What is a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?
A wrongful death occurs when one person’s negligence or wrongdoing causes a fatal injury to another. Under Kentucky law, certain family members of the deceased may qualify to file a wrongful death claim seeking monetary damages against the person at fault for their loved one’s death.
A wrongful death claim is a civil case brought by a victim’s loved ones and is generally against an insurance company. It is not the same as a criminal case.
The state files a criminal case to punish a person for a crime. Crimes involving death include manslaughter and murder. Punishment for these is typically jail or prison time.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?
A wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased in Kentucky. The personal representative is usually a spouse or close relative.
Who Can Claim Damages for a Wrongful Death in Kentucky?
To claim damages for a wrongful death in Kentucky, a person must be one of the following:
- The spouse of the deceased at the time of death;
- The domestic partner of the deceased at the time of death; or
- The spouse or domestic partner of the deceased and any children;
If there is no surviving spouse:
- The children of the deceased;
- The parents of the deceased; or
- The estate of the deceased.
The amount awarded to an eligible party depends on the total compensation available, the party’s losses and specific needs, and the party’s age.
Compensation in a Kentucky Wrongful Death Claim
While no amount of money can bring back a loved one or begin to make up for their loss, monetary damages can provide a family with a sense of justice. It can also help with the financial strain of a tragic accident.
To recover compensation in a wrongful death claim, a family member must prove how their loved one’s death harmed them. A family member may suffer physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially from their loss, depending on their relationship with the deceased.
Monetary damages in a wrongful death claim may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Outstanding medical bills from the deceased;
- Loss of the financial support of the deceased, both current and future;
- Loss of inheritance;
- Loss of medical or retirement benefits due to death;
- Loss of consortium (for a spouse);
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of care and nurturing;
- Any conscious pain and suffering of the deceased before death; and
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering of surviving family members.
Sometimes, family members qualify for punitive damages. These are rare but available in cases of willful or gross negligence on behalf of the defendant. Punitive damages are awarded at trial to punish or deter future similar behavior.
To learn more about wrongful death claims in Kentucky and what, if any, types of damages you may qualify for, contact an experienced Louisville personal injury attorney.
Contact an Experienced Louisville Wrongful Death Attorney Today
No one should pay for the negligence of others. If your loved one was killed by another person’s reckless or negligent behavior, call the Louisville wrongful death attorneys at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC.
Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, has fought for the rights of victims throughout Kentucky since 1986. Call our successful attorneys today to schedule a complimentary claim review and consultation.
At Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, we can help you get justice! Reach out to us now at 502-244-7772!