First things first: It's important to note the particular elements of a claim for wrongful death may very slightly by state. It is best to speak with an attorney in your state who understands and is experienced with the sublet nuances presented by Louisiana law.
That being said, generally speaking you must prove four basic elements: (1) The person's death was caused by the defendant (potentially in whole, or in part); (2) The defendant was either negligent or strictly liable for the death; (3) The death of the victim must have personally damaged an immediate family member (e.g. a surviving spouse, child or children who were beneficiaries or dependents of the victim; and (4) The death of the victim resulted in monetary damages. Again, these will vary slightly by state and it is best to seek counsel experienced in wrongful death cases in your state.
Another matter worth considering is that in addition to a wrongful death claim, many states have statutes recognizing a survivorship action. A wrongful death claim that is one brought by the beneficiaries of the deceased person for losses they suffered as a result of the person's death (hence the third element above). However, a survivorship claim is generally brought on behalf of the deceased by the personal representative of the estate or a successor in interest for losses or damages sustained by the decedent themselves. Think about how these elements apply, but speaking with a local attorney experienced in these matters is always your best course of action.
Though our firm does not practice in your state, you are more than welcome to consider our website as a starting point for learning a little more about wrongful death. http://deshawlaw.com/practice-areas/personal-injury/wrongful-death/
Nothing posted on this site is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. Bryan M. Donahue, DeShaw Trial Lawyers, 805 SW Broadway, Suite 2540, Portland, OR 97205 | Telephone: 503-227-1233 | Facsimile: 503-227-2489 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Online: www.DeShawLaw.com
Mr. Donahue has given you a lot of good information. Here's a piece of advice. Do not think for one second that you can handle a wrongful death claim without an attorney. If your question was in connection with a real life problem and not a school test, contact a lawyer who is highly experienced in wrongful death claims.
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Much like the other attorneys have attorneys have stated, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to schedule a consultation. Most, if not all, attorneys will provide an initial consultation at no cost for the case like this, and the fee would be on a contingency basis. In other words, the attorney's fees and expenses from the case would ultimately be paid from the amount recovered, not your wallet. But, I can't stress the importance of initiating this process as soon as possible. In Louisiana, any cause of action for a wrongful death/survival action must be instituted within one year of the event that caused the death, and the attorney will need to, not only meet with you, but also conduct a considerable investigation before filing suit in a case of this magnitude. You should also know that there are specific laws in Louisiana as to who is the rightful party to bring such actions. In any event, you should begin your search for a wrongful death/personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
You must prove a breach in the standard of care that was a direct or proximate cause of the injury and death. As the law can be complicated and each state is different you should contact an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction immediately. Best of luck.
Please do not accept this as legal advice as it is only a brief response to your question. Pleas contact an attorney immediately for further advice on your potential case.