If you lost a loved one in an unexpected accident caused by a careless party, you are likely experiencing immense grief. Though taking legal action may not be the first thing on your mind, you should consider speaking with a compassionate personal injury attorney about your options.
A Sunset Hills wrongful death lawyer could help you fight for compensation to ease the financial burden of medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses. Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm to learn more about how we could support you and your family after a tragic loss.
Understanding “Wrongful Death” in Sunset Hills
The term “wrongful death” describes deaths caused by the negligent or reckless actions of another person or organization. When someone dies unexpectedly, they may leave behind dependents who relied on their financial and emotional support. In addition, there may be medical costs and funeral expenses related to the death. Missouri Revised Statute § 537.080 gives the following family members the right to obtain financial compensation after the wrongful death of their loved one:
- A “plaintiff ad litem,” or someone appointed by the court to represent the interests of the deceased
Those who are unsure of their right to file a wrongful death suit should reach out to an attorney in the area.
The Difference Between Wrongful Death Claims and Criminal Cases
Wrongful death legal claims are a type of civil claim that the deceased person’s loved ones may file if the death was caused by negligence, recklessness, or even intentional acts, such as murder. These civil claims are different from criminal cases because they concern the financial consequences of the deceased person’s absence. In certain circumstances, a wrongful death claim may be filed by family members in addition to a criminal case brought by the state.
Further, wrongful death claims may be filed in the absence of criminal activity or a criminal case. These types of claims may involve deadly defects in products, fatal motor vehicle accidents, and acts of medical malpractice.
Types of Fatal Accident Cases
Wrongful death claims can arise in any situation where a person or entity does something negligent or careless, breaching their legal obligation and directly causing a fatal accident. For example, some situations that might lead to a wrongful death claim include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis or botched surgery
- Slip and falls
- Drowning accident in an unsecured swimming pool
- Dog attacks
- Defective product accidents
In these and other situations, you can take action against whoever was responsible for letting your loved one down in a way that directly led to injury and death.
Types of Financial Compensation After a Wrongful Death
Surviving family members may seek compensation for many types of expenses and damages related to a fatal accident. Common damages in wrongful death lawsuits include:
- Medical bills incurred before death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before they died
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Loss of economic support
A dedicated lawyer could help families calculate all their damages in a wrongful death case.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
Most wrongful death lawsuits need to be filed within the three-year statute of limitations codified under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.100. Cases not filed within that period will be barred by the court, and the family will lose the opportunity to claim damages. This is why it is crucial to take legal action as soon as possible.
Schedule a Consultation with a Sunset Hills Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one due to the actions of another person, consider contacting a Sunset Hills wrongful death lawyer for help. Wrongful death claims are complicated under state law, and the legal process can be difficult to handle on your own. Reach out to our compassionate attorneys today to discuss your case and plan your next steps.