When a loved one dies, it is hard enough on its own. When it becomes apparent that the death was caused by somebody else’s actions, such as an accident or medical malpractice, it can become that much more difficult to bear. However, there may be something you can do to help ease the financial burden associated with the wrongful death of your loved one.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under Missouri law, a wrongful death claim can be made when a case for personal damages could have been made if the injured had not died. In other words, if the negligence of an individual or company caused an injury or illness to a person, that person might have a claim for personal damages. However, if that person dies from the illness or injuries, they cannot make a claim for damages, as they are not alive to do so. Instead of absolving the guilty person or entity of liability, though, Missouri law makes it possible for someone to bring a claim on behalf of the deceased and to recover the damages for them.
Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
Not just anyone may bring a wrongful death claim. There must be a close relationship between the parties, and it must follow a specific order of succession.
In Missouri, a spouse, child, parent, or grandchild are first in line to recover. However, if none of these exist, but a sibling is still living, then the sibling may file. If a living relative is not available, the estate representative may file the claim. Absent all of these, a court may appoint someone who may file the suit.
The Wrongful Death Claim Process
Once a claim has been filed, it will go through the normal stages of a lawsuit. During this time, it is wise to have a lawyer on your side to make sure all resources are utilized and to ensure that the best result has been reached in the case.
Damages from a Wrongful Death Suit
There are many different ways a party may recover from a wrongful death suit and what is recovered will in part depend on the individual case. However, examples of potential damages that could be collected include:
- Burial expenses
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
For help deciding what damages your particular case might receive, it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer for guidance.
Statute of Limitations
One important thing to note is that there are often statutes of limitations on cases of this nature. What this means is that the party bringing the suit must bring it within a specific amount of time after the incident occurs or else they will not be able to bring the case at all.
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of death of your loved one.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you believe that you have a wrongful death claim, contact the Law Offices of Kevin J. Roach. Mr. Roach is an experienced Missouri and Illinois wrongful death attorney with a track record of success in obtaining the best possible outcome for his clients. Call us today at (866) 519-0085 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.