Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. In 2020, even though vehicle traffic plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of fatal vehicle collisions hit a 13-year high. Falls and poisonings, mostly drug overdoses, also claim many lives every year.
No amount of money can fill the void a wrongful death creates. But financial compensation offers closure and gives them the resources they need to move on with their lives after a wrongful death.
Wrongful Death Damages Available
Surviving immediate family members usually bring wrongful death claims in court. If the decedent had no immediate family, the next of kin or a personal representative typically has this authority. Generally, the law limits these claimants to financial losses, such as:
- Lost future financial support,
- Burial and funeral expenses,
- Medical bills related to the decedent’s final illness or injury,
- Lost future emotional support, and
- Decedent’s pain and suffering.
Many damages caused by a wrongful death, especially loss of future financial support, are challenging to determine. Wrongful death lawyers often partner with accountants and other financial professionals in these situations.
Survivors might be entitled to additional compensation, such as money for their grief and suffering, under a theory like negligent infliction of emotional distress. These claims usually require separate legal action.
A $350,000 damage cap applies to pain and suffering, lost emotional support, and other non-economic losses. The cap doesn’t affect economic losses, such as lost future financial support.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
In Missouri, the statute of limitations in most negligence claims is two years. But in wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is three years. Many victims succumb to their injuries many months following a car crash or other serious injury.
Most civil claims, including most wrongful death claims, settle out of court. Typically, insurance companies settle wrongful death claims earlier than injury claims. Insurance companies can dispute the extent of a victim’s injury, but no one can dispute the effect of wrongful death.
A wrongful death might be the biggest tragedy a family must deal with. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can handle the legal process to lessen the burden on grieving loved ones. For a free consultation with an experienced St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawyer, contact Schultz & Myers, Personal Injury Attorneys. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.
What are the leading causes of accidental death?
Motor vehicle crashes and drug overdoses are the leading causes of accidental death.
Who can file a wrongful death suit in Missouri?
Survivors file most wrongful death actions in Missouri. Personal representatives also have this authority in some cases.
What’s the statute of limitations in a MO wrongful death suit?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Missouri is three years.