Skilled and Compassionate Wrongful Death Lawyers in St. Louis, Missouri
We understand that no amount of recovery can ever compensate you for the death of a loved one caused by someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence. A wrongful death claim is a legal avenue to seek justice for the deceased, hold responsible parties accountable, and receive compensation to help fill the financial gap left behind by their death. Our St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP help the families of wrongful death victims.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a case in which damages are sought against another party for causing a death due to negligence or misconduct. When this happens, surviving family members may sue for wrongful death.
Common causes of wrongful death actions include:
- Car accidents
- Large truck accidents
- Drunk driving wrecks
- Occupational exposure to hazardous substances
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous prescription medications
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Missouri?
A wrongful death claim may be filed by surviving family members when someone else’s acts or omissions caused a loved one’s death. Had the person survived, they may have pursued legal damages. However, the worst possible outcome has occurred and the surviving family has a right to this compensation.
Parties entitled to file a wrongful death claim in Missouri are:
- Spouse or children of the deceased
- Father or mother of the deceased (natural or adoptive)
- Surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children (natural or adopted)
- Brothers and sisters of the deceased or their descendants
- Plaintiff ad litem appointed by the court if none of the above exist.
Only one legal action may be brought against a defendant for the wrongful death of a person. If there are multiple individuals in any one class pursuing a wrongful death claim, their cases must be brought together as one.
What Types of Damages Are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Money damages, known as “pecuniary loss” are available in Missouri and Illinois to compensate loved ones for funeral expenses, medical expenses and other out of pocket loss directly related to the injury and death of a loved one. lost earnings for support of a child or spouse are also recoverable, as are damages for non-monetary items the surviving family members were deprived of by virtue of the death. These non-monetary items include things like family services, companionship, comfort, guidance, counsel, and emotional support.
What Is Considered in Determining Pecuniary Losses?
A number of factors are considered in determining pecuniary losses in a wrongful death case. These factors include the age, health, condition, life expectancy, intelligence, character, and earning capacity of the deceased.
They also include the circumstances of the surviving family members to whom the award will be distributed. For example, in a claim for the wrongful death of an adult that had dependents along with a living wage, the jury may consider loss of income and loss of parental guidance in determining the award.
Statute of Limitation on Wrongful Death Claims
The statute of limitations (time limit imposed by law) on wrongful death claims in Missouri is three years from the date of death. That statute can be practically shortened if the death is the result of some other act, like an intentional beating or an act of medical malpractice, both of which are subject to a two year statute of limitations. If you have lost a loved one through someone’s negligence or wrongdoing, it is best not to hesitate: hire attorneys with both the financial strength and the wisdom of experience that enables them to fight for your family. Contact Rogers Sevastianos & Bante, LLP as soon as possible. We can and will help you hold the responsible party accountable in a wrongful death action!