Few things in life are more painful than unexpectedly losing a loved one. And if your loved one’s death is caused by the misconduct of another person or entity, you may be wondering where you can turn for help. At Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers, our wrongful death attorneys in Louisville have experience helping families through some of the most difficult times in life, and we’re here to assist you.
Family tragedies require time to heal, but bills and other monetary concerns related to your loved one’s death can leave your family facing financial uncertainty. Our legal team will work hard to hold the person responsible for your family member’s death accountable, so you can focus on your family. Call (502) 785-3822 24/7 or fill out a free online form for a free case review today.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims We Handle
Kentucky law allows surviving family members, primarily spouses and children, to recover compensation after a loved one’s death caused by someone else’s negligence.
Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall incidents
- Excessive police force
If you lost a loved one in an accident that could have been prevented, our experienced team of attorneys and staff want to help take away some of the burden your family is experiencing.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
In Kentucky, a representative of the deceased estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their surviving family members. While a personal representative files the actual claim damages are rewarded to the estate itself and family of the deceased.
Damages are the types of suffering you can pursue compensation for in a personal injury claim. Generally, there are three categories of damages, economic, non-economic and punitive. Economic damages cover the financial losses associated with a wrongful death or the deceased’s suffering such as medical expenses. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate for the abstract losses loved one face such as emotional distress and loss of companionship.
The last type of damages, punitive, differs from the first two in that their main purpose is to punish the defendant in cases of egregiously negligent behavior. As such, punitive damages are not awarded often. Damages can be recovered for:
- Funeral and burial expenses, these are paid directly to the estate
- Loss of companionship, care, and guidance, these are paid to surviving family members
Kentucky outlines how family members divide damages in the following order:
- If there are no children but a surviving spouse, full damages will be awarded to the spouse
- If there are children and a surviving spouse the damages are split between the spouse and children
- If there are children but not a spouse, full damages will be awarded to the children
- If there are no children and no spouse the deceased's parents will receive the damages
- If there are no children, spouse, or parents the deceased's estate will receive the damages. This will go to paying off any of the estate's debt and to anyone left in the deceased's will
In some cases, punitive damages can be recovered. Unlike other damages that seek to compensate for financial and emotional suffering, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the negligent party and deter future negligent behavior. These types of damages are not often awarded and are usually determined based on the defendant's wealth. Some states place limits, or caps, on how much can be awarded in damages. Kentucky, however, places no caps on damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
According to Kentucky Statutes section 411.130, the statute of limitations on wrongful death in Kentucky is one year. This means you have one year from the date of death to file a claim or you may lose your right to pursue compensation. It is important to note that the date of death and the date injuries were inflicted may not be the same date.
Helping Families Heal
If a person or business caused your loved one’s death, our wrongful death lawyers in Louisville have the knowledge and experience to help protect your family’s rights. Contact Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—just dial (502) 785-3822 or fill out a free online form to get started. There’s no obligation to get a free initial consultation, and our No Fee Guarantee® means you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.*
* In accordance with KBA regulations, we must inform you that case and court costs may be the responsibility of the client.