None of us want to think about dealing with the death of a loved one. When there’s a belief that the death could have been avoided, it can become even more difficult. Nothing can truly make up for the loss of someone close to us, but the state of Louisiana does offer a civil remedy to those who suffered loss due to the negligence or criminal acts of someone else. Our Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyers can advise you on your options and help you build your case.
With over 100 years of combined experience among our legal team, Beall & Thies knows how to negotiate a fair wrongful death settlement and we know how to litigate in front of a jury if necessary. Call today at (225) 577-6223 or contact us online for a free consultation.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
An easy way to understand this is think of a wrongful death lawsuit as a personal injury case, only with the plaintiff being the victim’s family or estate, rather than the victim themselves.
It’s also important to distinguish the legal action a Baton Rouge wrongful death attorney can take from those which law enforcement can do. When a person dies as the result of a criminal act—be it a direct murder case, to being in the wrong place at the wrong time—a lawyer can not bring criminal charges against the perpetrator. That is a decision left for the District Attorney. Issues of guilt, innocence and jail time will be settled by the criminal courts.
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed in the civil courts and has financial compensation for losses as its remedy. Therefore, claims on wrongful death can cover everything from criminal acts to car accidents or anything else in the personal injury sphere.
What Damages Can Be Collected in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The damages start the same place they would with other personal injury cases and those are the concrete financial costs incurred by the victim’s family. Was medical treatment done prior to the person’s death? If so, the costs of that care ought to be included in the settlement. Funeral costs are another easy figure to calculate and incorporate into the final amount.
Then we have to start projecting the income that will be lost in the future. Experienced Baton Rouge wrongful death lawyers, like those at Beall & Thies, are able to think outside of the box and understand all the ways the deceased person will no longer be able to contribute to their family.
We can start with their current job, what their income is, how many years they have until retirement and factor in cost-of-living increases. But that’s just the baseline. Did the deceased have reasonable prospects of seeing their earning potential increase? This can involve anything from going back to school, starting a business, or simply working in a field where promotion was likely.
It’s not enough though, to simply assert that the deceased was likely to increase their earning potential. It needs to be demonstrated in a court of law, or to an insurance company in negotiations, with evidence. Possible sources of testimony might be current supervisors, partners, or subject matter experts in the field the deceased worked in. By diligent collection of evidence, our lawyers can paint a portrait of what has been lost and make it possible for the jury to reach a fair settlement figure.
The settlement should rightfully include some attempt to compensate the family for their intangible losses. Just because we can’t put a dollar value on things like the wisdom and guidance of a beloved parent, or the care and companionship that comes from a spouse, doesn’t mean juries can’t offer some level of compensation. Testimony from family and friends about the impact the deceased had on their lives can be invaluable in helping a jury reach an appropriate settlement figure.
Beall & Thies has over 20 years of experience as a firm and our lawyers have collective individual experience of over a century. We’ll work hard to get you a fair settlement and we have a deep understanding of what a fair settlement truly is.
"Never expected to be in a predicament where I would need to hire an attorney but, I wouldn’t recommend anyone but, B&T. They helped my father in his predicament and they’ve helped me in mine. Continuous support throughout the entire process"Den'a Wells
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Russell W. Beall
"Russell W. Beall is a founding partner in the Baton Rouge law firm of Beall & Thies LLC. His main emphasis of practice is on Civil Litigation including Torts, Products Liability, and Premises Liability. Russell is a frequent guest speaker at Louisiana State University Law School where he participates in the Appellate Advocacy Program and the Professionalism Orientation. He earned his B.A. degree at Louisiana State University (1998) and his J.D Louisiana State University Law School (2001). Russell is an active member of the Louisiana Association for Justice and is frequently invited to be a guest speaker at continuing legal education seminars."Read Full Bio
William W. Thies
"William W. Thies was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1974 moving with his family to Slidell, Louisiana at seven years of age. Mr. Thies graduated from Slidell High School in 1992. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in history and political science from Louisiana State University in 1996 and his Juris Doctorate from the Southern University Law Center in 2001. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May 2002. He is a member of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, American Bar Associations, and the Louisiana Association of Justice. He is admitted to practice in all state courts, the United States District Court for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana, as well as the United States Supreme Court."Read Full Bio
"Jacob H. Thomas is originally from the Piney Hills of North Louisiana, known for producing great litigators such as Huey P. Long as well as several other notable statesmen on the both the federal and state levels.Read Full Bio
Jake is a graduate of Jonesboro-Hodge High School and Northwestern State University where he was a member of the Theta Mu chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, the NSU Presidential Leadership Program, and the Inter-Fraternity Council serving as Vice President."
"Aaron Humphreys joined Beall & Thies, LLC as an associate attorney in the fall of 2016. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar Association in May of 2016. Aaron is also a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association and the Louisiana Association of Justice."Read Full Bio
"George G. Caballero practices general civil law and focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury, wills, and successions. George joined Beall & Thies as of counsel in 2017 after starting Caballero Law Firm in 1993. Mr. Caballero has over thirty years of experience as an attorney and has served clients in various matters ranging from business and tort litigation, business, family law, and successions.Read Full Bio
Mr. Caballero is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Mississippi College School of Law. Upon graduation, he immediately went into the private practice of law, practicing in both Louisiana and Mississippi."
Jewel “Trae” E. Welch, III
"Trae is a lifelong resident of the Baker-Zachary area. Trae is the son of The Honorable Judge Duke Welch, currently presiding on the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, and former East Baton Rouge Councilwoman, Roxson Welch. Trae is married to the former Lynn Caldwell of Tallulah, Louisiana. Together Trae and Lynn are raising their two children Quade and Vivian."Read Full Bio