Wrongful Death Attorneys in Lexington, Kentucky
Losing a loved one is always a traumatic event, but when that person’s loss comes because of someone else’s negligence or deliberate action, it can further the sorrow and suffering. All states have wrongful death statutes on their books, including the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Filing a lawsuit against the responsible entity cannot bring back your loved one, but it can hold that entity accountable.
If you have lost a loved one in Kentucky due to some other party’s negligence or deliberate actions, contact us at Wilson & McQueen, PLLC. Our legal team will listen to your story of what happened and advise you of the best legal options going forward—including the potential for a wrongful death lawsuit. As personal injury attorneys, we treat all clients and their situations with utmost compassion and understanding, and we strive to pursue justice for you and your loved ones.
Wilson & McQueen, PLLC not only serves clients in Lexington, but also in the surrounding communities in Kentucky, including London, Georgetown, Richmond, and Nicholasville.
Why File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring back your loved one, but it can hold the party accountable who caused your loss. It can also set an example so others may think twice before engaging in similar behavior.
A wrongful death lawsuit can also recover expenses resulting from your loss, including medical, funeral, and burial expenses. In addition, it can help make up for any lost income or support your loved one would have provided in the coming years.
No matter your particular reasoning for pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s important to reach out to a skilled attorney to help you through the process.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Kentucky?
Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 411.130 addresses the issue of wrongful death in this manner:
“Whenever the death of a person results from an injury inflicted by the negligence or wrongful act of another, damages may be recovered for the death from the person who caused it, or whose agent or servant caused it. If the act was willful or the negligence gross, punitive damages may be recovered. The action shall be prosecuted by the personal representative of the deceased.”
Keep in mind, however, that Kentucky has a very short statute of limitations (or time limit) when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. You have just one year from the date of the death of your loved one to file such a lawsuit. In other words, you need to act quickly or else your lawsuit will be thrown out entirely.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Kentucky?
Note that in the statute cited above, it states that the “personal representative of the deceased” must file the lawsuit. A personal representative is someone named in the deceased’s last will and testament to administer their estate when they’re gone.
If your loved one died without a will—known as dying intestate in legal terms—then the court will have to appoint a personal representative from among family members. It might well be a spouse or adult child. In any event, compensation will go to the family members who suffered the loss.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In general terms, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in cases where, had the decedent not died, he or she would have been able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against someone or some entity. Such lawsuits are usually based on the concept of negligence. For instance, a driver by law has a duty of care for others on the road, whether in vehicles, on bicycles or motorcycles, or on foot in crosswalks or on the side of the road.
In a negligence-based lawsuit, you must typically show four elements:
The responsible party had a duty of care toward you, or your loved one in the case of wrongful death;
That duty of care was breached through negligence;
The breach resulted in injuries, or in death in a wrongful death incident;
Those injuries, or that death, resulted in losses and expenses that need to be compensated.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
Any medical, burial, and funeral expenses, along with any other economic losses such as the income and other support from the decedent, can certainly be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit. Non-economic losses can also be sought for your pain and suffering, loss of consortium (love and companionship), and mental and emotional anguish.
Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Lexington, Kentucky
Losing a loved one because of some other party’s actions or negligence can result in great grief and an uncertain future. Filing a lawsuit may be a viable option for you and your family. However, given Kentucky’s short statute of limitations, you need to move quickly. If you’ve lost a loved one in or around Lexington in a wrongful death incident, reach out to us at Wilson & McQueen, PLLC. We will treat the situation with compassion as we strive to hold the responsible party accountable.