Losing a loved one suddenly is one of the most challenging and heart-breaking experiences anyone can face, and when that loss is due to the negligence or intentional malice of another person, it can be even more devastating. In these kinds of situations, it can be vital for surviving family members to pursue legal action against the person or people responsible for the loss, not just to obtain justice but also to minimize the long-term impact of this tragedy.

If you have lost a family member due to someone else’s misconduct, a Fenton wrongful death lawyer could help. These kinds of cases can take a tremendous emotional and financial toll on families, and a compassionate personal injury attorney could help you efficiently navigate the process of filing a claim for compensation.

Who Can File Suit Over a Wrongful Death?

According to Missouri Revised Statutes §537.080, a wrongful death lawsuit is possible if the decedent could have filed a civil claim had they survived the accident in question. Put another way, after a wrongful death, the right to pursue personal injury litigation passes on to surviving family members.

Specifically, state law grants the right to file suit over wrongful death to the decedent’s surviving spouse, parents, or children. If the decedent’s children are also deceased, the relevant grandchildren can file a wrongful death claim. If none of these parties are available, the right to file suit would then pass to the decedent’s surviving sibling(s) and/or that sibling’s descendants.

Finally, if no person with any relationship to the decedent listed above survives that decedent, the right to submit a wrongful death claim passes to a court-appointed “plaintiff ad litem,” but only at the expressed request of someone entitled to receive compensation through a successful lawsuit or settlement demand. An experienced attorney in Fenton could offer personalized clarification during an initial meeting about who is entitled to file a wrongful death claim.

Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases

According to Mo. Rev. Stat. §537.090, a wrongful death claim may seek restitution for the losses sustained by surviving family members, including:

  • Funeral and burial/cremation costs
  • Lost future financial support and/or inheritance the decedent would have provided
  • Medical expenses for care the decedent received between being injured and passing away
  • The physical pain and suffering the decedent experienced between being injured and ultimately passing away
  • Lost services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support

It is also possible to recover for lost childcare services provided by the decedent in some situations, as a wrongful death lawyer could further explain.

A Fenton Wrongful Death Attorney Could Help

Wrongful death cases can be complex and challenging, especially when you are still dealing with the grief of a sudden loss. In situations like this, representation from compassionate legal counsel can be invaluable to minimizing further stress on your family and securing a favorable case result.

No amount of financial compensation can truly make up for someone passing away before their time, but a Fenton wrongful death lawyer could help you obtain the resources you need to move forward with your life as best you can. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.