How are Wrongful Death Claims Paid out in Kentucky?
When someone dies because of the negligence of someone else, Kentucky law allows certain family members to collect compensation from the person at fault. This is called a wrongful death claim. The compensation for the death is usually paid by the insurance company of the at-fault person. This could be auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance or policies that cover businesses.
After the trial or the settlement, each family member that is qualified to claim damages is paid from the total compensation amount based on each member’s losses. For example, a spouse will get compensation for things like loss of income and consortium, and a child will get loss of love and financial support, and each will have a specific amount attached.
The spouse and other adults will typically get a check covering all the damages, and a minor’s funds will usually be set up in a trust payable to the child when he or she becomes an adult.
Who can Claim Compensation for a Wrongful Death?
Under Kentucky law, only certain people can make a legal claim for compensation against the person who wrongfully killed a loved one. These people have to be related somehow and meet other criteria. These relationships are established partly on the blood or legal relationship and partly on the role that those involved played in the life of the deceased. Those who can make a wrongful death claim are:
- The spouse married to the deceased at the time of death.
- The domestic partner of the deceased if domiciled at the time of death.
- The surviving children (minor and adult).
- A dependent minor living with the child at the time of death.
The claim itself must be filed by a representative of the deceased, and the court will ultimately decide who gets what amount.
What types of Damages can be Claimed?
Kentucky law requires that before compensation is awarded for a wrongful death, the surviving members of the family need to show to the court how they were harmed by the death. These are called damages, and Kentucky allows for certain damages in a wrongful death claim. Some of these are:
- Outstanding Medical Bills from Victim’s Treatment
- Loss of Financial Support (present and future earnings)
- Loss of Benefits (pensions or medical coverage) Due to Death
- Value of Goods and Services
- Loss of Companionship
- Mental Pain and Anguish of Survivors
- Loss of Care and Nurturing
- Loss of Consortium (deceased’s spouse)
- Punitive Damages (If death was intentional or through gross negligence)
Speak with a Louisville Wrongful Death Attorney at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC
As a personal injury law firm, we at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC are prepared to handle a wide variety of cases in which someone has been harmed or died due to another’s negligence. In the case of wrongful death, we understand how incredibly difficult it can be to pursue legal action while still grieving the loss of a loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits are complex, time-sensitive matters that can’t be put off for long – instead of trying to navigate this legal route alone, let us help. With decades of combined legal experience, we are prepared to sensitively and competently address your concerns and guide you through every aspect of the process. For a free consultation, get in touch with us today by calling (502) 458-5555 or (800) 937-8443.