Losing a loved one is a life-altering experience. Yet, when a life is lost in a sudden and preventable accident, the pain can feel unbearable. In the middle of the anger and grief and tears are the questions. How? Why? The answers may not always provide comfort when recklessness or negligence is involved and a life is cut short. What can a grieving family do? They can stand up and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions, and the team at OnderLaw, LLC can help.
The Chesterfield personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC understand that getting involved in a complicated legal process is the last thing on your mind. That’s why our seasoned attorneys take the burden off your shoulders. We’ll fight for justice for your loved one on your behalf. We have the experience and resources it takes to seek the maximum amount of compensation possible for your situation and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. You deserve financial recovery, and we want to make sure that you have the best chance possible for gaining it.
If you want to talk to an attorney about your legal rights and what you can do to help your family, contact us today by calling (314) 963-9000. We offer a free and confidential legal consultation to help get you started and to answer all your questions.
Why Hire a Chesterfield Wrongful Death Attorney?
Everyone handles the loss of life in a different way. There can be a range of emotions from sadness, grief, anger, and anxiety. However, it’s almost universally true that losing a loved one leaves people feeling vulnerable. It is during this most vulnerable time that you may be asked questions that you are not prepared to fully handle or think through objectively.
You may be contacted by insurance adjusters or individuals or companies involved in the accident itself. While their intentions may not always be nefarious, they may use this time to pressure you into signing away your legal rights or offering you money that amounts to a fraction of what you would receive if you pursued a wrongful death claim.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we treat family members with compassion and dignity while advising them of their legal rights and what they can expect from a wrongful death suit. The decision to pursue a wrongful death claim can be difficult. The legal process tends to seem overwhelming and filled with challenges, especially after such an emotional loss. Our seasoned team of attorneys shoulders the weight of this challenge for you. That way, you can focus on yourself and your family.
Money is no replacement for what you’ve lost, but it can provide a financial safety net for you and your family during this difficult time. It is also a way to hold those responsible for the negligent accident accountable. If you are ready to talk to an experienced team about your legal options, contact OnderLaw, LLC today. We are ready to review your situation and work towards building a solid case that offers you the best chance possible at a positive outcome.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death suits can be complicated because there is such a broad range of circumstances that may trigger a claim. Legally, Missouri defines wrongful death as a situation where an act, behavior, occurrence, or transaction, had it not resulted in death, means that the individual would have had a claim to recover compensation for their injuries. It is a confusing way of saying that if a negligent act results in a death, instead of the victim being able to seek compensation, the victim’s family can seek compensation in their place.
While this language is broad and could be used to cover any number of reckless or negligent events, some of the most common situations that can trigger a wrongful death suit tend to include:
- Medical malpractice cases
- Car and truck accidents
- Pedestrian fatalities
- Motorcycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Defective drugs and medical devices
- Defective consumer products
- Premises liability accidents
If a reckless or negligent person was to blame for the death of your loved one, talk to a seasoned attorney at OnderLaw, LLC to find out if you may have a case. We can review the details of your particular situation and advise you of your legal rights. If you are ready to pursue a claim, we can gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and secure expert testimony all in an effort to build a solid case that will optimize your chances of gaining full and fair compensation for your loss. You deserve justice after losing a family member. Let us help you reach for it.
Compensation Available for Wrongful Death Claims
Compensation doesn’t bring back a loved one, but it can help you remain financially stable after the sudden and devastating loss of a family member. The death of a family member can put a significant strain on a family’s financial situation.
Filing a wrongful death claim can serve a two-fold purpose: giving family members the compensation they need for financial stability and as a method of holding the negligent party responsible for their actions. Although the circumstances of the accident can have an impact on the amount of compensation that may be available to family members, generally, families may be able to expect money for the following:
- Medical bills related to the individual’s injuries before passing away
- Burial costs
- Funeral costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering inflicted on the victim before death
The total amount of compensation available may also depend on several other considerations. For instance, the state of Missouri has a law that allows family members of part-time workers to recover 110 percent of the state’s average weekly wage. This is possible only if the deceased, in addition to working part-time, also used at least 50 percent of their time to care for a child, an elderly family member over the age of 65, or a disabled relative.
This same clause also allows for parents of minors killed in accidents to recover “lost wages” compensation. The lost wages are calculated using the parents’ current income. It can be based on the sole earnings of one parent, or if both parents work, it will be the average of both incomes.
If a wrongful death claim is something that you are considering, keep in mind that Missouri gives you a time limit for filing. All wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the date of death. If a case is filed after the statute of limitations has expired, most likely, the court will reject the claim, and family members will likely be unable to recover compensation for their loss through the court system.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death suit after a loss. The state of Missouri lays out a hierarchy that dictates not only which family members can file a claim but also in which order certain family members can attempt to file a claim. In the event that a negligent accident claims a victim’s life, the surviving spouse or the surviving children are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. The children of the victim may be either biological or adopted. The victim’s parents are also allowed to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their child.
If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, then the law allows siblings or their children to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased had no relatives, then the law allows the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file a claim on their behalf. This is also what is referred to as a plaintiff ad litem. The plaintiff ad litem would be appointed by the courts and granted the authority to pursue action on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
Those wishing to file a wrongful death suit must be aware that only one wrongful death claim can be filed on behalf of the victim. Multiple family members cannot file multiple claims of wrongful death. One death means one suit.
Contact an Experienced Chesterfield Wrong Death Attorney Today
At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand that you may have reservations about taking the drastic step of hiring an attorney. Maneuvering through the legal process after the loss of someone close to you can be overwhelming and painful. It is with that in mind that the team at OnderLaw, LLC offers family members sensitive and compassionate guidance during this difficult time.
If you have lost a loved one due to a reckless or negligent accident, you deserve both justice and compensation for your loss. The team at OnderLaw, LLC is ready to help you try to achieve both goals. If you want more information about your legal options, reach out and call us at (314) 963-9000 today. We offer a free and confidential initial consultation to help get you started.