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On behalf of Mike Breen Feb. 22, 2017

Losing a loved one because of the action — or inaction — of someone else can be an incredibly traumatic experience. Everything about this type of loss can feel wrong, and those left behind may certainly have the option of filing a wrongful death claim.

However, in the legal context, a wrongful death is not just one that is unfair or undeserved. This will be important to understand if you are considering your legal options in the aftermath of a loved one’s death. In order to pursue a wrongful death claim, there are certain elements that must be fulfilled.

As specified in Kentucky wrongful death statutes, a wrongful death claim must be supported by evidence that:

  • A person was killed

  • The death stemmed from someone’s negligence or intentionally harmful actions

  • You are a family member who has suffered damages as a result of the loss and you are eligible to file this type of claim

If all these elements are in place, you may very well have grounds to pursue financial damages.

Of course, there is no amount of money that can be awarded in a legal claim that will replace a loved one. And holding a party responsible for the loss won’t undo bad behaviors.

Nevertheless, these claims can help those left behind in a few different ways. They can instill a sense of justice and accountability by legally acknowledging fault. They can also provide loved ones with the financial resources they need and deserve to cope with a loss and begin to move forward. Further, wrongful death claims can serve as a way to punish the appropriate party and discourage others from making similar decisions, particularly when punitive damages are awarded.

Death is often devastating and painful for those of us left behind; there is no doubt about that. But legal action may not always be feasible or appropriate after loss. However, if a fatality meets the requirements for a wrongful death claim, then you will want to consider your legal options. Speaking with an attorney can help you assess the situation and make informed decisions.