Meeting the Challenges of Kentucky Wrongful Death Law
Families grieving the sudden loss of a loved one as a result of another’s negligence face a difficult transition. At the law firm of Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C., our Lexington wrongful death attorneys are committed to helping families come to terms with their loss while doing everything possible to maximize the value of their loss. Closure is extremely important to grieving families and our firm makes every effort to fast track all of our wrongful death cases.
Contact an experienced Kentucky wrongful death attorney at any of our four Kentucky locations for a free consultation about your rights and legal options. With offices in Louisville, Pikeville, Hazard, and Lexington, our lawyers are prepared to help people who need advice about the law of wrongful death anywhere in Eastern or Central Kentucky.
Kentucky wrongful death law makes it difficult to prove damages
Many people have a hard time understanding why wrongful death damages in our state are so strictly limited, but the fact remains that many plaintiffs in fatal accident cases will recover little more than the lost income that the victim would have earned. For older people or retired people, this amount might be very small.
Nevertheless, our attorneys have won substantial verdicts and settlements in wrongful death cases by proving one or more circumstances, such as:
In many states around the US, the family members of the deceased are responsible for filing wrongful death claims in civil court. However, Kentucky law specifically says that the personal representative, often referred to as the executor, of the deceased individual’s estate is responsible for filing the wrongful death claim.
In the event there is no personal representative, maybe because the deceased individual is a child or if they die without a will, the court will appoint an individual to act as a personal representative. In some cases, this will end up being a family member of the deceased.
There are various exceptions to who can file. If the death was caused by a deadly weapon, then the surviving spouse of the deceased and/or their children are allowed to file the claim in court. If the deceased individual was a minor, then the child’s parents are allowed to join the lawsuit filed by the executor of the estate.
There may be various types of compensation available to the estate and family members in the event a Kentucky wrongful death claim is successful. These damages are intended to compensate the estate and family for their loss. The estate could receive compensation for funeral expenses, attorney fees, and administration costs. Surviving family members would receive any remaining amount of the damages awarded.
Kentucky is specific about who can receive the remaining amount of damages after the estate gets its payment. We strongly encourage you to work with a skilled wrongful death lawyer who can help you understand which family members are allowed to recover the compensation.
A surviving spouse in Kentucky is allowed to file a separate claim to seek loss of consortium damages. This refers to the assistance, services, companionship, and conjugal support the deceased would have provided but is no longer able to.
At Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C., our team handles wrongful death claims in Kentucky on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients do not have to worry about paying any legal fees until we successfully recover the compensation they are entitled to. At the end of the case, the attorney fees are paid out of a percentage of the final settlement or jury verdict. Our law office handles all upfront and out-of-pocket expenses related to the case, and clients will not have to pay anything if we do not successfully recover compensation for the losses.
While we’re working to develop the evidence of liability and damages essential to winning your case, we also work closely with our client’s families to make sure that they have everything necessary to provide support through this time of loss. We answer all your questions and help you get access to the resources that can help you through your transition. We also do everything possible to relieve you of the burdens of litigation.
For more information about our approach to client service in Kentucky wrongful death lawsuits, contact a lawyer at Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C.