Wrongful Death Claims
When someone dies as a result of another party’s neglect, carelessness, or misconduct, Kentucky law provides that family members may be entitled to financial compensation from the responsible party. The personal representative of the estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the survivors and obtain a settlement award for the family if he/she is able to prove the responsible party’s negligence.
In Kentucky, the “wrongful death” statute is codified in KRS § 411.130. More specifically, whenever an injury caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another results in the death of a person, damages may be recovered from the responsible parties. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate prosecutes the wrongful death claim, and recovery is distributed according to the statutory framework.
Recoverable “wrongful death” damages include funeral expenses, destruction of deceased’s power to labor and earn money, and the deceased’s pain and suffering. If the party or parties that caused the death acted with gross negligence, recklessness, or indifference to the safety of others, punitive damages may also be recoverable.
In addition to the “wrongful death” claim, certain survivors also possess “loss of consortium” claims. Parents of deceased minor children, minor children of deceased parents, and surviving spouses are often entitled to recover damages for loss of the deceased’s consortium. In basic terms, loss of consortium is the loss of the deceased person’s relationship, love, and affection.
With any wrongful death claim, time is often of the essence. Because of this, we work with a vast network of experts and begin our investigation immediately. Our firm immediately will send preservation of evidence letters to any involved individual, company, agency, or entity. To help gather the facts to better understand what happened, we will work wok on obtaining some of the below listed evidentiary items:
- Police report, investigative report, police photographs, and police footage from dash and/or body cameras
- 911 dispatch tapes
- Records from EMS and the fire department
- Surveillance footage from any cameras near the scene
- Witness information and statements
- Social media posts
- Media reports
- Scene photographs
- Vehicle, motorcycle, or bicycle photographs
- Background checks of any involved individual or company
- Black box data
- GPS data
- Mobile device data
- Physical evidence
- Insurance information
- Any open records regarding any insurance carrier, company, agency, individual, or entity