How do you contend with the grief of losing a loved one? How do you pull your life back together, knowing that someone else’s negligence ended your loved one’s life too soon? It’s natural to cycle through the stages of grief while also knowing that your life is never going to be the same.
That said, there are ways to mitigate the impacts of a loved one’s passing. You can work with St. Charles wrongful death lawyers through Morelli Law Firm to demand financial compensation in the wake of a loved one’s death. Our team of personal injury lawyers in St. Charles can advocate for your right to damages in either private negotiations or a public civil trial.
Can You Act on a Loved One’s Behalf?
Mo. Rev. Stat. §537.080 states that only certain parties can file a wrongful death claim after a loved one’s fatal accident. These parties include that person’s spouse, children, or parents. These parties may be directly related to the person in question, where applicable, or adopted. These statuses do not change a party’s right to act on their loved one’s behalf.
If none of these parties are available to file a claim, then the deceased’s siblings, nieces, or nephews may take action on their behalf. Should none of these parties step forward, a plaintiff ad litem can move on the deceased’s behalf. Missouri courts appoint a plaintiff ad litem based on what degree said party may be entitled to the deceased’s estate.
Only one of these parties may issue legal action in the deceased’s name after the deceased’s passing. Missouri does not allow concurrent wrongful death lawsuits. If multiple representatives want a deceased’s death brought before a judge, those parties can work with a wrongful death attorney to elect a primary representative.
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File Your Claim Before Your Right to a Case Expires
You deserve all of the space and time that you feel you need to recover from the shock of a loved one’s death. That said, Missouri puts a cap on the amount of time you can take to investigate a loved one’s passing and bring a claim forward. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.100 gives you three years to represent a loved one in civil court.
Courts can refuse to hear a wrongful death claim if you attempt to file it after its statute of limitations passes. With that in mind, you can call on a St. Charles wrongful death attorney early into your grieving process. We help you focus on recovering with your family while gathering evidence of fault and formatting your claim.
How to Demand Wrongful Death Damages
You can demand damages for a loved one’s passing courtesy of Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.090. This statute states that you request economic and non-economic damages for wrongs done to your loved one. The statute goes on to say that survivors may also request compensation for the deceased’s previous caregiving services for at least one child, if applicable.
The other damages you and surviving loved ones may request can include the following:
- Medical compensation for a loved one’s emergency care
- Hospice coverage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages from recorded employment
- Property lost or damaged in the accident
- Funeral expenses
Missouri does not put a cap on the damages that survivors can request when filing a wrongful death claim. That said, if someone’s wrongful death stemmed from medical malpractice, the state does place a cap on the damages you can receive for a healthcare provider’s negligence.
How to Identify a Liable Party
Identifying the party liable for a loved one’s passing can be an emotionally exhausting experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to return to the scene of a loved one’s accident yourself to begin bringing forward evidence of another party’s misconduct. Our attorneys can go in your stead.
Our attorneys look for the hard data needed to outline the nature of the negligence that led to your loved one’s passing. We bring forward photos, videos, social media statements, bystander accounts, and even expert witness opinions when elaborating on the cause of your loved one’s accident.
We can then present that data alongside a comprehensive analysis to elaborate on why said evidence holds a particular party or parties liable for the death of someone you love. If your case moves forward, we can refer back to that hard data when demanding that Missouri law hold a named party accountable for your financial strife.
What to Expect After Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Once you bring a wrongful death claim to a court’s attention, that court has to consider the strength of the evidence you’ve presented. The court will not decide whether or not you deserve compensation for your losses when first considering your complaint.
Instead, these considerations determine whether you gain the right to summon a liable party to either private settlement negotiations or a trial. It’s up to you to decide which of these paths forward best suits your long-term interests.
Wrongful death settlement negotiations can put you in uncomfortably close contact with the person allegedly liable for your loved one’s passing. That said, negotiations for wrongful death compensation tend to resolve more quickly than civil trials. However, civil trials have more structure than wrongful death negotiations.
That structure can prove particularly useful if a liable party refuses to acknowledge their role in your loved one’s passing. You can discuss how to best outline your wrongful death losses and pick a path forward with our wrongful death lawyers in St. Charles, MO.
Wrongful Death Attorneys Make it Easier to Grieve
The wrongful death attorneys in St. Charles want to help you and your loved ones contend with your grief. We give you the space you need to address your loss in a healthy way without sacrificing your right to time in court. You can count on us to investigate your loved one’s passing, keep you up to date on our investigation’s progress, and file a claim in your name.
If you’re ready to take action against the party responsible for your loved one’s untimely death, contact Morelli Law Firm. Let our personal injury lawyers discuss your right to compensation. You can request a free case evaluation through Morelli Law Firm’s website or call our office to get an appointment with an experienced attorney on the books.