Lost a loved one through gun violence? Reach out to the New Orleans wrongful death attorneys at Wright & Gray today.
New Orleans is a city that blends fun and excitement with epic architecture. However, the unique atmosphere is often associated with tragedy and violent crime. From Hurricane Katrina to the infamous Three Mile Island incident, New Orleans has witnessed some tragic events. In addition, Louisiana currently outpaces other states in mass shootings and homicide cases. Since the 90s, when New Orleans was considered the homicide capital, the situation never seems to improve. As numbers keep on rising, these unfortunate facts make it more important for the people of New Orleans to have legal representation in case of wrongful death lawsuits.
Wright & Gray is an authoritative legal force that boasts numerous fair judgments and settlements. With a rich combined experience running more than six decades, we believe that every victim deserves high-quality representation in a civil lawsuit. Thus, we assess different angles of your case to give it the attention it deserves.
The trusted and experienced New Orleans wrongful death attorneys at Wright & Gray will fight hard to bring peace and justice to your family during this difficult time.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death claims occur when an individual dies from negligence or a reckless situation. This contrasts with capital murder, where an offender kills a victim while committing another offense like abduction or sexual battery. Take into account that murder elevates to a capital offense if the victim is a police chief or a fireman in the line of duty. Other factors include killings of penal institution employees or if incarcerated people commit the crime through an organized activity.
On the other hand, second-degree murder is an unlawful killing carried out without premeditation or prior planning. This mainly happens in self-defense and not on willful terms like first-degree murder.
It pays to have an experienced New Orleans wrongful death attorney on your side after losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. These lawsuits also seek compensation for survivors, such as medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, and lost companionship.
The laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits may differ from one state to another. However, a qualified New Orleans wrongful death attorney will guide you through the process. Generally, the process involves confirming those who qualify for the lawsuits. Then it proceeds to an intensive investigation of the accident, gathering facts and calculating damages.
Why is Gun Violence Prevalent in New Orleans?
Louisiana has taken the lead in murder rate and gun violence cases per capita for decades. It is a pity that almost half of the American fatal shootings in the first few months of 2022 happened in New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas. Gun violence statistics indicate that attacks in New Orleans left nine people dead and 80 maimed in 2022. However, who is liable for shooting accidents? There is no particular factor that explains this unwelcome ranking. Some people point to racial segregation and job discrimination. Others associate fatal shootings with poverty as the minority air out their grievances.
All in all, gun violence is a trend not limited to Louisiana but surrounding states. With access to guns becoming more prevalent in the States, the issue requires a different approach. Should you hire a personal injury lawyer if you’re a shooting victim on such an account? If hit by a stray bullet, it is a good idea to at least speak with a personal injury attorney to get their thoughts and legal guidance.
What Types of Compensation Can You Get as a Shooting Victim?
Compensation may vary depending on injuries, evidence provided, and the prowess of your legal representatives. After an accidental shooting, seek medical attention, write a statement with police officers and talk to an attorney. These processes will increase the chance of getting a better settlement.
If your loved one was a shooting victim that passed away as a result of their injuries, you should consider reaching out to a New Orleans wrongful death law firm such as Wright & Gray to get an idea of your legal options and what steps to take.
Other Common Causes of Wrongful Death in New Orleans
It’s no surprise that New Orleans, a city known for its fast-paced and busy way of life, bursts with several wrongful death lawsuits. While it is not possible to prevent all wrongful deaths, here are some common situations that New Orleans wrongful death attorneys see regularly.
Medical errors can result in serious infections, drug reactions, allergies, and death. The reasons behind these medical errors are vast and varied. From an inexperienced medical provider to poor conditions in medical facilities, these errors affect tens of thousands of patients worldwide. One unforgettable incident happened in 2005 when hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc in the Memorial Medical Center, immobilizing services and leaving patients to die. While the memorial staff tried to salvage the situation, the incident left behind massive tragedies.
Reports indicate that the medical staff euthanized at least two dozen patients, including a 90-year-old woman, to save them from more agony. This would never have happened if proper preventive and evacuation measures had been in place. While some recent laws hold hospitals responsible for compensating patients affected by medical malpractice and wrongful death, it can take years of litigation and compromise. Furthermore, a person must prove that their loved one’s death was due to a medical error – which can be very difficult to do without expert help.
Automobile accidents are probably the number one cause of wrongful death in New Orleans. According to DOTD officials, New Orleans recorded more than 914 crashes and 997 fatalities in 2021. That’s a significant rise from 828 deaths and 762 crashes in 2020.
Drunk drivers and individuals not paying attention to traffic rules caused most fatalities. It is worth pointing out that faulty vehicles and failure to use seat belts are other potential causes of wrongful deaths.
Several product liability laws protect American consumers. Still, product liability remains a hot topic, with liability rewards in the States skyrocketing to $95,000 by the end of 2019.
Mainly, products considered faulty have improper labeling or lack adequate instructions for safe use. Individuals may present liability claims against manufacturers, distributors, and retail sellers of unreasonably dangerous products.
Nursing Homes Negligence
Nursing homes can be a caregiver’s nightmare. Without taking all the preventive steps, one can easily fall prey to common causes of wrongful death in New Orleans. Remember, these healthcare providers share similar responsibilities as hospitals. If their choices and decisions lead to severe injuries or death, they can also be held liable for wrongful deaths or other felonies.
A civil lawsuit against Bob Dean, the owner of a Louisiana nursing home, by one of the clients, Wade Heaton, is a good example. The incident happened in 2021 when hurricane Ida hit the nursing home. The institution would later place the elderly citizens in deplorable conditions, where seven of them perished.
Even if Louisiana has the lowest workplace injuries, we cannot ignore the approximately 1.9 accidents in 100 workers annually. These accidents range from slip-and-fall to injuries like strains, sprains, and tears. Although it rarely happens, a workplace death is not just a personal tragedy for the victim’s family. It is also a significant blow to the company’s image.
When we think of airplane accidents or air crashes, we may picture some failure of the aircraft structure or a mid-air collision. Numerous causes lead to plane crashes. They are often due to the negligence (intentional or unintentional) of the pilot or an outside party causing all sorts of problems like equipment failures.
When do Accidents in New Orleans Qualify as Wrongful Death?
Every year, thousands of families suffer the loss of a loved one due to fatal accidents. Nevertheless, not all accidents in New Orleans happen due to negligence. Some occur as a result of uncontrollable circumstances. A fatal accident in New Orleans never qualifies as a wrongful death if victims delay filing the lawsuit. The deadline for wrongful death claims is precisely a year after the victim’s death.
If a driver is not paying attention and loses control, crashes into a ditch, and dies, the law does not identify the incident as wrongful death. However, if a drunk driver happens to kill a passerby or passengers in another vehicle, family members of the victims can sue the offender on the ground of wrongful death.
Moreover, if a construction worker slips and dies at work, the building owner is not at fault. However, if a faulty plank caused them to slip, the construction company may be to blame for the incident.
In a nutshell, the American justice on wrongful death only applies to cases of intentional negligence.
Who Can File Wrongful Death Claims in New Orleans?
A New Orleans wrongful death attorney represents the deceased victim’s family. Recovering compensation for a person long gone can be a sensitive and overwhelming process for the family members. New Orleans only prioritizes very close family members to file such a lawsuit. Family members eligible to file include
- Surviving spouse and children
- The parents of the departed
- The remaining siblings
- The grandparents of the victim
The filing process works in a hierarchical order. For instance, if the departed has surviving parents and spouse, the latter should file a wrongful death claim. Likewise, if the deceased was single and childless, the parents can proceed with the lawsuit. However, if there are no surviving parents, the siblings are eligible.
Altogether, surviving children and spouses can join forces and file as a team. Later, they can share settlements if need be. In some cases, one family member can file a lawsuit on behalf of the rest.
How to File a Suit with New Orleans Wrongful Death Attorneys
Before filing a lawsuit with a wrongful death attorney, you need to consider a couple of things.
A family representative must file a wrongful death lawsuit. The court can appoint one from the family according to the deceased’s will if necessary.
Personal injury lawyers often mention the statute of limitations. This is the duration of time that family members have to file the claim. In New Orleans, you only have one year to take action against an offender in a wrongful death case.
If your loved one passed away due to someone else’s negligence, reach out to a reputable New Orleans wrongful death law firm.
What to Do Next
While there are many potential causes for wrongful death, those discussed above are some of the most common reasons why individuals pursue legal recourse and remedies in the courtroom. Typical pre-trial motions, court proceedings, and evidentiary rules can make these cases challenging. In addition, when you lose a loved one, life may lose its sparkle leaving you in a pit of despair. The feeling of emptiness can be overwhelming, making you lose focus on other essential things in life.
In such a scenario, you must reassert control over your life and its direction. Working with a New Orleans wrongful death law firm like Wright & Gray can take a little bit of the weight off of your shoulders. While the process seems daunting, Wright & Gray will help you through every step. Call today and schedule a free consultation with one of our New Orleans wrongful death attorneys.