My Uncle Was Killed in a Car Accident – Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in His Name?
You’ve lost your favorite uncle in a car accident. The other driver was at fault, and that person’s careless driving now means that a beloved member of your family will no longer be with you. The anger and grief are overwhelming, but you still can seek justice for your loved one’s death. You may be entitled to compensation for your uncle’s death – even though you’re not legally considered “next of kin.” Our New Orleans wrongful death attorney explains further.
Louisiana Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In Louisiana, there are strict rules as to who can and cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit. Immediate family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes:
- The victim’s spouse.
- The victim’s children.
As next of kin you can’t file a lawsuit unless your uncle has no spouse or children. But if he doesn’t, the “next of kin” may also file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Next of kin include your uncle’s:
- Grandparents; and
No other relatives can directly file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there is a way around this. If the spouse, children, or “next of kin” family members fail to file a lawsuit, the executor of your uncles estate can file a lawsuit on your behalf and on behalf of other people affected by your loved one’s death.
While it’s more indirect than filing a lawsuit yourself as the plaintiff, the results are very similar in that you can receive compensation for your uncle’s death.
A Family Lawsuit vs. an Executor’s Lawsuit
When a family member such as the spouse, child, or “next of kin” as described above files a wrongful death lawsuit, they can recover both economic and noneconomic damages. When the executor of an estate brings a wrongful death lawsuit, the estate usually recovers economic damages only.
Economic damages mean to compensate for the loved one’s loss of earnings and financial support. Whereas noneconomic damages mean to compensate for the anguish and loss of companionship brought on by the death of the loved one.
Contact a New Orleans wrongful death attorney today.
Even if you can’t file a wrongful death lawsuit directly, you may still be able to receive compensation through your uncle’s estate. However, you only have a year to act.
You can contact our experienced New Orleans wrongful death attorneys by calling (504) 345-1111, chatting with a live representative, or visiting our website 24/7. Your initial consultation is free, and there’s no fee unless we win your case. Contact us today!
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.