There are laws regarding who can file wrongful death claims because recovering compensation on behalf of the dead is a sensitive subject. It’s essential that only those close to the deceased can take action against the negligent party.

Those eligible to file New Orleans wrongful death claims include:

  • The spouse and children of the deceased
  • The parents of the deceased
  • The siblings of the deceased
  • The grandparents of the deceased

The eligibility for who can file wrongful death claims works in a hierarchical system. For example, if the deceased has both a spouse and parents who have survived them, the spouse is eligible to file a wrongful death claim before the parents. Similarly, if the deceased has no spouse or children but has both surviving parents and siblings, the parents are eligible to file a claim before the siblings.

The surviving spouse and children of the deceased are equally eligible to file wrongful death claims in New Orleans. They can file a claim together and split the settlement. Alternately, one surviving member can file the lawsuit on their own. All eligible family members have one year from the date of death to file their wrongful death claim. 

How to Prove Negligence in Your New Orleans Wrongful Death Claim 

Your New Orleans wrongful death attorney can assess your loved one’s fatal accident and determine whether negligence was a factor. If it was, your lawyer can investigate and begin gathering evidence to identify who’s at fault. Individuals can be responsible for New Orleans wrongful death accidents, but so can companies, manufacturers, and government entities.

The New Orleans police report is a great place to start when searching for evidence to support your case. This report will verify where the accident happened, who was involved, what time the accident took place, and other relevant details. Your wrongful death lawyer in New Orleans can also obtain photographs and witness testimonies for further validation of your argument.

Once you can prove negligence against the at-fault party, you must also prove that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the death of your loved one. For instance, you may prove that the defendant was speeding when they collided with your loved one, but if your loved one died of a heart attack while driving, the defendant’s negligence is unrelated to the death. Using medical records will be crucial to connect the death to the collision.

Reach Out to a New Orleans Wrongful Death Attorney

Taking legal action for your loved one’s death can be difficult when you’re simultaneously trying to grieve. Our team at Smiley Injury Law, LLC is here to guide you through the legal process and obtain a settlement on your behalf. If you’re ready to speak with a New Orleans wrongful death lawyer about your case, fill out the contact form below or call 504-894-9653 to schedule a free consultation.


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