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We'll Fight for Your Family's Justice

Springfield Wrongful Death Attorney

What is Considered a Wrongful Death?

If your loved one was killed as a result of someone else’s negligent, reckless, or careless actions, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. By Missouri law, dependent family members have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one.

Through this lawsuit, you can fight to recover damages for funeral and burial expenses, medical costs, and pain and suffering. Our wrongful death lawyers in Springfield are dedicated to assisting families with this difficult, but important process.

We are Here to help you fight for justice.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, contact Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C. We will fight for the justice your loved one deserves.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Common causes of wrongful death include:

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Missouri, the law is specific about who may sue for wrongful death damages. The law prioritizes the victim's closest relatives and then proceeds down the family line. Those who would first be entitled to bring a wrongful death claim would be the victim's surviving spouse and children. Next in line would be a surviving grandchild if one does exist.

After that, the surviving parents may file a wrongful death claim. The parents are the most common party to file a wrongful death claim when the victim is a child. If the decedent has no surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents, the next in line is a surviving sibling. If none exists, it then falls on the deceased person’s personal representative.

The personal representative can be another family member or close friend responsible for managing the deceased person’s estate. If the victim does not list a personal representative, the court may choose a plaintiff ad litem with suitable entitlement to damages.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Missouri?

While you may not consider filing a lawsuit when thinking about your family during this challenging time, you should recognize the importance of a legal claim. Even more vital is understanding the timelines associated with filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Missouri law allows just three years for the family of the decedent to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death. The statute means that the family must file a claim within three years from the date of the death. Failure to do so can result in forfeiture of legal action.

Compensation for Economic Damages

When a family experiences the loss of someone they love, it is devastating. Not only do you have to grieve over the loss, but you must also figure out several aspects of life moving forward, including how to pay for the funeral and deal with lost income.

Missouri law allows you and your family to pursue compensation if the death resulted from someone else’s negligence. One type of compensation you may recover is an economic loss. This compensation covers a wide range of death-related expenses, including:

  • Medical Expenses - If your loved one had to go through medical treatment before he or she passed away, there might be hospital expenses to consider. Economic damages can help you recover for any procedures and the hospital stay from the date of the injury until the time of death.
  • Funeral and Burial Costs - A funeral can cost significant amounts of money. You must pay for the plot, the coffin, the services, and more. These fees can extend to the range of thousands of dollars. They are also unexpected, meaning you more than likely don’t have the funds to cover the costs on your own. Taking legal action for economic losses can help cover these expenses.
  • Loss of Income - For your family, few things become more challenging than having to cover for lost wages due to the death of your loved one. If your loved one was a primary provider for your family, death causes significant struggles, including paying bills and affording the cost of living.

Compensation for Non-Economic Damages

You may encounter significant problems regarding your financial losses following the death of a loved one. However, these losses don’t compare to your mental anguish. Nor do they account for the pain and suffering you endure after a wrongful death.

The statutes in Missouri allow for you and your family to sue the negligent party in pursuit of non-economic losses. These losses are not quantifiable and don’t have a numerical value associated with them. Instead, they factor in your emotional loss and hardship.

The courts in Missouri may award your family compensation for:

  • Loss of guidance

  • Loss of love and companionship

  • Loss of services

  • Loss of training

  • Loss of support

  • Loss of counsel

  • Loss of instruction

The courts will look at the parties involved in the lawsuit to determine which non-economic losses apply. When you are a surviving spouse filing a wrongful death lawsuit, many of the above apply. The jury may award a significant sum for the non-economic damages.

Does Missouri Have a Cap on Non-Economic Damages?

However, Missouri does place a cap on the amount of non-economic compensation the jury can award in any given case involving medical malpractice. In these cases, non-economic damages cannot exceed $350,000. This number accounts for inflation each year.

What to Expect When Filing a Claim

In a wrongful death case, you would start by filing a claim against the responsible party. Depending on the circumstances leading to the death, your claim may be filed against the negligent party's insurance provider. From there, the insurance may deny the claim.

If the insurance company denies the claim, you can file a lawsuit with the help of a lawyer. After you file the lawsuit, the defendant may try to file a motion to dismiss. The judge can accept or deny the motion. If the judge allows the case, you go through discovery.

Discovery gives your attorney the chance to present evidence showing that the defendant was negligent. Most cases settle at this point if you’re able to show compelling evidence. However, if you don’t agree with the settlement offer, you can take the case to trial.

How Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C. Can Serve You

Bringing a successful wrongful death claim requires more than just a compassionate lawyer. To get the compensation your family truly deserves, you need a legal advocate on your side with the right skill, experience, and knowledge.

Strong-Garner-Bauer P.C. is not only experienced, but widely recognized as a leader in personal injury and wrongful death representation in Missouri.

About Our Firm

  • We have won over $7 billion in verdicts & settlements
  • We won’t ask you to pay any fees unless we win your case
  • Our team is backed by more than 45 years of experience
  • We were voted as one of The Best Law Firms® in 2015

Call Now to Get Started on Your Case

If you are considering filing a wrongful death claim in Missouri, you should understand the process and how the law applies to your case. We handle all wrongful death claims on a contingency basis. We cover all costs of investigating and developing your case for trial. If you don’t receive money for your wrongful death claim, you won’t pay any attorney’s fees.

We invite you to speak with a Springfield wrongful death attorney from our law firm today about your case. For the legal help you deserve, request a free case evaluation.

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We hold our firm to nothing less than exceptional representation.
  • Our Firm Was Established in 1976

  • Over $7 Billion in Verdicts and Settlements

  • State of the Art Courtroom Technology

  • Member of The Inner Circle of Advocates

  • Listed in Best Law Firms in America

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