Wrongful Death: The Laws in Missouri

Wrongful Death: The Laws in Missouri

There are few things as impactful on a family like a death resulting from someone else’s negligent actions. However, Missouri law provides various rights to the families of those who have passed to pursue compensation for the losses associated with the fatal injury.

If you lose a family member in a negligence-related incident, you must recognize what you can do to hold parties responsible for their actions. Before you take any action, you should know how the state of Missouri handles these types of cases, what you can do to move forward, and the type of compensation that may be available to you and your family.

Continue reading to learn more. Our firm is here to provide you with the information you need to protect your rights and obtain justice. When you need to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s critical to have representation that allows you to focus on your family without having to worry about the legal matters that come next.

Missouri’s Wrongful Death Statutes

The state of Missouri’s wrongful death law details the statutes associated with these types of lawsuits in section 537.080. The statutes specify who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, what compensation may be available, and how long you have to file a lawsuit.

The statute of limitations in Missouri wrongful death cases allows claimants three years from the date of the death to file a lawsuit. There are some exceptions regarding legal action, but in most cases, courts are more than likely to refuse a claim after the three-year mark.

Before filing a claim, it’s best to speak with a lawyer about your legal options. Wrongful death cases are like all personal injury matters in which you must prove four factors of liability to hold someone fully accountable for their negligence.

These four factors include showing:

  • The defendant had a duty of care to keep the decedent safe
  • The defendant breached his or her duty of care
  • The breach in the duty of care led to a severe accident or incident
  • The accident or incident led to the fatal injury that caused the death

When you need to pursue a wrongful death claim, proving negligence is a vital and necessary factor in your success. However, you may want to have a legal advocate on your side to build a strong case.

Common Accidents Causing Wrongful Deaths

Like most legal matters involving injuries — catastrophic or fatal —, there are many causes of wrongful death involving negligence. You should recognize some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths and how you may be able to pursue compensation.

Here are some of the most common causes of wrongful death:

  • Auto Accidents: You already know car accidents can have severe ramifications. However, trucking and motorcycle accidents can be the most fatal. These types of accidents are often catastrophic, especially when you consider the large size of tractor-trailers and the lack of protection for motorcyclists.
  • Medical Malpractice: When doctors make mistakes, the patient may suffer severe harm. Surgical and prescription errors can have fatal consequences. It’s crucial to recognize where oversights may occur and how doctors are negligent.
  • Product Liability: Manufacturers must create safe products free from dangerous hazards. Some companies focus on profit over safety, putting consumers at risk of significant harm. Unfortunately, some defective products can catch fire, explode, or otherwise cause a fatal injury.

By recognizing the cause of your loved one’s death, you can identify responsible parties who you may sue for the compensation and justice your family deserves.

Parties You May Sue

It’s difficult to identify who you may sue after losing your loved one due to a wrongful death. The cause may result from multiple people and their oversights. For instance, if a drunk driver causes a wrongful death, the circumstances of the crash may come into question. If the drunk driver left a bar, there might be dram shop liability involved.

A drunk driving crash involving dram shop law may allow you to file a lawsuit against the driver and the bar in specific circumstances. This type of lawsuit applies if the bar served a visibly intoxicated patron, further causing inebriation.

How to Move Forward and Cope with the Death

For you and your family following a wrongful death, it’s crucial to recognize how to move forward. You must go through your grieving process, but you should not dismiss the possibility of legal action. While you may not want to deal with a lawsuit while already enduring the mental anguish, it may be necessary to gain closure.

Moving forward with legal action allows you to not only pursue compensation for losses you may experience, but it also helps with obtaining justice. You can feel peace of mind knowing that the person responsible for your loved one’s death will be accountable for their mistakes.

At Strong-Garner-Bauer, we make you and your family a top priority. We know that going through this type of situation can be extremely challenging, and we want to be by your side through every step of the process. We’ll put together a case strategy based on your needs, and help you move forward emotionally and financially.

Trust that our Springfield wrongful death attorneys will be in your corner. Any matter involving wrongful death can feel impossible to overcome. We’ll put you in a position to feel as though your family can live life as normal as possible in the future.

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