Wrongful Death Cases

Lake Charles wrongful death Attorney

Losing a loved one for any reason is difficult. But when the loss is caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior, it’s different. You have questions for which there may never be any answers, and justice feels like it can’t come soon enough. You will need an experienced Lake Charles wrongful death attorney to help you navigate these difficult times.

Lake Charles Wrongful Death attorney

The Johnson Firm will fight to secure the compensation that provides financial relief to you and your family. With a Lake Charles personal injury attorney assuming the legal burden, you and your family can grieve your loss in peace.

How does Louisiana define wrongful death?

In Louisiana, “wrongful death” is when “a person dies due to the fault of another.” The death could be directly caused by another individual or by the wrongdoing of an entity, such as a corporation.

If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death negligence, The Johnson Firm is here to assist you.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Louisiana?

Who is legally able to file a wrongful death suit depends on several factors. Here’s a brief look at who can take legal action.

  • The spouse and children of the deceased have the first right to take legal action
  • If there are no children or spouse, the surviving parent (or both parents if they’re still living) can sue
  • If the parents are deceased, the siblings can file a lawsuit
  • If there are no siblings, the grandparents can take action

Speak with a Lake Charles wrongful death attorney with The Johnson Firm if you’re not sure whether or not you’re eligible to take legal action.

Lake Charles Wrongful Death Lawyer

Wrongful death claims have special deadlines. Make sure you file in time.

Like all states, Louisiana has a statute of limitations in wrongful death cases. This is a deadline that determines how long survivors of the deceased have to file a lawsuit.  In Louisiana, that deadline is one year from the date of your loved one’s death.

If you don’t take action within that time frame, you’ll no longer have the right to pursue compensation from those responsible.

What is the Difference between a wrongful death claim and a survival claim?

This might sound confusing, but in Louisiana, two types of legal cases can be filed if someone dies after being involved in an accident  – the “wrongful death” case itself, and the “survival action.” Each type of suit arises at a different time and addresses different types of damages, which we’ll discuss later.

Here’s what you need to know about the wrongful death claim vs. the survival claim:

Wrongful death claim

  • Losses endured by family members, spouses, caregivers, and other parties impacted by the death
  • Right to sue begins at the time of victim’s death

Survival claim

  • Compensation for losses suffered by the victim between their injury and death (bills from the ICU, etc.)
  • Right to sue lasts for one year after the death

What are potential damages you could claim?

The term “damages” refers to the financial and emotional losses that you and your family have experienced as a direct result of your loved one’s untimely death. In Louisiana, wrongful death suits will typically produce two types of damages: economic and non-economic.


Economic losses are easily measured and specified as they are financial losses that the family suffered. These include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills for the deceased before they died
  • Cost to transport their body, if required
  • Lost wages that the deceased contributed to the family
  • Value of household services that the deceased provided
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages

After losing a loved one, the surviving family members obviously experience a great deal of mental and emotional trauma. But even though you can’t produce receipts for these damages, they have as much of an impact as the losses mentioned above. A skilled Lake Charles wrongful death attorney will work to help you obtain your non-economic damages as well.

With the help of a skilled wrongful death lawyer in Lake Charles, you may be able to recover:

Lake Charles Wrongful Death filings can be tough for any family member

Who may be liable in your wrongful death case?

There are lots of reasons why you’ll want the help of a Lake Charles wrongful death attorney. This kind of case is complex, partially because there could be several parties that contributed to the tragedy. These include the following:

At-fault drivers

A negligent driver might have caused the accident that robbed you of your loved one. They could have been driving while distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If the death occurred due to a truck accident, the driver of the truck, the owner of the truck, and other parties could have played a role.

Medical providers

Wrongful deaths can also stem from medical malpractice. A nurse may have given your loved one the wrong dose of medication or the wrong medicine entirely. A surgeon might have left a medical instrument inside the body. Family members could sue not only the medical personnel who committed the negligence but also the hospital that employs them.

Lake Charles Wrongful Death Lawyer

How are wrongful death settlements are paid out?

This can get complicated as well. For example, what if the deceased didn’t have a spouse or children? Their parents are still alive, but they’re divorced. The deceased was much closer to one parent than the other, even though both played a part in raising the victim. How much should each parent receive?

A Lake Charles wrongful death attorney can protect your rights and make sure funds are distributed justly.

What are some common accidents resulting in wrongful death?

Unfortunately, many types of accidents can have tragic results. The following is a look at just a few.

Car accidents

If the driver of a vehicle is found to be negligent, they could be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. They could have been speeding or checking their smartphone instead of focusing on the road.

Truck accidents

As stated earlier, several parties can contribute to a fatal truck accident. The driver might have been fatigued. The trucking company could have failed to maintain the truck. The brakes could have failed due to negligent manufacturing.

Your Lake Charles wrongful death attorney will investigate to identify all liable parties and pursue compensation from all of them.

Medical malpractice

A doctor, nurse, or another medical professional could be liable if their mistakes result in death.

Workplace accidents

In most cases, the family of someone killed in a workplace accident will have to rely on workers’ compensation. But if a third party contributed to that accident, the family could take action against that party. There are also some instances where families can sue the employer of the deceased.

What is the cost of hiring a wrongful death attorney?

You won’t pay a dime when you hire a Lake Charles wrongful death attorney with The Johnson Firm. We’ll only receive money if your case is successful.

Our Lake Charles wrongful death lawyers are here to help you and your family

Your grief should not be compounded by financial worries. Let us take the stress off of your shoulders. It’s our job to fight for what is fair while you are given time and space to mourn the passing of your family member.

As Lake Charles wrongful death attorneys, we know that no amount of compensation will ease your grief or bring your loved one back. What financial compensation can do is alleviate some of the burden.

Reach out to our team today for a free case evaluation. Do not take this on alone! Call us today at (337) 433-1414, reach out to us online, or visit our Lake Charles offices at your convenience. We are here for you and your family and are ready to offer assistance.

Wrongful Death Questions and Answers

What is the difference between medical malpractice and wrongful death?

Sometimes, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims overlap, but they are two separate things. The best way to determine what kind of case you have is to contact an experienced lawyer at The Johnson Firm.

Medical malpractice claims occur when a medical professional provides a substandard level of care negatively impacting the patient’s health. In extreme cases, this poor care may result in the patient’s death. However, it is more likely to exacerbate their illness, delay their recovery, lead to scarring or amputation, cause infections, or cause negative reactions to medication.

Wrongful death, on the other hand, arises when a family member is killed due to someone else’s negligence. Medical malpractice is just one of many causes of wrongful death. Others include assault, product liability, and motor vehicle accidents.

Additionally, medical malpractice claims are more difficult to prove. They require expert medical testimony, which can be extremely expensive.

If you believe that your family member died due to medical malpractice, contact a Lake Charles wrongful death lawyer to discuss your next steps. 

What should I ask a wrongful death lawyer?

When hiring a wrongful death lawyer, take some time to research lawyers in your area and ask questions. You want someone with experience that you can work with throughout the process, who will keep you informed, and who has a proven track record of success in wrongful death cases.

Some questions you should ask are:

  • How much experience do you have?
  • How long will my case last?
  • Do you think I have a case?
  • What damages can I recover?
  • Who will be working on my case?
  • What is your typical approach?
  • How many cases are you currently working on?
  • What challenges do you think we will encounter with this case?
Why do I need a wrongful death lawyer?

Wrongful death lawsuits are complicated. You deserve time to focus on your grief and the healing process instead of worrying about the legal intricacies of your case. Our expert attorneys at The Johnson Firm will ensure that you get the financial support you need during this time by collecting damages.

Will insurance companies compensate for wrongful death?

Insurance companies will do everything in their power to prevent paying out money for any claim, including wrongful death.

You will need to first prove that the defendant was liable for the death of your loved one. Once you have proved this, insurance companies are liable to pay compensation for wrongful death to the survivors. They are the ones your Lake Charles wrongful death lawyer will negotiate terms with or take to court to sue for damages.

The company will not have your best interests at heart. Remember to be careful about speaking with them directly and ensuring that you follow your lawyer’s directions so you don’t accidentally hurt your case.

Should I involve the police in my wrongful death claim?

You will need to use your own judgment as to whether or not the police need to be called.

In most cases, you will not need to involve the police, as many wrongful deaths occur after a period of medical care. For example, if your loved one passes away a month after a medical malpractice surgery, you would not need to call police to the scene.

You should call the police to the scene of an active crime scene. This includes a homicide scene or a car accident, where there is a need for investigation and collection of evidence. There is a continued risk of danger at these scenes that necessitates police involvement. 

What should I do if I lost my loved one in a vehicle accident?

Losing a loved one is the worst thing a person can imagine. It is the most difficult time your family will likely face. Knowing that their death was the result of an individual’s negligence makes it much more difficult to process than if they had died of natural causes. In many cases, it is so sudden that the family doesn’t get to say goodbye.

It is important that you get counseling after suffering such a tragic loss. From there, hiring a wrongful death lawyer can help protect your family from financial hardships. They will ensure that while you grieve, they are determining who is at fault and preventing you from losing income.

Would worker's compensation pay for my loved one who was killed on the job?

Worker’s compensation includes death benefits, which are intended to compensate families for the financial loss of an employee who died due to a work-related accident or illness. However, much like a wrongful death lawsuit, only the direct living relatives of the deceased may make a claim for death benefits. These individuals must have lived with and depended on the deceased individual for their living expenses.

Eligibility varies from state to state, with some allowing for more family members to file for death benefits and others not finding that spouses qualify.

Death benefits may be awarded even if the employee did not die on the job. If they die months or years later, but their death was a direct result of an accident or illness obtained while on the job, then their surviving family may be able to collect death benefits.

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An injury can impact your life tremendously. Every type of injury that happens as a result of someone else’s negligence requires the attention of an experienced attorney.