Wrongful Death Claims for Car Accidents: Who Is Eligible?

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The sudden loss of a loved one is one of the toughest situations for a family or person to deal with. Besides the grief and sadness brought about by the loss of a loved one, it becomes even tougher to bear with the unfortunate, and sometimes crushing, financial burdens such as the burial and funeral expenses, substantial medical expenses, or even lost income.

The Surviving Family Can Make a Claim

The surviving spouse, children, parents, or other close family members, under certain circumstances, may have the right to file for a wrongful death claim against the negligent, or careless, person or company, responsible for the death of a loved one. This type of claim is meant to compensate the survivor for the loss of a loved one’s companionship, services, guidance, financial support, and counseling. These types of claims are distinguishable from injury claims because they are governed by the Missouri wrongful death statute. In addition, the wrongful death claims can be more complicated than the injury claims. Thus, it is in the best interests a survivor to get in touch with an experienced attorney to handle their claim.

Prompt Action is Necessary

As difficult as it may be during such a tragic time, it is crucial that the surviving family files a wrongful death claim as soon as possible. Just like the injury claims, the wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations period, so the lawsuit must be filed within the appropriate time frame, otherwise the survivors may lose their right to make a claim. It must be noted that the statute of limitations for the wrongful death claims are much shorter than those of the injury claims.

Economic and Non-economic Losses

In a wrongful death claim you can seek compensation or all your economic losses including income loss, medical expenses, funeral expenses and all other financial losses resulting from the accident. Apart from this, you can also claim compensation for loss of companionship and other reasonable non-economic losses.

Aggravating Circumstances

The Missouri wrongful death law provides that, if a case has appropriate evidence, a person, who brings the lawsuit, may ask the jury to consider “aggravating circumstances”, that are related to the death, when the jury is deliberating on the amount of money to award for the death of the loved one.

Why Speak With an Attorney?

It is important to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney. The right attorney will prepare and litigate your case in a way that gets you maximum compensation. If required, your attorney can obtain expert testimony from reconstruction witnesses, toxicologists, coroners, medical witnesses, or police officials. Thorough investigations may also point to more than one party contributing to loss the life of a loved one, such as the driver of another vehicle and the State department responsible for maintenance of roads.

Written by

St.Louis Car Accident Attorney - Helping Recover after Auto Accidents in Missouri and Illinois. The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C.

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