Wrongful Death Attorney in Hazard, Kentucky
An unexpected loss can devastate any family. In most cases, families never truly recover from losing a loved one. The situation can become even more traumatic when a loved one’s death could have been prevented. That is why filing a wrongful death claim can help families begin picking up the pieces.
As a compassionate personal injury attorney, I strive to provide the people of Hazard, Kentucky, with high-level legal counsel. I proudly support residents in Letcher County, Knott County, Leslie County, and Perry County to get the support they need during the toughest times. So, I am here to provide insight into this topic to help families through these extremely difficult times. Reach out today for guidance.
Why File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?
In 2022, a total of 696 traffic fatalities were reported in Kentucky. Sadly, the majority of those deaths could have been prevented if the liable parties had exercised greater caution. That is why seeking fair compensation for wrongful death is crucial to ensure the responsible parties are accountable for their actions.
While filing a wrongful death claim does not bring the lost loved one back, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions is a major step in the healing process. Most families never recover from the loss of a loved one. Nevertheless, fair compensation allows families to offset the personal and material losses resulting from the loss of a loved one.
Please bear in mind that a wrongful death claim can help families financially recover from economic losses such as lost wages, and expenses resulting from medical bills, hospital stays, funeral costs, and burial arrangements. Filing a wrongful death claim is not about “profiting” from the loss. Instead, it is about seeking fair compensation for a negligent action on the part of the responsible parties.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person or entity. This definition can include a variety of different circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
Car or truck accidents caused by negligent or reckless driving.
Medical malpractice, including mistakes made during surgery, misdiagnosis, and prescription errors.
Workplace accidents caused by unsafe working conditions or employer negligence.
Defective products that cause injury or death.
Criminal acts, such as murder or manslaughter.
Please keep in mind that the basis for any successful wrongful death claim lies in establishing the liable party’s negligence as the cause of the victims’ deaths. Otherwise, the claim may become unsuccessful in yielding rightful compensation for a wrongful death.
It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Kentucky. Wrongful death victims’ families have one year from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It is highly recommended to consult with an experienced personal injury or wrongful death attorney who can guide families through the legal process and help the fair compensation they deserve.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, a wrongful death claim can be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person's estate on behalf of the surviving family members. The personal representative is typically named in the deceased person's will or appointed by the court if there is no will.
The surviving family members who are eligible to recover damages in a Kentucky wrongful death claim include the following individuals:
The surviving spouse of the deceased person
The children of the deceased person, whether they are minors or adults
The parents of the deceased person, if there are no surviving children or spouse
The personal representative of the deceased person's estate, who can recover damages on behalf of the deceased person's estate
If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, other relatives such as siblings or grandparents
Families can also name a trusted wrongful death attorney as a representative to handle the claims process. Retaining a wrongful death attorney helps relieve the burden of dealing with legal proceedings as they begin the healing process.
What Needs to Be Proven to Constitute Wrongful Death?
To prove a wrongful death claim in Kentucky, the following elements must be established:
The death of a person occurred.
The death was caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another person or entity.
The surviving family members have suffered monetary damages as a result of the death.
Above all, the core of any successful wrongful death is negligence. The burden is, therefore, on the victim’s family to prove the liable party’s negligence as the cause of death
Damages Available for a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky
In Kentucky, damages that may be available in a wrongful death claim typically fall into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
These damages refer to the financial losses that the surviving family members have suffered as a result of the death and may include:
Medical expenses related to the deceased person's final injury or illness
Funeral and burial expenses
Lost wages and benefits that the deceased person would have earned in the future
Loss of future earning capacity
Loss of household services that the deceased person provided
Non-economic damages refer to the emotional losses that the surviving family members have suffered as a result of the death and may include:
Pain and suffering of the deceased person prior to death;
Loss of companionship, care, and guidance;
Emotional distress and mental anguish suffered by the surviving family members;
Loss of society and consortium; and,
Punitive damages may also be available in cases where the defendant's conduct was especially egregious, such as in cases involving intentional harm or gross negligence.
It is worth noting that the damages that can be recovered in a Kentucky wrongful death claim are intended to compensate the surviving family members for their financial and emotional losses as a result of the death.
Wrongful Death Attorney in Hazard, Kentucky
Don’t face tough times on your own. At my firm, The Law Office of Kyle S. Hall, I believe in helping my clients get the compensation they deserve so they can begin the healing process following the unfortunate death of a loved one. Fight for the ones you love by seeking the rightful compensation you deserve, and reach out today for support.