We Fight for Families Coping with the Loss of a Loved One
If one of your family members has died because of a defective product, work injury, nursing home negligence, or car accident, we can help you sort out your legal options during this harrowing time. We work with grieving families in Jefferson City, Columbia, and throughout Missouri to seek compensation for their losses.
The Family of a Deceased Person Can Seek Compensation
When a person dies because of someone else’s wrongdoing, the deceased person’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of action belongs to the family members of the person who has died and compensates them for the loss of the deceased person.
The family members may also seek compensation for the deceased person’s pain and suffering prior to death. If the deceased person filed a personal injury lawsuit before his or her death, that suit can be changed to include a wrongful death claim.
Negligent Parties Can be Held Responsible
A wrongful death lawsuit is based on an underlying cause of action. To prevail in the case, the person filing the claim must prove the underlying cause of action. For example, to win a wrongful death case based on negligence, the plaintiff must prove:
The defendant owed the decedent a duty of care
The defendant breached the prescribed duty of care
The plaintiff’s death (or injuries that caused the death) were proximately caused by the defendant’s action
In a car accident, for example, the plaintiff would have to prove that the driver who caused the fatal accident breached his duty of reasonable care, which caused the accident that killed the deceased person. An experienced attorney can help you decide the proper underlying cause of action for your wrongful death lawsuit.
Damages Are Available in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The damages available to family members include compensation for companionship, instruction, support, consortium, and the loss of other subjective services. Some of the damages available include:
Lost wages the deceased person likely would have earned throughout his or her lifetime had he or she lived
The deceased person’s medical expenses
Burial and funeral costs
Compensation for pain and suffering the deceased person experienced before death
Compensation for the family’s loss of the deceased person