The aftermath of your loved one’s untimely death can bring tremendous pain and emotion. Death is a tragic reality, but when someone’s reckless or willful wrongdoing causes your family member’s passing, the responsible party should pay for your family’s suffering.
A Lexington wrongful death lawyer at Maze Law Offices could zealously represent your and your family’s interests when you lose a loved one to someone’s negligence. Retaining an accomplished personal injury attorney who handles a wide range of wrongful death matters is vital, as these cases can present unique challenges. Our attorneys could provide the aggressive legal advocacy you and your relatives need to get the restitution you deserve.
Under Kentucky State Law, plaintiffs in wrongful death cases—usually the estate or surviving family members—can recover several forms of compensation. For example, the estate can recover expenses for the decedent’s burial, legal fees, and any other costs arising from the settlement.
On the other hand, surviving family members can collect compensation for losing the decedent’s financial support, companionship, and guidance. Other recoverable damages include the emotional anguish, mental distress, and medical costs that the decedent accrued before they passed. In cases where the negligent party’s actions were egregious, the court awards punitive damages to the decedent’s family.
Anyone bringing a civil claim on behalf of their deceased family member must prove that the defendant owed their loved one a legal duty of care and failed to uphold it. Moreover, the defendant’s negligent or intentional violation of that duty of care must have directly caused or contributed to the decedent’s death. Finally, the decedent’s estate or family must have sustained compensable damages because of their death.
Wrongful death claims can arise from many circumstances, such as auto accidents, medical malpractice, dangerous or defective products, and criminal acts like assault or murder. A Lexington attorney could handle unlawful death claims stemming from civil and criminal wrongdoing and seek compensation from any individual or entity that bears legal liability.
While the decedent’s family members may be able to collect payments in a wrongful death claim, only the estate’s executor can bring the lawsuit. The executor is often a family member the decedent appointed before their death, but it can also be a friend or acquaintance. When the decedent does not name an executor for their estate before dying, the court appoints someone to fill the role.
Even though the executor must file a wrongful death claim, the law stipulates that surviving family members can collect monetary compensation when the claim is successful. When the decedent passes away and leaves a living spouse but no living children, the compensation award goes to the living party or parties accordingly. When the decedent dies and has a spouse and children living, both parties share the compensation award.
When the decedent has living parents but no other surviving family members, they can collect the compensation award. Otherwise, the estate recovers the award and distributes it to other beneficiaries named by the decedent or their heirs. Retaining a hardworking attorney in Lexington who could navigate the hurdles of a negligent death claim while fighting for the most favorable result is essential.
When your loved one dies because of someone’s negligence, their estate and surviving family can collect compensation under the law. Unfortunately, establishing legal liability in a civil case and recovering compensation is a complex process, not to mention a costly one when handled without representation. A Lexington wrongful death lawyer could manage every phase of your case at no upfront cost.
Whether conducting a thorough investigation to identify liable parties, collecting supporting evidence, or creating a rock-solid claim, an attorney could ensure your case gets the attention it deserves. When you have questions about a prospective wrongful death case or think you have a viable claim, speak with a legal team member. Call us at Maze Law Offices to schedule your free consultation.