Louisville Wrongful Death Lawyer

Few things in life are more painful than unexpectedly losing a loved one or family member. And if your loved one’s death is caused by the misconduct of another person or party, you may be wondering where you can turn for help. At Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers, we have your back and are here to help guide you and your wrongful death case during this impossibly difficult time.

Meet Sam Aguiar – Your Louisville Wrongful Death Lawyer

Recognized as one of Kentucky’s leading plaintiff trial attorneys, Sam Aguiar’s legal approach goes beyond the norm. His dedication to innovative strategies, unparalleled client service, and vibrant community involvement establish him as a top Louisville lawyer for wrongful death cases, a prominent community leader, and a steadfast advocate for justice.

In recognition of his impactful contributions both inside and outside the courtroom, he has garnered accolades from various legal organizations, including:

  • The National Trial Lawyers, Top 40 Under 40
  • The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Rue Ratings, Best Attorneys of America
  • Martindale-Hubbell, BV Distinguished Peer Review Rated

Sam Aguiar awards

Why Hire A Louisville Wrongful Death Lawyer From Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers?

At our law office, our compassionate Louisville personal injury attorneys specialize in supporting families during their toughest moments, and we are ready to help you and your loved ones, too. Family tragedies require time to heal, but bills and other monetary concerns related to your loved one’s death case won’t wait and can leave your family facing financial uncertainty.

$2.5 MILLION received in a wrongful death case

$1.8 MILLION awarded in wrongful death claim

We can help you get justice through compensation for your loss and hold the at-fault party accountable for your loved one’s passing. Contact us today for a case evaluation on a contingency fee basis and to speak with a wrongful death attorney from our law firm about your case.

What Are Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Louisville wrongful death lawyer

In Kentucky, a wrongful death lawsuit refers to any death that is caused by the negligence of another person or party, such as a hospital or business. Wrongful death claims are a legal action that the surviving family members can file to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one and hold the negligent party responsible in civil court.

Elements Of a Wrongful Death Claim

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed when the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity causes someone’s death. To succeed in this type of claim, you must prove that the defendant was at fault through negligence or an intention to cause harm. Establishing negligence involves establishing four key elements:

Duty of Care

The first element involves establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. This means proving that the defendant was in a position where they were expected to act in a certain way to avoid causing harm.

Breach of Duty

Next, it must be demonstrated that the defendant breached this duty of care through negligence or wrongful actions. This breach could be anything from a driver not paying attention to the road to a doctor failing to diagnose a treatable condition correctly.

Causation

For a wrongful death claim to be successful, there must be a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death of the loved one. This causation must show that the death would not have occurred if it weren’t for the defendant’s negligence.

Damages

Finally, the claim must prove that damages resulted from the death. This includes not just the immediate costs like funeral expenses and medical bills, but also the loss of income, companionship, and support the deceased would have provided.

Hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney is crucial, as they can help gather the necessary evidence to prove these elements and construct a strong case on your behalf.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death Cases

Various circumstances can result in wrongful death, with the most frequent being the following types of accidents:

  • Car Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents are one of the greatest risks to individuals worldwide. So, it is not uncommon, that countless wrongful death claims stem from car accident cases across the country.
  • Bicycle Accidents: While bicycle trips account for only 1% of all trips in the U.S., the number of bicyclists who die in collisions with other vehicles each year is more than double that of motor vehicle crash victims. In Kentucky, there were as many as 213 bicycle and pedestrian accidents in 2023 resulting in serious injuries, and 136 resulting in a death.
  • Dangerous Drugs: Medical drugs are intended to aid, not harm, patients. However, some drugs can have devastating health effects and result in death for patients when they are negligently prescribed, manufactured, or designed. For instance, Invokana, a diabetes medication, may have led to more than 450 deaths between 2013 and 2020.
  • Defective Medical Devices: Numerous Americans lose their lives because the medical devices physicians use to improve their health and well-being are defective. If your loved one died because of a faulty medical device, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
  • Defective Consumer Products: Defective household products and auto parts flood the market every year. Sometimes the manufacturer isn’t aware of the defect through lack of appropriate safety testing, and it doesn’t become known until it causes several injuries and deaths. Other times manufacturers are aware but fail to warn consumers about the potential risks of using their product.
  • Medical Malpractice: We trust doctors to help get us well. Unfortunately, many doctors are guilty of negligence, including misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, incorrect treatment, and surgical errors. It’s estimated that more than 251,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. due to medical errors.

Louisville injury stars

“My experience with the staff at Sam Aguiar was very professional. I saw and felt that my attorney, Miles, had concerns about my well-being and state of mind. I could see that Miles put in a lot of work on my case which put me at ease.”

-Regina Whitlow

  • Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents account for many road accident deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were around 5,932 motorcyclist deaths in the U.S. in 2021. Speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Louisville to learn more.
  • Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable on the streets, and accidents involving them are more common than you think. In 2021, there were 916 auto collisions with pedestrians in Kentucky, causing hundreds of severe injuries and 77 deaths. Our pedestrian accident attorneys in Louisville are here for you.
  • Premises Liability Accidents: Unsafe conditions on private property, both residential and commercial, account for numerous yearly injuries and fatalities. The most common premises liability accidents include drowning and slip and fall accidents, which can easily result in fatal head trauma and other injuries that may become fatal, such as broken hips.
  • Truck Accidents: Semi-trucks are capable of causing devastating accidents which result in the deaths of hundreds of Americans every year. In 2021, 304 car occupants were killed in collisions with large commercial trucks, as well as 25 truck drivers. Speak to a Louisville truck accident attorney today.
  • Work-Related Accidents: If your loved one passed away due to a workplace accident, you may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer and any other parties that might have played a role in their death.

If your loved one’s death resulted from someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death attorney in Louisville can help you hold the at-fault party accountable and get the maximum compensation possible.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Louisville wrongful death attorney

In Kentucky, a representative of the deceased estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their surviving family members. While a personal representative files the actual claim, damages are awarded to the estate itself and the family of the deceased.

What Does A Wrongful Death Damages Settlement Include?

Damages can be recovered for:

  • Medical expenses for your loved one’s treatment before their death
  • Funeral expenses and burial expenses
  • Punitive damages in cases of gross negligence by the at-fault party
  • Loss of household income as a result of your loved one’s death
  • Pain and suffering experienced by your loved one before death
  • Loss of companionship, care, and guidance provided by your loved one

What Are Punitive Damages In A Wrongful Death Case?

Punitive damages in a wrongful death case is awarded to the plaintiff, but specifically for their losses. These damages are intended not as restitution, but as a punishment to the defendant whose actions caused the death. 

For punitive damages to be awarded in Kentucky, the defendant’s wrongful act must have been either intentional or occurred due to gross negligence, demonstrating a blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of others.

If the act was willful or the negligence gross, punitive damages may be recovered. The action shall be prosecuted by the personal representative of the deceased.

While some states have caps on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded, there is no statutory upper limit in Kentucky. However, obtaining punitive damages is not very common in the state.

Who Can Get Benefits From A Wrongful Death Accident Cases?

Kentucky outlines how family members divide damages in the following order:

  • If there are no children but a surviving spouse, full damages will be awarded to the spouse.
  • If there are children and a surviving spouse, the damages are split between the spouse and children.
  • If there are children but not a spouse, full damages will be awarded to the children.
  • If there are no children and no spouse, the deceased’s parents will receive the damages.
  • If there are no children, spouses, or parents, the deceased’s estate will receive the damages. This will go to paying off any of the estate’s debt and to anyone left in the deceased’s will.

Will My Case Go To Court?

wrongful death lawyers in Louisville

Whether a wrongful death case will go to court hinges on multiple factors and does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. Various aspects of the case all play crucial roles in determining the path forward. Some of the most common factors that need to be considered when answering this question include the following:

Complexity of the Case

Cases with complex legal issues or disputed facts are more likely to proceed to trial. When parties cannot agree on who is at fault, or the extent of the damages, a court proceeding becomes necessary. Trials allow a judge or jury to evaluate the evidence, determine liability, and assess the appropriate compensation.

Evidence and Liability

The strength and clarity of evidence regarding liability and damages can influence whether a case goes to court. Strong, undisputed evidence supporting the claim reduces the likelihood of a trial, as it increases the pressure on the defendant to settle. Conversely, if there is considerable dispute about the evidence or its interpretation, a court proceeding may be unavoidable to resolve these issues.

Skill of Your Attorney

The expertise and negotiation skills of your attorney significantly impact the trajectory of your case. A seasoned lawyer with a strong track record in similar cases can often secure a favorable settlement outside of court. They know how to leverage the available evidence and legal precedents effectively, potentially avoiding the unpredictability of a trial.  

An attorney’s reputation for winning in court can also act as a deterrent against prolonged legal battles, encouraging the opposing party to offer a reasonable settlement early in the process.

Emotional Factors

The emotional state of the parties involved can profoundly affect the decision-making process in wrongful death cases. The stress and emotional toll of litigation can lead individuals to seek a quicker resolution through settlement, even if patience might yield a more favorable outcome in court. Similarly, a desire for closure and the emotional burden of reliving the incident during a trial can heavily influence the decision to avoid court proceedings. 

Whether a wrongful death case goes to court depends on a combination of factors. Working with an experienced wrongful death lawyer can provide guidance through this process, helping to weigh the benefits of settling against the risks and costs of a trial.

How Long Will My Wrongful Death Case Take?

Determining the exact duration of a wrongful death case is challenging due to the unique nature of each situation. Generally, such cases can range from a few months to several years, largely depending on the complexity of the case, the amount of evidence, the willingness of parties to settle, and the court’s schedule. 

Cases that are resolved out of court through settlements may reach a conclusion more quickly, often within a few months to a year. In contrast, wrongful death cases that proceed to trial may extend for several years, especially if there are appeals. An experienced wrongful death attorney can offer a more precise estimate based on the specifics of your case and work diligently to expedite the process while striving for a fair resolution.

Statute Of Limitations In A Louisville Wrongful Death Case 

In Kentucky, understanding the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case is crucial for those seeking justice. The state has two specific deadlines to keep in mind. 

One Year: The timeline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is generally one year from the date on which the deceased’s personal representative is appointed. 

Two Years: If the personal representative is named more than one year following the date of death, the statute of limitations extends to two years from the date of death. 

There may be other exceptions to these rules that can either shorten or lengthen the deadlines. 

Given these varying circumstances, it’s critical to contact a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your case is filed within the appropriate time frame.

Why It’s Important to Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer

You can’t put a price on the life of a loved one, but if someone else caused their death through recklessness or negligence, you deserve justice. An experienced lawyer can build a strong case to show the suffering your loved one endured leading up to their death. They will also show how the loss affected your family.

Hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney from Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers can help you negotiate with insurance companies, get a fair settlement, and avoid a prolonged trial. Should the case go to trial, you can depend on our team to fight for the maximum compensation possible on behalf of your family.

Contact A Louisville Wrongful Death Lawyer

If a person or business caused your loved one’s death, our wrongful death lawyers in Louisville have the knowledge and experience to help protect your family’s rights in a wrongful death claim.

Contact Sam Aguiar Injury Lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—just call our firm at any time or fill out a free case consultation form to get started. There’s no obligation to get a free initial consultation, and our No Fee Guarantee® means you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case.*

Don’t wait to get help. Contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation with someone at our personal injury law firm and learn how our wrongful death attorneys can help you!