Who can collect after a successful wrongful death lawsuit?

The unexpected death of a beloved family member can tear at the strength of those who survive and must live on without their departed relative. In Kentucky, the law stipulates that certain individuals may benefit from the successful litigation of a wrongful death claim. This post will provide a general overview of just how an award of wrongful death damages may be distributed.

What acts may constitute gross negligence?

Negligence forms the basis of many personal injury claims, including claims brought due to the wrongful deaths of victims. There are several elements that must be proven for a victim to prevail in court on their negligence claim, and this post will briefly touch on those to provide readers with an understanding of this important legal topic. However, other forms of negligence also exist, and through this post Kentucky readers will also be introduced to the concept of gross negligence.

What are "loss of consortium" damages?

The loss of a loved one can affect all areas of life. When a dear relative dies, it can be almost impossible for a Kentucky resident to envision a future without the deceased individual in it. Deaths from natural causes can be difficult to work through, but many individuals who lose loved ones in unexpected accidents and incidents feel the trauma of loss as well as the pain of knowing it could have been avoided.

How recklessness may lead to a wrongful death

Negligence is often the cause of the many injury-causing accidents that happen throughout Kentucky. Whether those accidents occur on the roads, at workplaces or in retail centers, the failure of a person to act reasonably given their circumstances is often the basis of their victim's civil legal claims. From time to time, though, individuals conduct themselves in a manner even more careless and defiant that negligence does not adequately describe their conduct.

What is a wrongful death?

If a death is the result of natural causes, such as old age or a long-term illness, the loss of the victim is tragic, but not legally compensable. However, if a person loses their life due to the actions of another individual, legal liability may come into play. In Kentucky and other American jurisdictions, individuals may suffer wrongful deaths if they lose their lives due to the negligent or reckless acts of others.

Wrongful death awards paid out based on relationship to decedent

When a Kentucky resident dies as a result of the negligence of another party then it is possible that their personal representative may later be able to file a claim for damages based on the victim's wrongful death. In the case of a car accident, the deceased victim's representative may file a lawsuit so that the relatives of the decedent are able to receive compensation for their extensive losses. When an award is granted to distribution of damages to survivors of the victim will be determined based on state law.

Wrongful death damages and the age of a victim

It is often the case that when a wage-earning individual loses their life due to the negligent actions of another, their loved ones may be able to pursue damages based on the lost earnings of the deceased party. The spouse, children and other dependents who counted on the victim's wages may suffer financially due to the victim's death. In Kentucky and other jurisdictions these types of losses may be appropriate in the wake of a wrongful death incident.

Who receives the award of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?

It is only after a person loses their life in an accident or other negligent or criminal act that their loved ones obtain the right to seek damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. This Lexington personal injury blog has discussed the elements of wrongful death claims and how individuals may sue for the many losses they have been forced to incur when their loved ones have perished due to the actions of others. If they prevail in their legal plight, the distribution of the wrongful death damages award must follow state guidelines.

Filing a wrongful death claim in Kentucky

Losing a loved one in a tragic accident can be devastating to the surviving family members. While in most situations when a victim suffers harm due to another person's negligence, but survives, they are able to sue the responsible party for their damages, in a wrongful death the victim is no longer capable of advocating for their own rights. It is therefore through a wrongful death claim that losses associated with the victim's death may be pursued and for the benefit of their surviving relations.

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