Unfortunately, people who survive a loved one’s wrongful death, like you, do not have the right to bring criminal cases against those parties responsible for their loved one’s passing. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have the right to civil action, though. You can work with a wrongful death attorney in St. Louis to assign liability for your loved one’s passing right away.
Morelli Law Firm can investigate your loved one’s accident and bring forward evidence of a specific party’s liability. We can then demand damages for your loved one’s suffering as well as for the losses that you’re enduring.
In other words, you can turn to our team of St. Louis personal injury lawyers for help addressing the financial burden of a loved one’s death in the face of someone else’s unchecked negligence.
When to File a Wrongful Death Claim
You and your family may find yourselves entitled to a wrongful death claim when you unexpectedly lose someone to a negligence-based accident. The type of accident can vary from a car accident to medical malpractice to a slip and fall injury. Should that accident turn fatal, you can demand loss-based damages from the party who owed a duty of care to your loved one.
Wrongful death claims specifically help you recover the financial aid you need to contend with the economic impact a loved one’s death may have on your life. With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to discuss the process of filing a wrongful death claim as soon as you emotionally feel able to do so.
Your Case’s Statute of Limitations
You have no more than three years to elect someone to represent your loved one’s best interests in civil court. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.100 establishes Missouri’s personal injury statute of limitations, which states that any claim brought forward after that three-year period may not appear before Missouri’s civil judges.
Are you worried about missing your wrongful death claim’s filing deadline? Let St. Louis wrongful death attorneys step in. Our team knows you have a lot on your plate between grieving, arranging post-life care, and getting your life back on track. We can track your deadline and ensure that your paperwork makes it to a judge before that statute expires.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident? Contact Morelli Law877-751-9800
Who Can Act on a Loved One’s Behalf?
Not everyone can file a wrongful death claim in Missouri. Mo. Rev. Stat. §537.080 notes that the deceased’s parents, children, and spouse have the first right to legal action after a person’s death. These parties retain the right to decline legal action, thus passing the opportunity to act down to the deceased’s siblings and those siblings’ children.
Should none of these parties bring a civil claim forward, the state can elect a plaintiff ad litem to act on the deceased’s behalf. Should the state elect a plaintiff ad litem, none of the aforementioned parties may assume control of the case. Missouri only allows residents to initiate one case against the party allegedly liable for a person’s death.
How do You Establish Wrongful Death Liability?
You establish liability in a wrongful death case by referring to the evidence of negligence available at the accident scene and surrounding areas. You must bring forward videos, photos, bystander statements, expert witness testimony, or some other combination of hard data if you want to name a particular party responsible for your loved one’s passing.
Any attempt to declare a liable party without evidence may see that attempt dismissed without consideration.
What Damages Can You Receive?
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 537.090 entitles you to a range of economic and non-economic wrongful death damages that, should you win your case, you can assume on your deceased loved one’s behalf. These damages can address your and your loved one’s:
- Accident-related medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Long-term treatment, if applicable
- Hospice care, if applicable
- Property in need of repair or replacement
- Lost compensation
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
Our wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis, MO, can find the dollar value of all of these losses and calculate the total value of the case you then file with a Missouri civil court. Whether you choose to negotiate for a wrongful death settlement or proceed with a trial, we can refer back to that estimate when demanding fair compensation for the wrongs done to your loved one.
Do You Need to Work With an Attorney?
So long as you fall within the group of people Missouri allows to file wrongful death claims, you can take legal action in civil court without an attorney’s guidance. That said, doing so while you’re still contending with your grief can put you in a disadvantageous position.
Not only may you miss filing deadlines or key evidence, but your emotions may prevent you from interacting with other parties in a productive way. If you work with an attorney instead, you can protect your legal right to a civil case while also giving yourself the space you need to contend with the complex emotions tied up in someone’s death.
You don’t have to agree to work with an attorney without meeting them first. If you’re interested in working with a particular firm, you can schedule a free case consultation. Morelli Law Firm uses its free case consultations to elaborate on its team’s experience in civil court and the services that can best benefit you and your family.
Schedule a Wrongful Death Case Consultation Today
You do not have to wait before holding a negligent party accountable for your loved one’s wrongful passing. You can have a wrongful death attorney in St. Louis initiate an investigation into your loved one’s death while you arrange a funeral, grieve with your family, and begin to recover.
Morelli Law Firm’s attorneys can stay on top of your case’s needs and keep you in the loop as we identify a liable party. That said, you don’t have to commit to a wrongful death case right out of the gate. You can schedule a fatal accident consultation with our team today to learn more about your right to wrongful death damages.
Contact us by calling our office or through Morelli Law Firm’s website to book your case evaluation today.