Injury Attorneys

Louisville Wrongful Death Attorney

We Fight for Grieving Families

Experiencing the loss of a loved one can be devastating, to say the least. When you feel it was due to an act of negligence or recklessness by another, however, the journey can be especially difficult.

The Louisville wrongful death attorneys at Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC understand the emotional distress the sudden loss of a family member can have on a family. While it’s never possible to adequately compensate for a life, our experienced attorneys can help you  seek the financial peace of mind that you and your family deserves.

If you believe a loved one as passed due to the negligence or recklessness of another individual or healthcare professional, it is best you consult with experienced, dedicated and trusted wrongful death attorneys. This time can be a difficult time for you and your family. Contact our office today to receive a free case evaluation. Our wrongful death defense team can help you.

What is a Wrongful Death?

In Kentucky, a “wrongful death” is any death that results from an injury the “negligence or wrongful act of another” inflicts. A wrongful death claim could arise after a car accident, medical malpractice, slip and fall injury, dangerous drug, defective medical device or product, homicide, or other scenario causing a fatal injury. When someone else causes the death of a loved one in Kentucky, surviving family members have the right to seek financial recovery through the civil court system.

Who Can Pursue for Wrongful Death Case in Kentucky?

Not just anyone who knew or loved the deceased person is eligible for compensation for negligence in Kentucky. If you are not someone listed in the state’s wrongful death laws, you will not receive damages. If you are, you must use a personal representative of the estate to file a claim on your behalf. The state’s wrongful death statute restricts who may recover damages after a loved one’s death – due to negligence – to only certain surviving family members, in the following order:

  1. Surviving spouse
  2. Surviving spouse and children (courts will split compensation down the middle)
  3. Surviving children (if no surviving spouse exists)
  4. Mother and/or father of the deceased
  5. The estate

The courts will give all or a portion of the compensation to the plaintiff depending on the type of survivors in existence. For example, if a mother and father both file for the wrongful death of a child, the courts will award them each one half of the compensation award. If only a mother survives, she will receive all of the award.

If the deceased person has no surviving spouse, children, or parents, the whole amount of compensation will go to the payment of debts, and then pass to the decedent’s family members, such as siblings. If you qualify for compensation, you must use a personal representative to file the claim. The courts will assign one (it can be family member) if the decedent did not name one in a will or estate plan.

Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death results in different damages than ordinary personal injury claims. The Kentucky courts allow recovery for both the decedent’s losses and the surviving family members’ losses. The decedent’s damages are similar to those he or she might have been able to seek recovery for had the incident not resulted in death. These can include the deceased person’s medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering up till the time of death. Additional compensation for family members can include damages such as:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Attorney’s fees and court costs
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of the decedent’s company, support, love, care, and guidance
  • Lost inheritance and future earnings of the deceased

Louisville Wrongful Death Attorney

There is currently no cap on the amount of compensation a family or personal representative can receive for wrongful death in Kentucky. Using one of our attorneys to bring your lawsuit for you will help you get maximum compensation for the irretrievable loss of life. Contact our Louisville wrongful death attorney within one year of the date of your loved one’s death (statute of limitation) to discuss the possibility of a wrongful death lawsuit. We are compassionate lawyers who want the best for your family during a dark time. Let us help you after a devastating fatal accident in Kentucky.