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Who Can Collect Damages In a Wrongful Death Case In Kentucky?

May 14, 2020

Wrongful Death Damages KentuckyLosing a loved one in a car, semi-truck, or other accident is emotionally and financially devastating.

Our wrongful death attorneys at the Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart are here to help in this difficult time to get our clients the compensation they deserve navigating the complex issues in a wrongful death claim.

In Kentucky, when a family member or loved one suffers fatal injuries and is killed because of someone else’s negligence, damages may be recovered for the death from the person who caused it, pursuant to Kentucky Wrongful Death Statute.

The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart, with over 40 years of experience in representing clients in wrongful death cases, has the experience, results and commitment to recover the damages your family deserves with offices in Bowling Green, Glasgow, Russellville, and Greenville Kentucky, we can meet our clients throughout Southern Kentucky Communities.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Who can file a wrongful death case?

  • Kentucky Courts have long recognized that the personal representative of the deceased is generally the only individual with standing to initiate a wrongful death action. Flora Templeton Stuart takes all necessary steps to have our clients appointed as party or representative in a wrongful death claim.
  • The first consideration of who the “personal representative” of the Estate should be is whether the deceased had a valid will at the time of their death. A written will may appoint a specific individual who the decease wishes to be “executor” of their estate.
  • If a person dies without a will, loved ones, family or “next of kin” have standing to be appointed administrator or administratrix. Kentucky Courts prefer the surviving husband or wife, or if the surviving husband or wife does not nominate a suitable administrator, then such others that are entitled to distribution, which may be at the Courts discretion. (KRS 395.040) .

The experienced attorneys at The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart can also help guide you through the Kentucky probate process.

Where to file the Probate Estate?

The probate action is typically filed in the district court of the county where the deceased lived. The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart will promptly file court documents for the appointment of the appropriate personal representative.

What potential damages or compensation are available in a Wrongful Death case?

Wrongful Death Damages/Compensation:

  • Past Medical expense
  • Loss of future earnings / benefits
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of household services
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages (if the act was willful or the negligence gross)
  • Loss of companionship/consortium
  • PIP Benefits (if auto accident)

Who are the beneficiaries of a wrongful death action?

Kentucky law provides for the distribution of Damages in a wrongful death action to the surviving family members in the following order: KRS 411.130

  1. Surviving spouse with no children will receive full damages.
  2. Surviving spouse with surviving children will split the damages equally, half to the spouse, house to the surviving children.
  3. With no surviving spouse but surviving children, the children will receive full damages.
  4. With no surviving spouse or children, the deceased surviving parent or parents will receive and/or split the damages.
  5. If no widow, children, or surviving parents, then the damages go to the deceased’s estate.

Does the Estate or Administrator Get anything if there is no surviving family?

Kentucky statutes provide that the wrongful death damages pass outside of the estate as listed above, except for funeral and burial expenses, as well as cost associated with pursuing the wrongful death claim. The administrator or Executor of the estate can petition the court for a fee from the estate for pursing the wrongful death claim. Attorneys with the Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart will be there every step of the way to guide you through this process.

What is a Consortium Claim?

Consortium claim: If your spouse, child (under 18) or parent if you are under 18 has been killed in a car, truck, or other accident you have a consortium claim. A consortium claim is independent of the wrongful death claim. Consortium means the right to services, assistance, aid, society companionship between a spouse. Either a wife or husband may recover damages against a third person for loss of consortium resulting from a negligent or wrongful action of a third person, pursuant to KRS 411.145:

  • Parents have consortium claims for the loss of their minor children pursuant to KRS 411.135
  • Under Kentucky law, minor children also have an independent claim for loss of parental consortium, which is indistinguishable and reciprocal for claims of loss of children’s consortium under KRS § 411.135.

Contact the Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart Today

The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart can help guide you and your family through this difficult time by getting justice for the death of your loved one through a wrongful death claim in Kentucky. Experienced attorneys provide the guidance and support you need in these difficult times.

Please reach out to The Law Firm of Flora Templeton Stuart to set up a free consultation with our experienced wrongful death lawyers to discuss how we may help you with your wrongful-death claim. All cases are handled on a contingency fee with no recovery unless we collect money for our clients who have lost a loved on.

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Flora Templeton Stuart

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