Why File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim typically involves the unexpected death of a person as a result of the negligence, carelessness, wrongful actions, or medical malpractice of another. Under Missouri law, wrongful death is defined as a death that occurred due to "any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance" of another person.
No amount of money can ever hope to fill the void left by the loss of a loved one. However, getting compensation and justice can help the surviving family members regain peace of mind after such an unfortunate incident. Furthermore, filing a wrongful death claim can give the surviving family members a much-needed financial boost to cover medical bills incurred before the victim's death, funeral expenses, burial costs, lost income and benefits, and loss of consortium.
What Constitutes Wrongful
Death in Missouri?
Under Missouri law, a person, entity, or government agency that causes a death due to their negligent or careless actions can be held legally liable. In order to establish a wrongful death claim in Missouri, the claimant must show that:
- The defendant owed a legal duty of care to the decedent
- There was a breach in the legal duty of care
- A death occurred
- The victim's death was due to the defendant's negligent or wrongful actions
- The surviving family members suffered actual damages due to the death
Who Can File a Wrongful
Death Claim in Missouri?
The following people may file a wrongful death claim in Missouri:
- First in line: the surviving spouse, parents, children, or children's descendants of the deceased person
- Next: the deceased person's surviving siblings or their descendants
- Next: a "plaintiff ad litem" appointed by the Missouri court to handle the claim
Time Limits for Filing
Under Missouri Revised Statutes Section 537.100, a wrongful death action must be brought within three years from the date of the victim's death.
The following damages may be recovered through a wrongful death claim in Missouri:
- Medical bills incurred before the victim's death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased person before their death
- The reasonable value of the services, companionship, consortium, comfort, counsel, guidance, training, and support the decedent would have provided to surviving loved ones
Work With an Experienced
Personal Injury Attorney
Wrongful death can be intense and heartbreaking for the victim's surviving loved ones. Such an incident can leave you worrying about your financial future. However, such negligence should never be allowed to go unchecked. Retaining an experienced personal injury attorney immediately is important to advocate for your legal rights and pursue deserved compensation for your loss.
At Jett Legal, we understand how difficult losing a loved one prematurely can be, and our attorneys are poised and ready to assist you and your family during such a trying period. As your legal counsel, we will:
- Fight compassionately to represent your best interests and hold the responsible parties liable
- Review all of the facts of your case and conduct a thorough, private investigation
- Gather necessary evidence and required documentation
- Help establish that the defendant's wrongful actions caused the victim's death
- Help you understand the value of your claim and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurer
- Take additional legal action, if needed