Some Basics On Kentucky’s Wrongful Death Law
Losing a family member because of another party’s negligence or wrongful act is not easy. Fortunately, Kentucky wrongful death law provides a legal option for family members whose loved one died due to another party’s negligence or wrongful act. Under Kentucky wrongful death law, family members whose loved one died due to another party’s negligence or wrongful act can seek compensation for their loss. However, like other states, Kentucky’s wrongful death law is very specific about who can file a wrongful death claim and when this can be done.
What Is Wrongful Death?
According to Kentucky civil statutes, a wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is caused by an injury caused by another party through a wrongful act or negligence.
Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Kentucky?
When an individual dies because of negligence or a wrongful act, a wrongful death claim arises. Ky. Rev. Stat. §§ 411.130 states that the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate is the one to file a wrongful death claim. If there is no personal representative or a deceased person died without a will, the court will appoint someone to act as the deceased individual’s personal representative. Usually, the personal representative is a spouse or close family member of the deceased person.
Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim
Kentucky law allows family members whose loved one died because of the negligence or wrongful act of another to recover damages in a successful wrongful death claim. Under Kentucky law, the amount recovered in a wrongful death claim less;
- the cost of administration,
- funeral expenses, and
- the cost of recovery, including attorney fees,
shall be for the benefit and go to the deceased person’s surviving family members. If, for example, a deceased person leaves a spouse and no children or grandchildren, the whole amount will go to the spouse. If a deceased person leaves a spouse and children, one-half of the amount will go to the spouse and the other one-half to the children.
However, if a surviving spouse wants to be compensated for “loss of consortium,” they can file a separate claim. In Kentucky, loss of consortium includes the loss of a conjugal relationship, assistance, care, companionship, among other things.
Additionally, in Kentucky, individuals can recover punitive damages in wrongful death cases involving intentional acts or gross negligence.
What Is the Time Limit for Filing Wrongful Death Claims in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, just like in other states, a wrongful death claim must be filed within a specific period of time. In Kentucky, a wrongful death claim is supposed to be filed within one year from the date on which a personal representative is appointed or two years from the date of the death if the personal representative’s appointment happens more than one year from the date of the death.
Please note that the court might refuse to hear your case if you file a wrongful death claim after the statute of limitations on your case has expired.
Contact a London Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a loved one because of another’s negligence or wrongful act in London or surrounding communities in Southeast Kentucky, call a London wrongful death attorney at Cessna & George Law Firm at 606-770-5400. We can assist you in holding an at-fault party or even parties responsible and recovering the compensation you deserve for your loss.