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Helping You Seek Justice Through A Wrongful Death Claim

Losing a loved one in an accident is a tragic event. We understand that money cannot bring your family member back, but it can be critical to your future well-being. If you lost a wage-earning family member or one who contributed to the household, you will need financial compensation to cover your past, present and future losses.

If a close family member was taken from you in an accident involving a car or another passenger vehicle, a large commercial truck or a motorcycle, you could be entitled to compensation from the negligent party. The wrongful death lawyers at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold in Richmond are ready to help you fight for compensation if a loved one was killed in an accident caused by the negligence of another party.

Why You Need An Attorney To Obtain Compensation

There are strict definitions for who can pursue compensation in a wrongful death case. In most cases, the administrator or executor of a deceased individual’s estate has the right to pursue compensation. In other cases, the law allows for parents, spouses and children to pursue compensation on behalf of the deceased.

Following a fatal accident, surviving members of the deceased’s family may wonder what the value of the case is. Clearly, no amount of money can bring back a family member who has passed away, so courts generally calculate the loss of a decedent’s ability to work and their power to earn money.

A wrongful death attorney at our firm will answer your questions and determine whether there is a case to pursue. Time is of the essence because of the statute of limitations. In Kentucky, for an event or occurrence causing death not involving a motor vehicle, the statute of limitations is one year from the appointment of the personal representative for the deceased’s estate. In Kentucky, for an event or occurrence causing death involving a motor vehicle, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the motor vehicle accident.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kentucky Wrongful Death Claims

Below are some of the most frequent questions we receive about wrongful death claims.

Is wrongful death the same as negligence?

They are closely related, but they are not the same thing. Negligence (along with recklessness or deliberate actions) can form the basis of the liability claim in a wrongful death claim. Negligence is the failure on someone’s part to exercise reasonably prudent care for the safety of others in any given situation. A wrongful death action is a civil claim that seeks to recover losses related to the death of a loved one, often due to the defendant’s negligent acts or omissions.

Who are the beneficiaries of a wrongful death award in Kentucky?

Wrongful death claims are designed to compensate the family members of the deceased for the losses they may experience in connection with the death of their loved one. The deceased’s estate will usually receive compensation for their funeral expenses and any administrative costs or legal fees, while the surviving family members receive the remainder of a settlement or award. It should be noted that, with few exceptions, family members cannot directly file a wrongful death claim. It must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate.

How are wrongful death settlements paid out in Kentucky?

Kentucky law directs that compensation for wrongful death claims must be paid out in the following manner:

  • All proceeds go to the surviving spouse if there are no children.
  • If there is a surviving spouse and children, then the surviving spouse receives half, and the children receive half.
  • All proceeds go to the children if there is no surviving spouse.
  • If there is no surviving spouse or children, then the deceased surviving parents receive the compensation.

Finally, if there are no surviving relatives in those categories, the compensation goes to the estate. Once the estate’s debts are paid, the remainder can be distributed to more remote heirs, such as siblings and grandchildren.

Don’t Risk Missing The Deadline To File A Case

Get started by contacting the compassionate and knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold by email or by calling 859-353-0878 for a free consultation at our Richmond office today. We represent people throughout Kentucky.