Losing a loved one due to an accident or wrongful act is a devastating experience. On top of your heartache and grief, you may also be dealing with substantial financial and personal losses that may continue to affect your family for years to come. If someone else’s irresponsible or unlawful behavior led to your traumatic loss, they should be held accountable.

In these tragic situations, you have the legal right to work with a Webster Groves wrongful death lawyer and hold the wrongdoers accountable. Let a compassionate injury attorney at OnderLaw guide you through these difficult times and help protect your family’s future. We are here to provide the support and counsel you need to make the right call for your loved ones.

Defining “Wrongful Death” Under State Law

According to Missouri Revised Statutes §537.080, a “wrongful death” is one where the deceased person would have been able to file a lawsuit over injuries they sustained from another person’s misconduct had those injuries not been fatal.

This means that a wrongful death claim could arise from an accident like a car wreck, neglectful acts such as nursing home neglect or injury of a dependent person in someone else’s care, or an intentional criminal act.

Civil law and criminal law differ in each state. A person who intentionally causes another person’s death may face both civil litigation and criminal prosecution, depending on the situation and the laws in that state. Each case would proceed separately from the other.

Since civil cases have a less strict standard of proof compared to criminal cases, someone can be acquitted in criminal court but still found civilly liable for causing another person’s death. In a private consultation, our dedicated Webster Groves attorneys can further explain your family’s options for seeking justice for your loved one’s wrongful death.

Recovering Compensation After a Family Member’s Death

The state statute mentioned above gives the surviving spouse, biological or adopted children, and parents of a deceased person the right to file a wrongful death claim in their family member’s name. If none of those people survive, the right to pursue such a claim may pass to the decedent’s siblings, descendants, and finally to a plaintiff ad litem. This person is appointed by the court and specifically requested by someone “entitled to share in the proceeds” of a successful claim.

Recoverable damages can include economic and non-economic losses experienced by the decedent’s family members and beneficiaries as a direct consequence of their premature death. It may also include losses suffered by the decedent’s estate. Damages often factored into these claims include:

  • Medical bills for treatment the decedent received between sustaining an injury and passing away, as well as pain and suffering experienced during that time
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Lost future financial support and/or inheritance value
  • Lost household services and support, including childcare
  • Lost love, comfort, companionship, consortium, and training

Our compassionate wrongful death lawyers in Webster Groves will ensure every compensable loss is included in your family’s claim. Although nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one, a comprehensive claim can help you and your family gain a sense of justice and obtain the resources needed to move forward with your lives.

Contact a Webster Groves Wrongful Death Attorney for Help

It is understandable to be unsure of what to do immediately after losing a loved one. However, waiting too long after their passing to explore your legal options might lead to missing a filing deadline and being left without any compensation for your losses.

At OnderLaw, a Webster Groves wrongful death lawyer can handle every aspect of the legal process to allow you to focus on taking care of yourself and your loved ones. We don’t just take on cases—we take on causes. Call today to discuss your options with a caring and dedicated member of our team.