What is the Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Louisiana?

According to Louisiana State Law Article 2315.2 any actions must be made within

 “one year from the death of the deceased.”

This article means that lawsuits must be filed within a year, although it could take years to actually complete litigation and receive compensation. A wrongful death action is permissible in the state of Louisiana “if a person dies due to the fault of another”. The law also provides limits on who can file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. The one year limitation applies to malpractice, product liability, premise liability and personal injury.

If you suspect your loved one is the victim of wrongful death it is important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Once the statute of limitations has passed you will not be able to sue an individual or company for compensation. As many victims’ families learn it can be very expensive to take care of a loved one who has been injured. An attorney will be able to determine if your case is viable and how long you have to file your suit.

What types of compensation does the law allow?

A wrongful death claim can include medical expenses, loss of income, loss of opportunity, pain and suffering, emotional damage and loss of companionship. Learn more about compensatory damages. The law also allows a wrongful death victim’s estate to pursue punitive damages that may go above and beyond compensation.

Get More Information

Visit our information center for more advice on wrongful death claims.  We’re available 24/7 to help you. Give us a call or fill out our contact form to get help.

How Social Media Can Affect Your Case

Posting photos of your daughter’s birthday party or sharing a status about your latest trip to the beach may seem innocent, but this can all be used against you in a personal injury trial. While there are laws to prevent opposing lawyers from prying into your private life, plaintiffs often underestimate how online information can be used against them. If you are seeking compensation in a personal injury trial follow these 6 steps to ensure the best possible outcome of your case:

  1. Do not immediately delete your accounts or posts. If the opposing attorney proves there was incriminating information in your profile, a judge will frown upon your spoliation of the evidence. Always consult a lawyer before doing anything with your account.
  2. Download all account information for your files. Facebook, email accounts and other platforms allow you to download and print all historical activity for your records. If the defendant presents or threatens to have evidence that would harm your case it is helpful if you have hard copies of the evidence.
  3. Know your privacy settings. Information broadcasted on social media is not considered private by the judicial system. If you limit access to your profile the defendant will have the difficult task of proving there is enough relevant evidence in your account to be granted a subpoena. Ensure all privacy settings on your profile are enabled to inhibit information being used against you.
  4. Do not post about your whereabouts. You probably understand why you shouldn’t post a photo of your latest 5k after a car accident; however, you may think it’s ok to post about your location. Any information about your activity and location can be used to damage your claim.
  5. Do not accept friend requests. During a case be careful who you let see your profile. Do not accept friend requests from anyone you do not know. And do not send requests to anyone involved in your case.
  6. Do not post about your case. You may innocently want to update your family about your case via Facebook. Do not post any information about your trial or settlement online. Posting opinions or facts about your case can be extremely harmful to your situation.

The best way to avoid your online activities being used against you is to refrain from posts, photos and web communication during litigation. Take some time to sift through your online information, even Google yourself, to identify what information about you is discoverable online. Any profile; LinkedIn, MySpace, blog and even your Pinterest board can end up in court. Opposing attorneys will often use the information to negotiate a lower settlement during mediation. Take extreme caution and talk to an attorney when dealing with social media.

Questions?

At Broussard & Hart we leave no stone unturned in your case. We want you to get the settlement you deserve. If you have questions about social media please call us. Our office is available 24/7 to answer your questions.

 

My Surgery Had a Poor Outcome. Is that Malpractice?

Surgery Had a Poor OutcomeWhether it is for a minor problem or a major condition, surgery always comes with a certain amount of risk. If you recently had surgery and the outcome was not what you were hoping for you are likely dealing with a number of emotions that may include frustration, depression, and even anger. You may also be wondering whether the fact that your surgery had a poor outcome means you are the victim of medical malpractice. The only way to know with any certainty whether your circumstances amount to the base for a medical malpractice lawsuit is to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney; however, it may also be beneficial, in the meantime, to gain a better understanding of what is typically required to prove malpractice.

What Do You Need to Claim Malpractice?

A poor outcome, alone, is not enough to claim medical malpractice. Although we do hold physicians, and others in the healthcare professions, to a high standard of care, they are not expected to be perfect. Moreover, all surgeries come with inherent risks and no certain outcome. For all of these reasons, a poor outcome alone is not sufficient to claim malpractice. It may, however, amount to medical malpractice depending on the underlying reason for the poor outcome.

Healthcare professionals are held to a standard of care that is different from the typical standard of care used in other personal injury scenarios. The “medical standard of care” is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice. In other words, did the surgeon do, or not do, what another surgeon with similar education and experience have done under the same circumstances? If so, malpractice is unlikely. If the surgeon deviated from the standard of care you may have the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Another issue to consider is “informed consent.” Because of the inherent risks anytime surgery is performed the surgeon has a duty to inform you of those risks and the possible outcomes of the surgery ahead of time. If you were not informed of the possibility that the outcome could be poor, you may have the basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit based on lack of informed consent.

If you have additional questions or concerns, contact the Louisiana medical malpractice attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule a consultation today.

 

I Lost a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident in Louisiana. Can I File a Lawsuit?

File a LawsuitFor motorcycle enthusiasts, riding a bike is a way of life. Unfortunately, the very attributes that make motorcycles so attractive also make them more dangerous to operate. The freedom a biker feels when riding, for example, is a result of the fact that a motorcycle is completely open, offering absolutely no protection in the event of a crash. If you recently lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana you are undoubtedly grieving the loss. You may also be experiencing a financial hardship if the decedent contributed to your family financially or otherwise. Although no amount of money will bring back your loved one, you may still be wondering “Can I file a lawsuit?” The answer depends on a number of factors.

In a wrongful death lawsuit in the State of Louisiana, in order to be entitled to damages for your loss another party must have caused, or contributed, to the accident that caused you to lose your loved one. In legal terms this is referred to as proving “negligence.” Therefore, the first issue is whether or not another party, usually another motorist, was negligent. More than one party can share in the negligence. In addition, the decedent may even share some of the negligence, or fault, for the accident. If several parties were negligent the damages will be apportioned among the negligent parties accordingly. If the decedent shared some of the blame for the accident, any damages to which the survivors are entitled will be decreased proportionately.

The other important factor is whether or not you are entitled to file as a claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit. In the State of Louisiana only certain survivors may file a wrongful death lawsuit. A surviving spouse and/or children of the decedent have priority in a wrongful death lawsuit. If the decedent was not survived by a spouse or children then the parents of the decedent are next in line to file a wrongful death lawsuit. After the parents come siblings and then grandparents of the decedent. In the event none of these people survived the decedent then only the estate of the decedent may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Because every motorcycle accident occurred under a unique set of facts and circumstances it is always best to consult with an experienced Louisiana motorcycle accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. While the law does allow certain survivors to pursue compensation for their loss in a wrongful death, the law also limits the amount of time within which legal action must be initiated or compensation is forever waived. Contact the Louisiana motorcycle accident attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.

 

What Is the Difference between an Invitee and a Licensee?

Invitee and a LicenseeAccidents occur all the time, in all types of places, and under a virtually endless number of circumstances. What happens though, if you are injured while on someone else’s property? The owner (or occupier) of a property has a legal duty to those who enter the property. The extent of that duty, however, depends on the visitor’s status as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. If you have suffered injuries while on the property of another it will be important to determine whether you are classified as an invitee or a licensee for purposes of discussing whether or not the owner/occupier of the property’s negligence caused, or contributed to, your injuries.

The owner of a property owes a legal duty of care to a visitor on the property. Exactly what that duty of care entails will depend on the visitor’s status with the highest duty of care being owed to an invitee and the lowest to a trespasser. Both an invitee and a licensee are visitors who are legally on the property with the permission of the owner. Beyond that, however, there are significant differences.

An invitee is someone who is legally on the property with the expectation of financial gain by the owner. In other words, the owner expects to gain something by the visitor’s presence. Usually, an invitee is somewhere where the public is invited to enter. Examples of an invitee include:

 

  • A diner at a restaurant
  • A guest at a hotel
  • A shopper at a grocery store
  • A customer at a retail store
  • A client at an office

A licensee is also someone who is on the property legally and with the permission of the owner; however, the owner has no expectation of financial gain from a licensee. Examples of a licensee include:

 

  • A plumber who is there to fix the sink
  • A friend who was invited to visit
  • A guest at a party
  • A delivery person at a store

The law places a higher duty of care on a property owner when the visitor is an invitee because of the financial aspect of the relationship. Given the fact that the property owner invites visitors onto the property with the expectation of financial gain it stands to reason that the owner should use the utmost care to ensure that those visitors are not harmed while on the property.

If you were injured while on the property of another party and you have questions or concerns regarding your status and/or your right to compensation for your injuries, contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.