When you suspect that another’s negligence caused your loved one’s death, you want answers. Isaacs & Isaacs experienced and aggressive personal injury attorneys can help you to investigate what happened and hold those responsible for your family member’s death accountable for their negligence or wrongful act. By holding wrongdoers accountable you can help prevent another family from going through the terrible grief and loss you are experiencing.
If you aren’t sure whether you should pursue a legal action, give us a call at 800-800-8888 for a no-obligation consultation with an Isaacs and Isaacs wrongful death attorney. One of our compassionate attorneys would be glad to listen and to help you understand your legal options.
Last year, a young man was killed when his pickup truck collided with a combine harvester out on Boston Road. According to a report published in the Kentucky Standard, a front wheel of the combine was protruding over the dividing line, and the young driver who was traveling eastbound could not have avoided the collision with the westbound combine.
The report quoted a sergeant from the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office as stating that drivers need to watch out for farm equipment on the road during harvest time. If the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the combine driver, the family of the young driver who was killed may be able to recover damages through filing a wrongful death claim.
Heavy commercial vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds are regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Commercial vehicle drivers have a higher duty of care to make sure that they are visible at night and to take other precautions to safeguard smaller vehicles they share the road with. If the combine or its driver was not in compliance with NHTSA regulations, the company could be held liable for negligence which led to a serious accident.
Kentucky Wrongful Death Law Provides Relief to Victims’ Families
In Kentucky, the law provides financial relief when a family member’s untimely death was caused by another’s negligence or wrongful act[[ii]]. The probate court must appoint a representative of the deceased’s estate. The personal representative is responsible for filing the wrongful death lawsuit.
Once the lawsuit is settled or a Kentucky jury awards damages, the estate is reimbursed for the funeral and burial expenses and reasonable costs of the lawsuit, then the remaining funds are disbursed in the following manner:
- Surviving spouse and children split the award
- If no children, spouse receives the entire amount
- If no spouse, children receive the entire amount
- If no spouse or children, the funds go to the parent(s) of the deceased
- If there are no surviving family members as listed above, the funds go to the estate to pay debts, and after debts are settled, the remainder goes to those named in the will, or if there’s no will, the funds are disbursed according to Kentucky intestate succession law
Kentucky Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
In most cases, Kentucky allows one year from the date of death, or a year from the date the court appoints a personal representative for the estate, to file a wrongful death action. This legal time limit for filing a civil lawsuit is called a statute of limitations. If you let the time limit expire without taking action, you will almost certainly be barred legally from pursuing your claim. For this reason, it is very important to contact an attorney without delay. Another reason is that, in proving what caused your loved one’s death, the sooner your attorney gets started the better chance there is of uncovering evidence of wrongdoing.
How Can a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Expose the Truth?
Many accidental deaths are due to negligence on the part of a big company or a medical provider. In these situations, the at-fault party has no obligation to disclose company records and other potential evidence of wrongdoing such as a surgery robot or manufacturing equipment outside of a civil lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit will allow your attorney, acting on your behalf, to demand access to evidence that is normally off limits, such as electronic records, cell phones and a black box recording on an airplane or a semitruck.
Companies have been known to alter records to hide wrongdoing and escape liability when their negligence causes a death. Filing a wrongful death suit will allow your attorney to subpoena company employees and witnesses to testify under oath at a deposition. Most people who would not normally talk will tell the truth to avoid perjuring themselves in a legal proceeding. Once your attorney has built a strong case to prove liability, chances are that the liable party will want to settle and avoid the publicity and expense of a court trial. If the party is not willing to offer a fair wrongful death settlement, Isaacs & Isaacs will take it to court and fight to obtain justice for your deceased loved one and your family.
Isaacs & Isaacs Will Bear the Cost of Investigating and Litigating Your Wrongful Death Claim
At Isaacs & Isaacs, we don’t think victims of negligence should have to pay to obtain justice. We believe that when somebody is so careless that they kill a valued community member, they should be held liable to the limit the law allows. We will aggressively pursue justice on behalf of your loved one, and you won’t owe us anything until and unless we win your fair settlement or award of damages. We have the resources to bear the cost of investigating what happened and, if necessary, we will file a wrongful death lawsuit to demand access to evidence and testimony to build a strong case.
At Isaacs & Isaacs, we believe that if people are allowed to get away with actions that are so careless or harmful they kill somebody, our own families aren’t safe either. We want to hold people accountable for their actions that jeopardize the safety of others.
Let us take the burden of investigating what happened and who is responsible for your family member’s death off of your shoulders, so you can focus on healing and rebuild your life. Call 800-800-8888 anytime to speak with a compassionate and experienced Isaacs & Isaacs wrongful death attorney. If you are not sure whether you have standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit, we will be happy to help you and answer your questions. You don’t have to face this tragedy alone.