Who gets paid damages after a wrongful death case?

Some Kentucky might not even think to ask the question of who exactly gets compensated when another person negligently caused the death of someone's friend or relative. After all, the person who got hurt died and therefore does not need the money. On the other hand, there are probably many, if not hundreds, of people who are affected by the untimely and preventable death of a Kentucky resident.

In Kentucky, the personal representative of the victim's estate has the responsibility for filing a wrongful death cause of action. Under Kentucky law, after court costs, attorney fees and funeral expenses get paid off, the compensation awarded gets divided up among family members.

If the victim left a surviving spouse, the spouse takes half of the compensation, with the other half going to the victim's children. The spouse takes all of the proceeds if the victim had no children, and the children take all of the proceeds if the victim has no spouse. The law also provides for those situations in which a victim is both without children and unmarried.

The logic behind this is that the victim's immediate family are those most likely to suffer financially when a loved one gets taken from them needlessly. After all, they are the ones who will probably pay for the funeral and may take on responsibility for any final medical bills. The family is also the one to feel the pinch of losing a breadwinner.

Fortunately, the law allows these people to get compensated for things like unpaid medical bills and expenses associated with the death. Also, the family can receive compensation to replace the household income they lost. In certain cases, they may be eligible to claim punitive damages.

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O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC
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