Losing a loved one is never easy, but losing a loved one in an unexpected way because of the negligence of another person or entity can prove much more difficult.
During what is certain to be a stressful and emotionally traumatic time because of the loss, it can be more difficult when the loss has created a financial burden by the absence of your loved one.
A Hodgenville personal injury lawyer will work to remove the financial burden caused by the death while you focus on emotional healing.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death
Wrongful death in Kentucky is the intentional or unintentional death of an individual caused by another. An unintentional wrongful death includes deaths caused by negligence or recklessness, such as a driver speeding fast enough that they are unable to stop at a stoplight, which causes the driver to go into oncoming traffic.
Intentional wrongful death does not require the accused to have the intent to kill. It only requires that the accused to have the intent to engage in the act that resulted in death.
This may occur when in a fit of road rage a driver intends to ram into the back of another vehicle and does so. If doing so pushes the vehicle into oncoming traffic, killing a person in that vehicle, the driver that intentionally rammed the vehicle may be liable to the deceased’s family.
Regardless of whether an individual was killed due to unintentional or intentional negligence, a wrongful death attorney in Hodgenville can help.
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To receive a damage award in a wrongful death case in Kentucky, there first must be a wrongful death that was caused by another person’s negligence or intent to harm. The family must be suffering financially as a result of the death and an estate must be opened.
Once the wrongful death threshold requirements have been met, the family may be eligible to recover pecuniary damages. In wrongful death claims, pecuniary awards are financial awards to compensate the family for actual expenses, such as the costs funeral or burial expenses, and non-economic awards, including loss of companionship.
If the wrongful death was the result of an intentional act, such as a road rage incident, the family of the deceased may also be eligible for punitive damages, which is a financial award that is intended to punish the defendant for causing the death.
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Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in a wrongful death claim is one year from the date of the individual’s death. It is unusual for a court to allow a claim to go forth when it is filed after the statute of limitations timeline has ended. Thus, it is imperative that the deceased’s family move forward before that deadline.
When a family has lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident, it is important that they contact an attorney as soon as possible thereafter for the best outcome.
A Hodgenville wrongful death attorney that is contacted earlier has the opportunity to negotiate with the other party prior to filing a claim in court but retains the ability to file a case in court, if the negotiation is unsuccessful before the statute of limitations ends.
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The ability to litigate the case in court, if necessary, is the tool that an experienced attorney can and will use to ensure that their client’s best interests are met during negotiation. If you have lost a loved one in Hodgenville, Kentucky, in a wrongful death incident, contact an experienced attorney today.
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