St. Joseph Wrongful Death Attorney
The death of a family member is emotionally devastating in any circumstances, but even more so when the death would never have happened were it not for someone acting in a negligent, improper or uncaring way, without regard for the victim’s right to life or the family’s need for their loved one.
In Missouri law, a “wrongful death” is a death which, if the person had continued living, would have legally entitled him or her to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit. A case for wrongful death can be brought by certain surviving family members against the person whose negligence or deliberately wrongful act caused the untimely death.
Time Limitations and Finding the Right Attorney
If you have recently suffered a wrongful death in your family, you may be contending with grief, anguish, and financial stress, especially if the person who died was the family’s main breadwinner. You may be struggling with so many emotional and financial difficulties that you barely have the time to think about a legal action. It is important to remember, however, that Missouri law limits the amount of time you have in which to file a wrongful death suit.
Having the right attorney at this difficult time can relieve you of a significant part of the burden you’re facing. The compassionate St. Joseph wrongful death attorneys at the law firm of Murphy, Taylor, Siemens & Elliott, P.C., understand the challenges you’re facing and are available to help. We know that there is no amount of money that can truly make your family whole again when you’ve lost a loved one, but we also know that holding the person who caused your loss accountable for the terrible harm you’ve suffered can help bring closure, allowing you to move forward in the face of your family’s tragedy and adjust to your altered circumstances in your loved one’s absence. Recovering compensation can also help with any financial problems your family may be suffering.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Missouri?
The Missouri wrongful death statute delineates the specific family members who are entitled to bring an action for wrongful death: a surviving spouse, children, grandchildren or parents. If the deceased person had none of these surviving family members, then a brother or sister would be able to bring a wrongful death action; if there is no living sibling, then the personal representative of the estate is able to file the claim. Lastly, if none of these exists, the court may appoint a “plaintiff ad litem” to bring the claim. The plaintiff ad litem could be a more distant relative who could inherit from the deceased under Missouri’s laws of intestacy or someone who would inherit under the deceased person’s will.
Damages in a Missouri Wrongful Death Case
- Funeral expenses.
- Medical bills for the deceased person’s injury up until death.
- The deceased person’s lost earnings and benefits (what he or she would have earned but for the death).
- The deceased’s pain and suffering from the injury that resulted in the death.
- The “reasonable value of loss of “services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training and support the deceased person would have provided to family members”.
- If the deceased person took care of a child or elderly family member, the reasonable value of that service.
- In the case of a child who died, the value of “lost wages” is computed based on the amount that the child’s parent earns, or the average of the combined earnings of two working parents.
Preserve Your Family’s Rights
Because of statutory time limits, it is important not to wait too long to hire a lawyer to represent you and your family. At Murphy, Taylor, Siemens & Elliott P.C., we will meet with you and discuss your case without charge. We will answer all your questions about the legal process and explain Missouri’s rather complicated wrongful death laws. Don’t risk losing your right to justice by allowing your time to run out. Call the St. Joseph office today for your free appointment and put our 100 years of combined experience to work for you.