Louisville Wrongful Death Attorneys
What is a wrongful death, and what does it cover?
Wrongful death refers to the unfortunate occurrence where a person’s life is ended prematurely due to the negligent or wrongful actions of another individual. The Kentucky wrongful death statute specifically defines wrongful death as the result of an injury caused by negligence or wrongful acts committed by someone else.
These wrongful acts could involve various degrees of culpability, including negligence, which encompasses instances of carelessness; gross negligence, which describes extreme carelessness; recklessness, involving a conscious disregard for the safety of others; and intentional misconduct, such as criminal assault. In essence, the concept of wrongful death encompasses situations where the careless or intentional actions of another party directly cause an individual’s death.
Under any circumstance, the death of a family member can be extraordinarily painful for those closest to him or her. However, the challenges faced by the victims of wrongful death, or a death caused by the recklessness or negligence of someone else, can be especially difficult. In these circumstances, substantial medical and funeral expenses and the loss of an important source of income support can leave families struggling with financial problems on top of the emotional pain they may be dealing with.
At the Sampson Law Firm, our Louisville legal team knows that nothing can ever make the tragedy of losing a loved one in Louisville right. However, wrongful death claims can at least help families to better handle the financial effects of their terrible loss. Through such claims, families can often hold the person responsible for their loved one’s death accountable and get much-needed financial support.
Cause of Wrongful Death
Tragically, the negligent and careless actions of others cause the untimely and unexpected deaths of innocent people in a wide variety of situations, with the following being some of the most common:
For clients struggling with any of these situations, we have the resources and capacity to effectively fight for the justice they deserve.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit FAQs
Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of a dangerous product that caused my loved one’s death?
Yes, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer of a dangerous product if it caused the death of your loved one. You also have the option to file a lawsuit against the distributor and the retailer involved in distributing the product. You don’t need to prove negligence to succeed in your legal claim.
Will the IRS tax my wrongful death verdict or settlement?
When considering the tax implications of a wrongful death verdict or settlement, it’s important to understand that not all compensation components are treated the same way. Generally, compensatory damages in a wrongful death case are not subject to taxation by the IRS. These damages aim to provide financial restitution for any losses or expenses incurred due to the wrongful death. They are typically awarded to help cover medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of financial support, and other related damages.
On the other hand, punitive damages, if awarded in the wrongful death case, are generally considered taxable as ordinary income by the IRS. Punitive damages are intended to punish the party responsible for the wrongful death and to serve as a deterrent to similar actions in the future. Therefore, if your verdict or settlement includes punitive damages, you should be prepared to include them as taxable income when filing your tax return.
Additionally, if any prejudgment interest is awarded as part of the verdict or settlement, it is generally considered taxable as interest income. Prejudgment interest is the interest that accumulates on the compensation amount from the time the incident occurred until the verdict or settlement is reached.
It’s worth noting that tax laws can be complex and subject to change, so it’s always advisable to consult with a tax professional or attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases for personalized advice regarding your specific situation. They can guide how to handle the tax implications of a wrongful death verdict or settlement to ensure compliance with current tax laws.
Are punitive damages available in wrongful death lawsuits?
In wrongful death lawsuits, punitive damages may be awarded in addition to ordinary compensatory damages, but only if the defendant’s wrongful act can be proven to be intentional or grossly negligent. Unlike some states, there is no specific legal limit on the punitive damages awarded in these cases. However, it should be noted that punitive damages are not commonly awarded to plaintiffs in most wrongful death lawsuits.
Who selects the personal representative who is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
The selection process for the personal representative entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the specific circumstances involved.
When the deceased individual has a valid last will and testament, the court will typically appoint the estate executor or personal representative named in the will to act on behalf of the deceased in filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
In cases where there is no valid will left by the deceased, the court exercises its discretion to select the personal representative. Generally, the court will choose from among the close relatives of the victim, such as their spouse, to fulfill this role and initiate the wrongful death lawsuit.
Speak with a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Louisville
At The Sampson Law Firm, our lawyers understand the suffering and grief a family is experiencing after losing a loved one at the hands of someone else. When a family is going through such a devastating situation, we know that focusing on family and dealing with the loss is the main priority. As such, we do our part to help a family get the financial compensation they need from the party responsible for the wrongful death by focusing on the legal intricacies and process so they don’t have to. To get the help and support that you need when filing a wrongful death claim, call (502) 584-5050 today.