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Punitive damages for a wrongful death claim

August 14, 2019

A wrongful death is a tragic and traumatic experience for all members of a decedent’s family. Wrongful deaths are generally caused by the negligent, wrongful, or reckless acts of others. Unlike deaths that occur from natural causes, wrongful deaths may be preventable and can be attributed to the actions of others. Additionally, unlike natural deaths, wrongful deaths may lead to litigation.

When a person dies in a wrongful death accident, their loved ones may wish to pursue their losses from the party or parties that caused them to suffer. The administrator or executor of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death claim within the statute of limitations recognized by the state. In their pleading, the administrator may include a statement regarding the damages that should be paid by the responsible party.

Punitive damages may be sought in Kentucky by parties pursuing wrongful death claims. Punitive damages are often punishment-based: the purpose of punitive damages is to penalize the wrongdoer in a wrongful death claim. Punitive damages may also deter others from engaging in dangerous conduct so that other lives may be spared from potential wrongful death accidents.

Not all lawsuits filed in the civil courts of Kentucky will include claims for punitive damages. Punitive damages may not be appropriate in all cases though they may be included in claims of wrongful deaths. To learn more about the elements of Kentucky wrongful death claims, as well as the types of damages that individuals may choose to pursue in such types of litigation, readers are asked to reach out to their trusted personal injury attorneys.