A wrongful death claim is typically filed because of the negligent actions of another party. For example, if a pedestrian is struck and killed by a drunk driver, this could be a situation that might warrant a wrongful death claim. The claim typically is filed by the immediate family of the individual who was killed.
Because a wrongful death claim is a civil suit, it does not carry criminal charges; however, it can be a deterrent to future violations of safety rules broken that resulted in the wrongful death giving closure to surviving family members. There are a variety of items that can be covered by a claim including the cost of medical expenses incurred, funeral costs and even pain and suffering. Here are some things you should know before filing a wrongful death claim in the State of Missouri.
Are you eligible? – In most cases next of kin are the only people who are qualified to file a wrongful death claim in Missouri. This includes parents, a spouse, or children. In some cases, if there is no spouse, children or surviving parents, members of the deceased’s extended family might also be eligible to file including brothers and sisters.
How to file – The first step before filing a claim is to discuss your case with an attorney qualified to handle wrongful death cases. They will help you collect evidence and file the necessary paperwork to start the process. Additionally, they can speak to the court on your behalf.
What can be claimed – There are several things for which you can seek reimbursement in your claim. These might include:
- Loss of current or future income
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship
Your attorney can help you determine what items should be included in your claim.
Statute of limitations – It is important to remember that a wrongful death claim must be filed in a timely matter. In the State of Missouri, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought within three years of the death of a loved one.
The Morrissey Law Firm, PC, is located in Springfield, Missouri, and focuses in personal injury and wrongful death trial work. If you need a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, please visit our website or call (417) 887-0529 to schedule a consultation.