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Do You Need a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Case?

June 10, 2021

The last thing anybody expects is that they will lose a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another individual, business, or entity. Unfortunately, there are times when these incidents occur. Family members may be able to recover compensation and closure from the at-fault party through a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the wrongful death laws in Kentucky can be somewhat complicated to understand, and we want to discuss why you should turn to a skilled attorney to help handle every aspect of these claims.

An Attorney Will Know all of the Wrongful Death Laws in Kentucky

When we examine the laws surrounding wrongful death claims in Kentucky (Ky. Rev. Stat. §§ 411.130, 411.135, 411.150 (2021).), we can see that wrongful death is defined as occurring when “the death of a person results from an injury inflicted by the negligence or wrongful act of another.” These cases can arise in various ways, including:

Vehicle accidents
Workplace accidents
Medical malpractice
• Intentional actions (criminal conduct)
• Premises liability incidents
• Defective product cases
• …and more

After determining that a wrongful death did occur, an attorney will be able to handle filing the wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky civil court.

An Attorney can Fully Investigate the Incident

One of the most important reasons why a person needs to work with a skilled Kentucky wrongful death lawyer is that these claims can become incredibly complicated when going up against at-fault parties, their insurance carriers, and their legal teams. It is crucial to have an attorney who has the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into the incident and stand up to these other parties involved.

In most situations, the family members and personal representatives of the deceased person’s estate do not have the resources necessary to handle an entire wrongful death claim on their own.

An Attorney Will Understand Time Limits Involved

An attorney can get involved and make sure that any wrongful death claim is filed on time, according to the wrongful death statute of limitations set forth by the state.

It is critical to point out that it is nearly impossible for the estate or the family members to recover compensation in the event the wrongful death claim is not filed by the time limits set forth by the statute of limitation.

An Attorney can Help Properly Calculate Compensation Amounts

A skilled lawyer will be able to work with trusted medical and economic experts to properly calculate how much money family members and the estate should receive after a wrongful death occurs. There are various types of compensation that may be awarded in these cases. Under Kentucky law, damages in a successful wrongful death case are intended to compensate the deceased’s estate and the surviving family members for their loss.

In general, we will see that the estate will receive compensation for administrative costs, attorney fees, and funeral expenses. Surviving family members will be entitled to the remainder of the damages. Some of the other types of compensation awarded in these cases can include the following:

• Compensation for lost earning power of the deceased
• Pain and suffering the deceased experienced before death
• Medical bills the deceased incurred before death
• Loss of consortium for a spouse or minor child

A skilled Kentucky wrongful death lawyer will work with experts to properly calculate the compensation amount and then vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers and legal teams on behalf of the estate and family members.