Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Holding someone responsible for a wrongful death is not only right, but it is also lawful. According to Missouri’s wrongful death statute, RSMo 537.090, surviving members of the decedent are entitled to the following:
Medical, doctor, and hospital bills incurred prior to death
Funeral expenses and services
Compensation for the reasonable value of the services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support associated with the death
Compensation for the suffering the deceased experienced between injury and death
At G. Gray Law, we seek to give families full compensation for these losses and for suffering. It is important to note, however, that wrongful death cases can be extremely complicated, but we are armed with years of experience, we are confident that we can build a strong case to give you the financial compensation you deserve.
Definition of Wrongful Death in Missouri
Pursuing a wrongful death case is not revenge. Missouri law is on your side. According to Chapter 537 of Missouri’s Torts and Actions for Damages statues, RSMo 537.080.1, wrongful death results from an act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled the deceased to negligence damages from the liable person, party, or corporation.
Furthermore, the proper parties who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit include:
Spouse, children, or the surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate
Brother or sister of the deceased, who can establish his or her right to the damages
If there are no persons entitled to bring action, the plaintiff can file suit ad litem.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death case against a liable party in Missouri is 3 years after the date of the decedent’s death.
One of the first, and arguably the most important aspects of a wrongful death lawsuit is proving that another person, party, or corporation was negligent and caused an otherwise avoidable death. It is during this step that you need a competent, experienced personal injury lawyer who can gather the right documents, interview medical professionals (both on the scene and other trusted professionals who can provide testimony), call witnesses, and fully understand insurance coverage and common problems associated with insurance.
Additionally, working with a Missouri personal injury attorney can help determine the degree of fault. Missouri law states that compensation is entitled even when the fault is minimal, but accurately determining the degree of fault greatly improves your chances for a more suitable award that fully covers damages.
The loss of a loved one is often the hardest and most painful thing a family has to endure, and the emotional pain and suffering remains long after. A death that occurred because of negligence, whether due to another person or a defective product, makes the entire situation all the more severe.
Nothing can bring a loved one back, but the suffering you’ve had to experience, knowing full well that this suffering could have been avoided, deserves some form of compensation. In other words, those that caused a wrongful death need to be held responsible, for you as well as other victims of negligent action.