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Lexington Wrongful Death Attorney

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“I love these people!! There’s not enough good stuff I can say about them. Their compassion and empathy is second to none. Such a wonderful group of people that took, or promptly returned, every call and/or email. I never had to call/email twice for the same thing. My mom had really bad anxiety, and they were so patient and kind to her!”

– Donna M.

The death of a loved one is never easy, but it can be much more difficult when someone else’s wrongful acts cause your loved one’s death. Our Lexington wrongful death attorneys know that you are grieving and that a wrongful death claim will not bring back your loved one. However, we also know that financial recovery may relieve some financial stresses and provide financial security for you and your family. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct, contact a Lexington injury lawyer at Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C., to schedule a free case evaluation.

Why Choose A Lexington Wrongful Death Lawyer From Our Law Firm?

  • Emotional recovery and financial security are important for families who have lost a loved one. Our compassionate Lexington personal injury attorneys are committed to helping surviving family members come to terms with their loss while doing everything possible to maximize the value of their claim.
  • We have been helping families secure significant settlements and jury awards for their losses for over four decades. Helping victims get the compensation and justice that they deserve is our passion because we care about our clients and their cases are personal to us.
  • We know that finances can be stressful after losing a loved one, especially if he or she provided financial support for the family. Our wrongful death attorneys want to help in every way possible and they will not collect attorneys’ fees until you have secured financial compensation for your wrongful death claim. We will also advance all case-related costs and fees.

Common Causes Of Wrongful Death In Lexington

Lexington wrongful death lawyer

Wrongful death cases can arise in various ways in and around the Lexington area of Kentucky. At Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C., our team has experience handling complex personal injury and wrongful death claims, and some of the most common incidents that lead to a wrongful death filing include the following:

This is not an exhaustive list of the types of incidents that lead to wrongful death cases arising in Lexington. If you believe that your loved one lost their life due to the negligent actions of another individual or company in our area, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?

The state of Kentucky requires that the personal representative (often referred to as the executor) of the deceased’s estate is responsible for filing the wrongful death claim in most cases. In the event there is no personal representative, in cases where a person had no estate, if there was no will, or if the person who passed was a child, the court will appoint an individual to act as a representative.

There are some exceptions to this. First, if the loss of life was caused by a deadly weapon, then the deceased individual’s surviving spouse or children (or both) are allowed to file the wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, if the deceased individual was a minor, then the individual’s parents are allowed to join the lawsuit filed by the executor of the estate.

How To File A Lexington Wrongful Death Claim 

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky can be challenging, and it is crucial to consult an attorney for accurate guidance. We want to provide a general outline for filing these claims, but please understand that each case is unique. Your attorney can help bring clarity to the steps required for your particular situation.

  1. Determine eligibility to file: In Kentucky, wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed by the personal representative or executor of the deceased person’s estate on behalf of the surviving family members. The personal representative is responsible for initiating the lawsuit.
  2. Consult with a wrongful death attorney: It is important to consult with a wrongful death lawyer in Lexington who is familiar with Kentucky law. They can provide guidance and assist you throughout the legal process.
  3. Investigation and evidence gathering: Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence supporting the wrongful death claim. This may include reviewing medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and other relevant documentation.
  4. Filing the lawsuit: Once the investigation is complete, your lawyer will prepare and file the required legal documents, such as a complaint, with the appropriate Kentucky court. The complaint outlines the allegations against the responsible party and the damages sought.
  5. Discovery and negotiation: Both parties engage in the discovery process, where they exchange relevant information and evidence. Negotiations may take place with the opposing party or their insurance representatives to explore the possibility of reaching a settlement agreement.
  6. Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. During the trial, both the defendant and the plaintiff present their arguments and evidence before a judge or jury.

Is There a Time Limit in Kentucky to File a  Wrongful Death Claim?

In Kentucky, there are time limits to file your claim caused by a car accident, medical malpractice, or defective products, our Lexington wrongful death lawyers can fight for maximum compensation. Please contact our office to discuss your time limits and how we may assist surviving family members or loved ones during this difficult time.

Recoverable Compensation In A Lexington Wrongful Death Case

Compensation in wrongful death actions is limited under Kentucky law, but that does not mean your recovery will be small. Surviving family members may recover funeral expenses and burial expenses, loss of consortium, and loss of financial support. In some cases where the defendant’s conduct was especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded as well. Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party for their conduct and deter similar conduct in the future.

In some cases, survival actions may be appropriate which would allow for additional compensation. Survival actions are generally only available when the deceased survived for a period of time between the time of the accident and his or her untimely death. If the deceased suffered losses such as pain and suffering lost wages, or medical bills prior to his or her death, a survival action may be appropriate as well.

How Are Wrongful Death Claims Paid Out In Lexington, KY?

When it comes to wrongful death claim payouts in Lexington, KY, there are different routes through which compensation can be secured, including insurance settlements and wrongful death trial jury awards. Additionally, once compensation is awarded, there is a choice between a structured settlement and a lump sum payout:

  1. Insurance settlement: In many cases, wrongful death claims are resolved through negotiations with insurance companies. If the responsible party has liability insurance coverage, the insurance carrier could offer a settlement to compensate the surviving family members. The settlement amount is typically determined based on factors such as the circumstances of the death, the financial losses incurred, and the available insurance policy limits.
  2. Wrongful death trial jury award: If an insurance settlement cannot be reached or if the case goes to trial, a jury may decide the outcome. In such instances, the jury determines the compensation amount to be awarded based on factors presented during the trial, such as evidence of negligence, loss of income, medical expenses, and funeral costs for the surviving family members. The awarded amount is typically intended to compensate for the economic and non-economic losses resulting from the wrongful death.

Now, let’s discuss the difference between a structured settlement and a lump sum payout:

  • Structured settlement: A structured settlement involves the payment of compensation in regular installments over a specified period. This option provides a steady income stream for the surviving family members. The structured settlement can be customized based on the family’s specific needs and may include a combination of guaranteed payments and future lump sum amounts.
  • Lump sum payout: A lump sum payout refers to receiving the entire compensation amount in one single payment. With a lump sum, the family receives the full amount upfront, providing immediate access to the funds. This option allows for more flexibility in how the compensation is used and invested.

Both options have their advantages and considerations. A structured settlement provides a stable income but lacks flexibility (this could be a major problem if you have expenses that must be paid now), while a lump sum payout offers immediate access to the funds but requires careful financial planning to ensure they are managed wisely.

It is worth noting that the availability and suitability of structured settlements versus lump sum payouts can vary depending on the jurisdiction, applicable laws, and individual circumstances. Consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney can provide specific guidance and help determine the most suitable option for securing compensation.

Insurance Companies And Wrongful Death Claims

Insurance companies are often involved in these cases and they can be difficult to deal with because their goal is to pay as little as possible to settle the claim. In wrongful death cases, however, an insurance company is often focused on avoiding the financial risk of an emotionally charged jury award, especially in cases that may involve punitive damages. When insurance companies know that our Lexington accident attorneys are willing to go to trial, they are often more generous and agreeable in settlement negotiations.

Contact Our Lexington Wrongful Death Lawyers Today

Financial security from a wrongful death settlement or trial award can make it easier for families to pick up the pieces and move forward. Contact a Kentucky wrongful death lawyer at the law offices of Gary C. Johnson, P.S.C., to discuss your claim and legal options. We know that you and your family are suffering and we want to help you recover and move forward. Our law firm offers free personal injury consultations to discuss your case and review your legal options.