Losing a loved one is one of the most painful events in any person’s life. However, the pain of loss intensifies when a family member dies due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another person. Under Kentucky law, family members who lost a loved one unexpectedly due to someone else’s negligent or intentional conduct can pursue damages for a loss by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

At the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates, our team in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, helps families hold accountable those who have caused a loved ones’ deaths. We also assist clients throughout Kentucky, including Elizabethtown, Radcliff, Jeffersontown, Louisville, and Mount Washington.

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Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Although no money in the world would be enough to bring back your loved one or fill the void caused by a loss, filing a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party is important to:

  1. Find closure. While getting financial compensation will not bring your family member, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help you and other family members seek justice and find closure.

  2. Receive financial compensation. Losing a loved one can take a toll on your emotional, physical, and financial well-being. Filing a wrongful death claim can cover some of the burden associated with the death of a family member. In particular, it can cover medical bills, burial costs, funeral expenses, and other losses.

  3. Hold the at-fault party accountable. It is important to hold the at-fault party responsible for causing the death of another person so that it does not happen to other families in the future.

What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Kentucky?

Kentucky law defines “wrongful death” as the death of an individual resulting from someone else’s negligence or wrongful act. Thus, surviving family members can seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit when a loved one dies because of negligence or intentional conduct on the part of another individual or entity.

The time limit to bring a wrongful death claim in Kentucky is based on the appointment date of the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. The statute of limitations is:

  • One year from the date of the appointment

  • Two years from the date of the deceased’s death if the personal representative’s appointment occurs more than one year after the death

Filing a lawsuit after the time limit expires will result in the dismissal of the wrongful death case.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?

Under Kentucky law, the vast majority of wrongful death lawsuits are filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Many people name a personal representative through a Last Will and Testament before death. However, if the deceased did not write a will before passing away, the court will appoint an individual to serve as the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.

Potential Damages Available

The following types of damages are potentially recoverable in wrongful death lawsuits in Shepherdsville and other parts of Kentucky:

  • The deceased person’s lost earnings

  • Funeral and burial expenses

  • Damages that incurred by the deceased or the family before the death (e.g., medical expenses, pain and suffering, and others)

In the vast majority of wrongful death cases in Kentucky, the decedent’s estate receives compensation for funeral and burial expenses, attorneys’ fees, and administration costs before the remaining damages are distributed among surviving family members.

How Legal Counsel Can Help

If your family member passed away because of someone else’s negligence, intentional acts, or any other type of wrongful conduct, consider contacting an attorney to assist you with pursuing financial compensation through a wrongful death claim. Some strict procedural requirements and deadlines must be followed when filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Kentucky. That is why surviving family members and the individual appointed as the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate want to seek legal counsel from an experienced attorney.

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