Saying goodbye to a family member isn’t easy. Whether you’ve lost a parent, a sibling, a grandparent, or a child, their loss will significantly affect your life in ways you never imagined. Loss, though a part of life, is devastating — however, when your loved one has died at the hands of another person, the pain can be unbearable.
Wrongful death occurs when the negligent actions of another person cause someone else to be harmed and killed. Those who violate the breach of duty and care fail to prevent avoidable accidents and may be liable for subsequent deaths and damages.
Have you lost a loved one? If so, the wrongful death attorneys in Kentucky from McCoy & Hiestand are ready to fight for justice for your family member. Take advantage of our free legal consultations to learn if you could be eligible for compensation following the wrongful death of an immediate family member.
Who Can File Kentucky Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
After a family member passes away due to the actions of another person, it is understandable that you may feel angry, depressed, and unsure where to turn for help. Filing a wrongful death claim in Kentucky can help you recover damages from your loved one’s death.
According to the Kentucky Legislature Chapter 411 Section 130, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative will likely be named in the deceased’s will; however, if one has not been chosen or your family member did not have a will, one may be appointed by the court.
Once the personal representative has been appointed, that person will be eligible to file a lawsuit with a wrongful death lawyer in Kentucky. If you’re unsure if you have a claim, speak to an attorney to learn if you could be eligible for compensation.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in Kentucky
Determining who is the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is the first step. Once the personal representative has been named, a Kentucky wrongful death lawyer can help you calculate what damages your family may be entitled to.
After calculating the approximate settlement amount, your lawyer will submit the claim to the defendant’s insurance company. The defendant’s insurance company will likely reject or undervalue the claim, and the claim will enter the negotiation stage.
Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to increase the likelihood of winning a wrongful death settlement. Once negotiations begin, the plaintiff and the defendant will try to agree on an appropriate settlement. If this doesn’t happen, your claim may go to trial.
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What Compensation Could I Recover from a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?
Losing a spouse, parent, child, or sibling can significantly affect your finances — especially if your loved one provided a large portion of your monthly income. Recovering compensation will not bring your loved one back. However, it may help offset some of the damages you have incurred since their untimely death.
After a successful wrongful death claim, you may be eligible for two types of damages — economic and non-economic. Economic damages are compensatory and have a dollar value attached to them. Non-economic damages reimburse victims for items without a dollar value, such as pain and suffering.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your claim, you collect various types of damages, including but not limited to the following items:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Anxiety or depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of instruction from parent to child
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Who Collects Compensation After a Successful Wrongful Death in Claim in Kentucky?
Eligibility for a payout will depend on how you are related to the deceased and which immediate family members are still living.
After a successful wrongful death claim, compensation will be awarded to the deceased’s surviving family. Typically, each immediate family member receives a portion of the settlement, depending on which family members remain living.
- If the deceased’s spouse is living and they do not have children, the entire wrongful death settlement will be awarded to the spouse.
- If the deceased’s spouse and children are living, the wrongful death settlement will be split evenly between the spouse and the children.
- If the deceased’s spouse has passed away, the entire settlement will be awarded to the children of the deceased.
- If the deceased was not married and did not have children, the settlement will be awarded to the surviving parents of the deceased.
- If the deceased has no living family members, the settlement will become a part of the estate.
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Proving Your Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky
Wrongful death lawsuits are complex. To reach a successful claim, you must satisfy the burden of proof of how the accident happened, who caused it, how your family member was affected, and that the accident caused your family member’s death. Providing these things can be difficult without the assistance of a highly experienced wrongful death attorney in Kentucky.
To prove that your loved one died due to the other party’s negligence, you must satisfy the four following elements with solid evidence submitted to the court.
- Duty of care. The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant violated the duty of care to those around them by driving recklessly, failing to fix property damage, or another action that places the surrounding people at risk or in harm’s way.
- Breach of duty. Next, the plaintiff must also prove that the breach of duty was violated by failing to act safely or responsibly to prevent an avoidable accident.
- Causation. Once proven that the defendant acted negligently, you must prove that their actions caused your family member’s death.
- Damages. Lastly, you must prove that the death of your loved one caused economic and non-economic damages, including funeral expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)
Why Should I Hire an Attorney for Wrongful Deaths in Kentucky?
Wrongful death lawsuits are often complex, complicated, and emotionally draining. While grieving your loved one, you will also be fighting to win compensation to recover damages from their death. Wrongful death attorneys in Kentucky can handle your claim so you can focus on your family and honoring your deceased loved one.
Your lawyer will play many roles throughout a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawyers at McCoy & Hiestand will help you with many aspects of your case, including but not limited to the following:
- Analyzing the accident to determine what happened and who caused it. Your lawyer will investigate each party to learn how their actions may have contributed to the wrongful death of your family member.
- Communicating with insurance companies. Speaking to insurance companies after the death of a loved one can be frustrating and overwhelming. Your lawyer can do this for you so you can rest while we negotiate on your behalf.
- Demanding total compensation for your damages. If your claim is rejected or undervalued, a wrongful death attorney in Kentucky can ensure you get the total compensation you are owed.
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Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Kentucky
The statute of limitations describes how long you have to file a claim after the death of your family member. Personal representatives of the deceased’s estate have exactly one year from your family member’s death to file a lawsuit. After that date has passed, you will not be eligible to file a claim or collect compensation for any damages you may have suffered.
Though personal representatives have up to one year to file a claim, wrongful death lawyers recommend filing as soon as possible. By doing so, you can increase the chances of winning your case and collecting evidence while it’s still available.
What Kinds of Wrongful Death Claims in Kentucky do We Represent?
Wrongful deaths can occur in various ways. Many factors can contribute to an accident that may affect your claim and the types of compensation you may receive. Wrongful death attorneys in Kentucky understand that every case is unique and deserving of special attention, despite how your loved one died. For this reason, we represent many types of claims.
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Medical malpractice or error
- Birth injuries
- Construction site accidents
- Toxin exposure
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Defective medical equipment and devices
- Side effects of pharmaceutical drugs not disclosed
If you believe you have a claim for wrongful death, speak with a Kentucky wrongful death attorney. We can help you determine if you could be eligible for compensation after the death of a loved one from a tragic accident.
Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney in Kentucky
When someone we love dies, we may feel sad, overwhelmed, and unsure of how to move on with life without them. We may feel that a piece of our hearts has died as well. This sentiment is especially true for families grieving the wrongful death of a family member.
It’s natural to want to hold responsible parties accountable for your family member’s death. You can hire a wrongful death attorney from McCoy & Hiestand. Our top-rated lawyers are here to get justice for your family.
Now is the time to speak up. Learn if you could be eligible for compensation, and contact us to schedule a free legal consultation in Kentucky.
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