If you lost a loved one due to another party’s negligent or tortious actions, you may be able to take legal action against that party in the form of a civil lawsuit to gain compensation for the damages that you incurred. Contact a St. Louis wrongful death lawyer from TorHoerman Law for a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss your legal options today.
You can also use our chatbot to receive an instant online case evaluation to find out find out if you qualify for a St. Louis wrongful death lawsuit right now.
A wrongful death as a “death caused by the negligent, willful, or wrongful act, neglect, omission, or default of another.”
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"death caused by the negligent, willful, or wrongful act, neglect, omission, or default of another."
Wrongful death is generally defined as any unforeseen loss of human life as a result of the negligence or harmful actions of another. While accidents do happen, individuals or companies can be held legally responsible for a person's death if they did not take reasonable steps or precautions needed to prevent a person's death from occurring.
For example, if an individual is undergoing a routine surgery, but died while in surgery, the doctor and/or hospital can be held liable for funeral expenses, medical bills, and other expenses if it is proven the doctor and/or hospital could have done something to prevent the death.
Wrongful death cases are different from other personal injury lawsuits in that they are not filed by the injured party but are filed on behalf of them by a loved one or peer of the deceased.
Missouri law restricts who is able to file a St. Louis, MO wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased. In order to qualify for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you must fall into one or more of the following categories:
The rules surrounding wrongful death are complex. Contact a St. Louis wrongful death attorney for a free, no-obligation case consultation to find out if you qualify to file a lawsuit.
Wrongful death lawsuits can occur after a variety of circumstances. Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, product defects, toxic chemicals, workplace accidents, dangerous prescription drugs, unsafe tools or machinery, and medical malpractice can all result in wrongful deaths.
If the negligence that caused your loved one's death was criminally motivated, a criminal lawsuit can be filed in court. The individual in question can be convicted of a crime because of their actions. But, keep in mind that a St. Louis injury lawyer can also help you file a civil lawsuit. The two are not directly related, because unlike a criminal case, a civil case will help the victim's family receive compensation for the person in question's actions.
There is one major factor to keep in mind when pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit - the statute of limitations. Essentially, this is the time frame you have to file a lawsuit. In the State of Missouri, it is most often two years from the date of death, and if you do not file a lawsuit in that time period, you may not be able to receive compensation at all. The rule applies to most deaths arising from personal injuries, medical malpractice, or other types of wrongdoing, but there are certain exceptions.
The exceptions to the general rule of a two year statute of limitations are if the victim is under the age of 18 or if criminal actions were involved. Regardless, it is still a good idea to file a claim sooner rather than later.
In order to make a viable wrongful death lawsuit argument, you must be able to prove the following:
The total value of financial contributions the victim would have made to the estate-holders if he or she had not have died, such as an income contribution. Also, any costs associated with death, such as funeral expenses.
Non-tangible losses suffered by estate holders, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of care, loss of companionship, loss of instruction to children.
Additional damages awarded to the plaintiff and meant to punish the defendant for their negligent or aggravated actions.
Hiring an experienced wrongful death attorney may not be on the top of your priority list after the loss of a loved one, especially when the death is compounded with financial burden and emotional pain, but it is an important step to take.
Your team of personal injury attorneys will help guide you through the process of a wrongful death lawsuit. First, they will investigate the circumstances of your family member or loved one's death by analyzing medical records, speaking with any witnesses, and potentially hiring an expert to provide advice and testimony in the case.
After gathering evidence, your legal team will submit a claim to the at-fault party's insurance company. The job of a St. Louis wrongful death attorney is to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company that reflects the amount you deserve. If those negotiations fail to be successful, the case will proceed to trial. While the process can possibly be lengthy, St. Louis wrongful death lawyers are there to help you receive the compensation you deserve for your loved one's death no matter how long it takes.
While your legal team cannot fully take the pain of your tragic loss away, they can help you recover from the financial burden of losing a loved one.
At TorHoerman Law, we specialize in St. Louis wrongful death lawsuits. We can help you navigated the complicated legal system and answer any questions that you may have along the way. Our experienced law firm has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and negotiated settlements for our clients. We operate on a contingency fee basis. Thus, you do not owe any payment until you have been compensated. Contact an experienced St. Louis wrongful death lawyer today to discuss your legal options. You may use the chatbot below for a free, no-obligation case consultation.
“Wrongful Death.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrongful%20death.
“Title XXXVI STATUTORY ACTIONS AND TORTS.” Missouri Revisor of Statutes, https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=537.080
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