Can You Recover for Your Grief in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Georgia B. Day

If another person’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct caused the death of someone you love, and you are a qualifying survivor under Louisiana’s wrongful death statute, you might be able to file a wrongful death claim.

A “wrongful death” claim allows certain qualified individuals to recover compensation from the individual or entity responsible for the death of their loved one, for the losses they sustained as a result of that individual’s death.

This means that you can generally recover for “economic” damages suffered such as burial and funeral expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, and benefits, or bills for damaged property.

It also means you may be able to recover for non-economic damages you suffered due to the loss of your loved one. Non-economic damages are money damages that are paid to the surviving family members or qualified persons of the deceased for losses that are not so easy to calculate. These include things like loss of companionship, “pain and suffering,” and loss of services.

But what about the grief you may suffer when someone’s negligent or intentional wrongdoing takes the life of a person you love? Clearly, one’s grief is part of the damage caused to surviving family members when another’s negligence causes the untimely death of their loved one. So, can you recover for that as well?

Grief and Wrongful Death Actions.

Louisiana has two main causes of action that can be brought when a person’s death is caused by the negligence of another person. The first is a wrongful death lawsuit. The other is a “survival action” which is used to compensate for the wrongful death victim’s estate for his/her pain and suffering before death.

For purposes of this post, we will consider only the wrongful death action. First, it is important to understand that the damages that can be recovered in any wrongful death suit depend on the state where you live and that state’s laws.

In Louisiana, the state’s wrongful death statute specifically limits who (which family members) can bring a wrongful death action. These are:

  • The victim’s spouse and children
  • The victim’s parents
  • The victim’s brothers and sisters
  • The victim’s grandparents

Only the surviving relative who has the closest relationship to the victim (for example, a surviving spouse as opposed to the victim’s surviving brother) can bring the action. For more information and assistance regarding Louisiana’s wrongful death statutes, contact experienced counsel.

The family member/s who qualify to bring a wrongful death action can seek compensation for the emotional as well as the financial losses caused by their loved one’s death. Louisiana recognizes that an untimely death causes those left behind to suffer grief and anguish. As a result, the closeness of the relationship that existed between the victim and the plaintiff in the wrongful death action, and the grief suffered, can be considered when it comes to damages in these types of cases.

Compassionate, Experienced Counsel.

At the Day Law Group, we understand how devastating emotionally and financially losing a loved one can be. That’s why we fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations and we do not get paid unless you win your case. Contact us ToDay or call 225-200-0000.

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Justin A. Day

A proud graduate of Southern University Law Center and former president of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Justin is best known for providing his clients with the personal attention they need while fighting hard to get them the compensation they deserve. Justin and his team are not afraid to take on the tough cases or fight the good fight. Dedicated and tenacious, for over 18 years, Justin has consistently achieved superior results for the clients he serves.

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Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day is an experienced personal injury and worker’s compensation attorney. A former Administrative Law Judge for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Georgia is driven by a desire to obtain justice for individuals injured in the workplace and those who have been injured due to the carelessness of others. Georgia takes pride in providing her clients with the best possible representation. Polished and professional, Georgia is best known for her excellent work ethic, obtaining superior results, and her responsiveness to clients.

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