If you have lost a beloved family member because of somebody else’s negligence or hurtful act, you are likely hurting bad, and the last thing you want to do is consult an attorney. The idea of filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be offensive to you since no amount of money can fill the empty space your family member occupied. But wrongful death lawsuits are about obtaining justice and holding people and companies accountable for their actions that are so reckless and callous they kill.
Recently an Indiana family filed a wrongful death suit against the nursing home where their family member died in a fall. In nearby Brownsville, Kentucky, nursing home employees faced indictments charging them with elder abuse. Kentucky news is full of reports of elder abuse in nursing home facilities. When an elderly patient dies as a result of abuse or neglect, the family can seek justice through a wrongful death lawsuit. Nursing home abuse is just one of a multitude of situations where a wrongful death could occur.
In most cases, a family suffers financial loss from an unexpected death. You no longer have the help and support of your loved one, and you are left with medical bills and funeral expenses. Though nothing can bring your loved one back, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is a way to obtain justice, hold wrongdoers accountable and have the financial resources you will need to pay off the medical bills and funeral expenses you are burdened with so you and your family can go forward and rebuild.
Kentucky Wrongful Death Law
The first step in filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky is for the probate court to appoint a personal representative for the estate. The personal representative files the lawsuit on behalf of the estate, and when damages are awarded or a settlement is reached, the compensation is awarded to the estate. The estate then pays the costs of the funeral and reasonable costs of the lawsuit. The remainder is distributed among family members in the following manner:
- Surviving spouse and children
- If no spouse – children
- If no children – spouse
- If no spouse or children – parents (birth or adoptive)
If the decedent has no immediate family members, the award goes to the estate, and after debts are paid, is distributed to those named in the will or the legal heirs if there is no will.
Punitive Damages: Kentucky allows punitive damages to be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit. Punitive damages are not intended to reimburse a family for their loss but to punish gross negligence and criminal acts such as assault or drunk driving that lead to death. Especially if the tortfeasor (defendant) is a big company, juries have been known to award tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages to punish behavior that shows a total disregard for the safety and rights of others.
In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit has led to criminal charges being filed after a crime was uncovered during the investigation stage of a civil lawsuit known as discovery. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help to protect others in the community from behavior that is so bad that it kills.
Kentucky Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
In Kentucky, you have one year from the date of death, or from the date when the court appoints a personal representative of the estate, to file a lawsuit. However, people and companies have been known to engage in cover-ups to avoid civil liability and/or criminal charges when their actions caused a death. It is a very good idea to contact an aggressive and experienced wrongful death law firm as soon as you suspect that your loved one’s death was due to negligence or a hurtful act.
You do not want to allow wrongdoer(s) time to destroy evidence or for witnesses to forget what happened. Isaacs & Isaacs wrongful death law firm is on call 24/7 to help you to file a lawsuit. If you are not sure whether you have legal standing to file a lawsuit, you can place a no-obligation phone call to our hotline, or fill out our online form. One of our experienced wrongful death lawyers will:
- Listen to your story
- Answer your questions
- Help you to know whether you should file a wrongful death suit
Call Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Law Firm for Help, Anytime
At Isaacs & Isaacs, every lawyer, paralegal and legal support professional shares a passion for helping people. We feel that if people and companies are allowed to get away with behavior that is so reckless or intentionally hurtful it kills, then nobody in the community is safe, including our own families. We are compassionate and helpful, and we will be with you every step of the way during this difficult time.
Call our hotline at 800-800-8888, or fill out our online form for a free consultation and case evaluation with an experienced, dedicated and aggressive Isaacs & Isaacs wrongful death attorney. We are here to help you now.