Was your loved one killed because of someone else’s careless, reckless, or wrongful acts in St. Louis, MO? Your family may be entitled to significant compensation. An experienced St. Louis wrongful death lawyer at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers can help your family fight to recover money for medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of your loved one’s support. Contact us at (314) 444 4444.
Our lawyers have decades of combined experience helping families like yours recover fair compensation for their losses. We’ve successfully recovered over $50 million since our firm was founded.
You deserve time to grieve and heal. Let our lawyers fight for the money you deserve. We’re always ready to discuss your case, so call our law firm in St. Louis, Missouri to schedule a free consultation.
Table of Contents
How Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With a Wrongful Death Claim in St. Louis
Fatal accidents are all-too-common in St. Louis. In 2020 alone, 989 people lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents throughout Missouri. Most of these accidents are entirely preventable – and leave countless families grieving.
If you lost a loved one, you deserve to hold the responsible party accountable. An experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer can help you fight for justice.
Wrongful death cases are particularly complex. It’s important to ensure that your lawyer has experience handling these types of cases. Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers has been rated by Super Lawyers, the National Trial Lawyers, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
When you choose our lawyers to represent you, you can expect us to:
- Fully investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death
- Identify everyone who played a role in their death
- Gather evidence to prove your case
- Hire expert witnesses when necessary to strengthen your case
- Assess the fair value of your claim
- Negotiate with the insurance companies and fight for the maximum compensation possible
Your family shouldn’t be left to face financial instability because someone else was careless. Our lawyers in St. Louis are here to help hold all responsible parties accountable. All you have to do is call to schedule a free consultation with our St. Louis personal injury attorneys.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit gives survivors of fatal accident victims the right to seek compensation for their losses in civil court.
Under Missouri wrongful death laws, a “wrongful death” is any death that occurs because of “any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance” that would have allowed the deceased person to file a personal injury lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit gives surviving family members the right to recover the compensation the victim would have received if they lived. There are no criminal penalties involved in wrongful death cases. Wrongful death lawsuits can only compensate survivors with money. If the defendant’s acts were a crime, those issues are resolved in criminal court.
Who Can File an Action for Wrongful Death in Missouri?
Only certain parties can file a wrongful death action in Missouri, including:
- The surviving spouse
- The child of any deceased child (grandchildren)
- Brothers and sisters, if there is no spouse, child, or parent
- The personal representative, if there are no surviving family members
If there are no qualifying survivors, the court can appoint a plaintiff ad litem to file the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person’s estate. Courts will only appoint a plaintiff ad litem if someone who is entitled to compensation files a request for the appointment.
Do you have questions about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in St. Louis, MO? Call our lawyers at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers today. We’d be happy to discuss your case for free.
What is My St. Louis Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The loss of a family member is a devastating event. While money can never fully make up for your emotional losses, it can help secure your family’s future. It can also bring a sense of justice.
The value of a wrongful death case will vary depending on the facts.
The most important factors tend to be:
- The cost of your loved one’s medical care and out-of-pocket expenses before death
- The value of lost future earnings, considering prior work history and education
- Your loved one’s life expectancy prior to the accident or injury
- The identity of surviving dependents, including young children
- The circumstances of the accident
- The nature of the at-fault party’s acts
You can count on our experienced St. Louis wrongful death attorneys to fight for every dollar you deserve and demand full compensation from everyone who contributed to your loved one’s death.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Survivors in a Wrongful Death Case?
As in personal injury cases, damages for wrongful death attempt to compensate victims for all of their losses. That includes economic damages and non-economic damages.
In a successful wrongful death case, your family may receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses from the date of the accident to the date of death
- Funeral costs and burial expenses
- Expenses associated with estate administration
- The lost wages that the deceased person would have earned
- The reasonable value of lost household services and childcare
- The pain and suffering your loved one endured prior to death
- The value of your loved one’s companionship and support (loss of consortium)
- Loss of parental guidance and instruction
- Punitive damages if the at-fault party’s actions were intentional or malicious
- Workers’ compensation death benefits if the accident happened at work
These types of damages can be extremely difficult to value. Having an experienced accident lawyer by your side is important to ensure that you get fair compensation for your losses.
Can I Recover Damages If My Loved One is Being Blamed for a Fatal Accident in Missouri?
Missouri is a pure comparative negligence state. In any personal injury case, liability is apportioned between all parties. Each party is responsible for their share of the damage. So, if an injured party was 20% responsible for the accident, they’re only entitled to 80% of their settlement or verdict.
The rules are the same for wrongful death cases. Even though your loved one isn’t here to defend themselves, the insurance companies might still blame them.
Our wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis can protect your loved one if that happens. We know these scare tactics inside and out – and we’ll be here to stand up for you. To learn more about how we can minimize the impact of the shared fault rules, call for a free case evaluation today.
What Causes Most Fatal Accidents in St. Louis, Missouri?
You may be entitled to compensation if your loved one died because of someone else’s mistake.
At Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers, we often handle cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Premises liability, including negligent security
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Uber or Lyft accidents
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Dog bites
- Defective products
- Nursing home abuse
- Elder abuse
- Birth injuries
- Assault, sexual assault, and other violent crimes
Your loved one’s death may have been “wrongful” if it was caused by any negligent, reckless, or intentional act.
How Do I Prove Negligence If My Loved One Was Killed in a Fatal Accident in Missouri?
Fatal accidents tend to be sudden. Even if you were there, you might not know what exactly happened. Regardless, you’ll have to prove that someone else was responsible to recover compensation.
Most wrongful death claims are based on negligence.
To recover damages based on negligence, you must prove:
- The at-fault party had a legal duty of care
- They breached the duty of care
- The breach directly caused your loved one’s death
- Your family suffered damages
The at-fault party probably won’t step forward and admit fault after your loved one’s death. Even if they do, the insurance company could challenge your right to compensation. They might claim that something else was the true reason your loved one died.
Our lawyers can step in to prove your case.
We’ll locate any available evidence, including:
- Police or accident reports
- Video surveillance footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Toxicology reports
- Cell phone records
With strong evidence, your chances of recovering the maximum compensation you deserve increase. Our lawyers can handle the investigation while you focus on healing. Call our law offices to schedule a free case evaluation with a St. Louis wrongful death attorney today.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Fatal Accident in Missouri?
Under Missouri law, you have three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations starts to run on the date of your loved one’s death.
If you fail to take legal action within the three-year timeframe, you lose your right to seek compensation from the responsible parties.
Contact a St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation
The pain of losing a loved one can seem unbearable. You shouldn’t have to deal with added financial stress. If someone you love was killed because of another party’s mistake, call an experienced St. Louis wrongful death lawyer for help today. Your initial consultation at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers is always free, so don’t hesitate to reach out for the legal advice you deserve.