If you have lost a loved one to an accident, there are certain legal options available. These may include filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible for your loved one’s death.
Wrongful death claims can help surviving family members receive compensation for losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of companionship and other damages. However, you must take action quickly if you wish to file a claim.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A Wrongful Death Claim is a lawsuit filed by family members who have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party. These claims are not like other personal injury cases and must be handled with care.
Damages recoverable in a wrongful death case vary widely from state to state and are often based on the specific situation. In addition to monetary compensation, the court may award intangible damages for losses like loss of companionship and pain and suffering.
Some states allow punitive damages, which are awards to defendants who commit egregious acts.
To file a claim, surviving family members must demonstrate that they have suffered a financial loss as a result of the deceased’s death. These damages can include medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and more.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
When someone you love dies due to the negligence or intentional actions of another person, you may be eligible for compensation. This can help you lessen the financial burdens associated with your loss and ensure justice is served on the responsible party.
Wrongful death claims are also designed to deter others from causing similar losses in the future. This can be especially important in cases of wrongful death by negligent drivers, manufacturers of defective products, and medical malpractice.
The right to file a claim depends on the state’s wrongful death statute. These statutes usually designate certain individuals as statutory beneficiaries. In some cases, the statutes also limit who can bring a claim.
What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death damages are awarded by juries to families who have lost a loved one. These awards include both economic and non-economic damages.
The jury may also award punitive damages in wrongful death cases where the defendant committed an intentional act of negligence or recklessness that led to the decedent’s death. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for their actions and deter other people from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
Depending on state law, spouses, children, and other family members can pursue claims for damages. These survivors are called “real parties in interest.”
Most states allow wrongful death suits to be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. However, if the decedent did not leave a will, the lawsuit is filed by a legal representative for his or her surviving relatives.
What Are the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Missouri?
If a loved one dies due to the negligent or wrongful acts of another person, surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is a serious legal matter and a family must act promptly to pursue their right to compensation.
There are strict deadlines, called statutes of limitations, that apply to wrongful death claims in Missouri. If a claim is not filed within the statute of limitations, it may be time-barred and unavailable.
Wrongful death attorneys in Joplin MO know that families can be overwhelmed by grief and the challenges that come with losing a loved one. However, pursuing a wrongful death claim can provide a way to move forward and honor the deceased.
Generally, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is three years in Missouri. Exceptions can be made in certain cases.