When Can You Sue For Wrongful Death?
As a survivor, you are stepping into your loved one’s shoes to assert their rights for them where they cannot. For many, this is both an honor and a duty that they owe to the memory of their loved one. In order to make a successful wrongful death claim, several requirements must be met.
- Your loved one’s death was a direct result of the actions (or inactions) of another person, business, or other entity.
- The death of your loved one has affected (injured) surviving family members.
- The death of your loved one has resulted in monetary damages.
Essentially look at it this way; if your loved one had been eligible to make a personal injury claim had they survived, then a wrongful death suit is likely an available option.
The death of a loved one can put severe financial strain on the survivors. This burden includes not only funeral expenses, but also lost wages that would have supported dependent family members. A wrongful death lawsuit can help ease this burden in many situations.
What Types Of Damages Can You Recover?
There are recoverable damages in wrongful death cases. These recoverable damages can include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses of the individual before they had passed away – such as medical costs associated with a fatal injury.
- Funeral or burial costs.
- Lost earning capacity – such as the amount of money the individual would have earned in a lifetime if they had not passed away.
- Future loss of financial support; especially if the individual that passed away had a wife or children that they were supporting.
- Loss of companionship.
There are certain surviving family members that are also eligible to collect certain damages. This typically includes the victim’s immediate family members. For example; parents, spouse, or surviving children.
My Loved One Was Killed At Work. How is That Situation Different?
If your loved one was killed at work, the Missouri workers’ compensation system may provide the spouse and dependents with death benefits.
Death benefits include compensation for the loss of earning capacity. That is, the amount that the victim would have earned during their lifetime.
It is possible to receive additional benefits outside of the workers’ compensation by filing a wrongful death case. Each situation is different and it will take a skilled attorney to evaluate your potential legal options.
Consulting With A St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorney
We can help you determine what kind of rights you may have. We understand that losing a loved one is difficult, but sometimes a wrongful death suit can help ease the related financial burdens.
Give us a call at 314.444.4444 as soon as possible.