Wrongful Death Cases - Jurisdiction And Statute In Kentucky

What court should a wrongful death case go to?
A wrongful death or survival action should be filed in a State Circuit Court. Venue is the term for where the case is filed. This is usually in the county where the death or injury that caused the death occurred. It can also be filed in the county where the person that caused the death lives. If a common carrier caused the death, you can file in the county where the deceased lived. If the person that caused the death was from a different state, the case must be filed in the county where the death or the injury causing death occurred. It could also be filed where the deceased lived. There may also be jurisdiction Federal District Court when there is diversity of citizenship (the decedent and the defendant reside in different states) or the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

Related: Car Accident Courts

Kentucky’s wrongful death statute 
Kentucky provides for both wrongful death and survival actions. There are four different statutes that provide for the recovery of damages for the death of a loved one. Two of these statutes allow the deceased’s claim to survive and be revived by the personal representative. When a death occurs due to the negligent of another person, damages which result from the death may be recovered from the person who caused the death. Punitive damages, or money to punish, may also be collected if the action which caused the death was willful or grossly negligent. Any action brought under this statute must be brought by the personal representative. The statute says exactly how any recovery is to be distributed. First, funeral expenses, the cost of administration of the estate and the cost of recovery (including attorney fees) are subtracted. What is remaining is distributed to the beneficiaries according to the distribution statute.

Related: Factors In Determining Value In A Wrongful Death Case

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky