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January 25, 2024

Seeking Justice After a Fatal Car Accident: Louisiana Wrongful Death Attorneys

by Evan Breaux | Auto Accidents | 0 comments
Seeking Justice After a Fatal Car Accident

Seeking justice for a loved one killed in a fatal car accident in Louisiana? Breaux Law Firm has the New Orleans personal injury attorneys you need. In this article, we outline how to pursue a wrongful death claim after a fatal collision. But no one should tackle such a devastating task alone. Call us today, and we’ll take over from here. 

In the realm of personal injury law, few challenges compare to the emotional and legal complexities surrounding wrongful death claims after a fatal car accident. The personal injury attorneys at Breaux Law Firm understand the profound impact such tragedies have on families, friends, and communities. This is no easy subject to discuss, but one that must be navigated in the aftermath of a fatal car crash. 

If you have experienced the death of a loved one due to a negligent driver, it’s important that you work with an established, reputable personal injury lawyer. Don’t try to go it alone. At Breaux Law Firm, we know what you’re going through, and we’re here for you. 

Immediate Steps to Take After the Tragedy

In the immediate aftermath of a fatal car accident, emotions run high, and families are often overwhelmed. Taking certain immediate steps can protect the well-being of the family and ensure a successful legal claim. The most important steps to take are:

Contact Law Enforcement

It’s crucial to contact law enforcement promptly. Their investigation will generate a detailed accident report, which is a valuable document in establishing the facts of the case, such as what led to the victim’s death and who caused the accident via reckless or illegal driving. 

Seek Medical Attention

Even if the fatal outcome is apparent, it’s essential to seek medical attention for any surviving passengers. This not only ensures their physical health, but also provides medical records that may later prove relevant to the case.

Preserve Evidence

Document the accident scene through photographs or, better yet, video. Gather any available witness information. Preserving and documenting evidence is vital for building a strong case in the event of a wrongful death claim in Louisiana. 

Establishing Liability for the Fatal Accident

Determining liability is a key aspect of pursuing a wrongful death claim. Our legal team at Breaux Law Firm meticulously investigates the circumstances surrounding the accident to identify all potentially liable parties. This may include other drivers, manufacturers, or entities responsible for vehicle maintenance. For example, the death may be due to the fault of:

Driver Negligence

If someone else’s negligence contributed to the fatal accident, an experienced wrongful death lawyer will work to establish their liability through evidence like witness statements, accident reconstruction, and expert testimony.

Product Liability

In some cases, a defective or inadequate vehicle component or safety features may have led to the accident. Pursuing a product liability claim is a complex procedure in which manufacturers are held accountable for the role their products played in the accident. An accident attorney can help file a claim against the responsible parties’ insurance policies. 

Understanding Louisiana Wrongful Death Laws

Louisiana has specific laws governing wrongful death claims, and our team at Breaux Law Firm navigates these intricacies with experience and precision.

Who Can File?

Louisiana law specifies that only certain family members, beginning with spouses and children (1st class within the hierarchy), parents (2nd class within the hierarchy), siblings (3rd class), or grandparents (4th class) can file a wrongful death claim. If none of the above, the ability to claim goes to the succession representative, to follow the deceased’s will or the laws of intestacy.

The ability to bring the wrongful death claim must follow the order of the hierarchy, meaning someone in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th class cannot make a claim if the 1st class individuals are alive and able to bring the claim. Our attorneys guide families in understanding their eligibility to pursue legal action. 

When To File?

The statute of limitations in Louisiana is the amount of time you have to file a claim after an accident. According to La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 2315.2, Louisiana’s statute of limitations for wrongful death is one year. This means that, in Louisiana, surviving family members may file the claim exactly one year from the date of the wrongful death of a loved one. If the lawsuit is not filed within this one-year period, the family loses the right to file at all.

What are Recoverable Damages?

Louisiana law allows for the recovery of various damages in wrongful death cases. Financial compensation may cover funeral expenses, medical bills, the emotional pain and suffering endured by surviving family members, and their economic losses.

A lawyer can help you understand the full extent of your damages. While no compensation can make up for the pain of losing a loved one in a fatal crash, family members can file a claim to help ease the burden of their loss and cover the costs accrued in the aftermath of the fatal auto accident.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

The last thing anyone wants to do after the death of their loved one is to deal with an insurance company. Car accident cases and filing claims against an at-fault driver’s insurance policy can be difficult enough. When grieving a family member or loved one, the task seems particularly cruel. 

Working with a car accident lawyer, like the team at Breaux Law Firm, ensures that you don’t have to deal with unpleasant things like insurance adjusters and Louisiana civil code. We’ll do the dirty work for you. This includes:

Communicating Effectively

To shield our clients from additional stress, we handle all communication with insurance companies. Our experience allows us to navigate the tactics often employed by insurers to minimize payouts or refute liability. When you have a personal injury lawyer working on your behalf, you aren’t sucked in to these ugly conversations — and you can work on more important things, like healing from your loss.

Determining Policy Limits

Identifying the insurance policy limits is crucial in assessing the amount of financial compensation that is possible. Our fatal car accident attorneys conduct a comprehensive review to ensure a full and fair financial recovery.

Negotiating Fair Compensation

We tirelessly negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to seek compensation, taking into consideration both economic and non-economic damages.

There is no amount of money that will bring the deceased back, and we know how painful it is to consider what amount feels appropriate after such an awful loss. Luckily, you don’t have to do this on your own. Hiring a lawyer to file a wrongful death case for you means you don’t have to think about such difficult topics on your own. 

Litigation if Necessary

While many wrongful death claims are resolved through negotiations, some cases may require litigation. Breaux Law Firm is prepared to take legal action when it serves the best interests of our clients.

This may look like filing a wrongful death lawsuit with the at-fault party’s insurance company on behalf of the surviving family. We guide clients through the litigation process, ensuring transparency and informed decision-making.

In courtrooms throughout Louisiana, we advocate for our clients and present a compelling case to seek the justice and compensation the family deserves.

Call Breaux Law Firm Today to Help Your Healing Process

Pursuing a wrongful death claim after a fatal car accident in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and anywhere in Louisiana is an arduous task that demands a combination of legal expertise, compassion, strength, and perseverance.

The team at Breaux Law Firm stands alongside grieving families, offering our gentle support and expert legal guidance. From the initial steps following the tragedy to the complexities of the courtroom, our team is committed to seeking justice for those who have lost a loved one due to the negligence or illegal actions of others.

As a family-owned business run by a father and son, we know how important family is. We’re determined to fight for you — and to treat you — as a member of our own family. The Breaux Law Firm family. Our goal is helping families. 

When an accident causes the death of your loved one, the period afterward is, without a doubt, a very difficult time. We’re here to help ease your pain, and to take a few things off your plate.

We will spend the time it takes for you to understand what comes next. At a time when you are experiencing profound loss, perhaps unsure if you even have the ability to go on, we’re here for you. You shouldn’t have to deal with insurance companies at a time like this. We’re ready to take on your fight as our own. 

Our exceptional, thoughtful, and kind attorneys will discuss your next steps and all of your options. Schedule a free consultation today.  You can reach us 24/7 using our 24-hour phone line: (504) 882-0554.