Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Paintsville & Ashland
In Kentucky, wrongful death is when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongful acts. The liable party can be almost anyone or anything, whether a corporation or individual. If you have lost a loved one and believe that his or her death is due to another party’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death is a considered a type of personal injury case. In Kentucky, a wrongful death case can be brought forward by personal representative of the deceased – usually a spouse or other close family member. The court will appoint a personal representative to manage the deceased’s estate, and the personal representative is responsible for filing the wrongful death case. If the case wins, the surviving family members will receive compensation for damages.
Eligible surviving family members are:
- The spouse entirely, if there are no existing or surviving children.
- The spouse and the children equally, if all are surviving.
- The children entirely, if there is no surviving spouse.
- The parents entirely, if there is no surviving spouse and no children.
- In cases where there is no surviving spouse, no children, and no parents, the damages will go to the deceased’s estate. The estate will be divided according to the will.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Like other personal injury cases, there are several types of damages in a wrongful death case. These can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Kentucky also allows punitive damages, which are meant to punish the negligent party. For example, if your love one was killed in a car accident or motorcycle accident by a drunk driver, you may be able to claim punitive damages for the driver’s gross negligence.
Wrongful death cases only differ from other personal injury cases in that the person filing the lawsuit is not directly injured. Instead, you are filing the same type of damages you would for yourself, only on behalf of the deceased.
Proving Negligence and Wrongful Death
You must prove negligence in a wrongful death case just as you would if you were filing a personal injury suit for yourself. To indicate negligence, you must prove that:
- The other party had a duty to provide reasonable care towards the deceased. For example, a doctor has a duty to treat his or her patients without causing harm. Likewise, a driver on the road has a duty to drive in a careful manner to avoid putting others in danger.
- The other party breached this duty. If the doctor failed to follow protocol or prescribed a medication that was known to be a risk, this could be considered negligence. A driver who was driving under the influence or failed to stop at a red light would also be considered negligent.
- Lastly, you have to prove the negligence resulted in injury, or in this case, death. If a doctor prescribes a medication and his or her patient dies, the medical professional may be negligent. A drunk driver who caused an accident resulting in someone’s death would most certainly be found negligent.
Compassionate Wrongful Death Attorneys in Kentucky
Your family should not have to go on suffering if you have lost a loved one because of another person’s negligence. At the Salyer Law Office in Paintsville, Kentucky, we understand that you and your family are feeling hurt. You do not have to bear the pain alone. We can help you get the compensation you need to get your life back on track and begin to feel whole again. We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients and their rights. Contact us today to see how we can help.