If you suspect that somebody’s negligence or wrongdoing caused your family member’s death. call 800-800-8888 or fill out our form to speak with a compassionate and experienced Isaacs & Isaacs attorney. We can investigate what happened and who is responsible and help you to demand justice. We are on call 24/7 to be present to help you in your legal emergency.
Out of all the painful situations a person can face, there’s nothing worse than a loved one’s wrongful death. On top of the grief and loss you are experiencing, there’s anger because you know things did not have to be this way. Though nothing can change what’s happened, the law provides a way to hold wrongdoers accountable for their negligent or hurtful actions that caused your family member’s death. In many situations, those involved engage in a cover up to escape liability. Sometimes there’s no way to find out what really happened or who is responsible for causing your loved one’s death outside of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Last year, a Harrison County jury awarded $18 million to the family of a woman who died from nursing home abuse and neglect. Over half of the amount awarded was for punitive damages to punish the caregivers for the horrific suffering they caused the elderly resident to endure. Her injuries were so severe that her treatment at the hands of the nursing home staff amounted to reckless, willful and wanton negligence. The family’s attorney said a reason they filed the wrongful death suit was to prevent others from suffering similar abuse at the hands of caregivers.
Policies at the Kentucky nursing home chain included allowing residents to remain in soiled disposable diapers for long periods of time in order to save money on hygiene products. Hopefully, holding the nursing home accountable will prevent others from practicing the same cruel policies towards elderly residents entrusted to their care.
Kentucky Wrongful Death Law Provides a Path to Justice and Financial Relief for Families
In many cases, the untimely death of a family member leaves surviving relatives struggling to make ends meet. You have funeral and medical expenses and may also suffer from the loss of daily help and the regular income your deceased family member provided. Kentucky law recognizes the financial burden placed on a family who has lost a member through the negligence or wrongful act of a person or an entity.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?
The probate court will appoint a personal representative of the deceased’s estate. This personal representative is responsible for filing the lawsuit. After the case is settled or a Kentucky jury awards damages, the money goes to the estate to pay funeral and burial costs and the reasonable cost of legal representation. The remaining funds are disbursed among family in the following manner:
- Surviving spouse and children
- If there is no surviving spouse, the children
- If there are no children, the spouse
- If there is no surviving spouse or children, the parents or parent of the deceased
- If there is no immediate family as listed above, the wrongful death damages award goes to the estate to pay off debts, and the remainder is distributed to beneficiaries named in the will
- If the deceased left no will, the money is disbursed according to Kentucky intestate succession law
The state of Kentucky law allows punitive damages to punish wrongdoers in cases where reckless, willful and wanton negligence or other misconduct, such as the case above, causes a death. Because punitive damages are meant to punish and dissuade bad behavior, these awards can be high.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Kentucky
Kentucky law allows one year from the date of death, or from the date the probate court appoints a personal representative of the estate, if the representative is appointed within a year of the person’s death, to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This legal time limit is called a statute of limitations. If you allow the time limit to expire, you will almost certainly be barred from taking legal action.
Though speaking with an attorney may be the last thing you feel up to doing at this time, waiting until the statute has almost expired to seek legal help is not wise. The sooner that you contact an experienced attorney the faster your attorney can begin to investigate the circumstances of your family member’s wrongful death. Wrongdoers have been known to alter records and hide evidence in order to avoid liability, when their careless mistake or wrongdoing causes a death.
How Can Filing a Lawsuit Expose the Truth?
Once you file a lawsuit in civil court, your attorney, acting on your behalf, can demand access to evidence and records, which are otherwise off-limits. Your attorney may subpoena witnesses to testify under oath at a deposition or at trial. Many people who might not normally talk will not perjure themselves in order to protect an employer, coworker or associate. Records that the lawsuit allows access to include:
- Tangible evidence such as a semitruck or surgical robot
- Cell phone records
- Social media passwords
- Electronic and hardcopy company records and logs
- Medical files and records
Sometimes, a wrongful death lawsuit uncovers lawless behavior that leads to criminal charges. In these instances, a separate case is filed by the district attorney in criminal court. If a person or company is doing something which can place others in danger, filing a lawsuit can expose the wrongdoing, and save others from going through the grief and trauma you are experiencing. Sometimes, a family member files a lawsuit against a company in order to get the company to fix an unsafe working condition, which caused their loved one’s death. In many cases, people have filed wrongful death suits to prevent others from suffering over the same behavior or actions.
Isaacs & Isaacs Will Bear the Expense of Investigating and Litigating Your Case
Isaacs and Isaacs personal injury law firm will represent you on a contingency fee basis: if we don’t win your case or reach a successful settlement agreement, we won’t be paid. We have the experience and the resources to launch a thorough investigation into the conditions and circumstances that led to your family member’s death.
At Isaacs & Isaacs, we believe that when somebody is allowed to get away with behavior that is so outrageous and negligent it causes a wrongful death in our community, nobody is safe, including our own families. We will diligently investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death to uncover the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable. We will demand every penny of just compensation you deserve.
If you are not sure whether you have a cause for legal action, give us a call anytime, and one of our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys will listen to your situation and evaluate what you can do legally to obtain justice. Call 800-800-8888 anytime or fill out our form to speak with an Isaacs & Isaacs wrongful death attorney. You don’t have to face this tragedy alone.