There’s nothing worse than losing a loved one and no amount of money can make that pain go away. Money can, however, cover payments that now need to be paid such as funeral and burial expenses, lost wages your loved one would have most likely made if they were still alive, and medical bills related to your loved one’s death. If you suspect wrongful death of a loved one, there’s a possibility you are owed money to cover significant expenses related to your loved one’s death. Our experienced law firm at the Lake of the Ozarks represents the families of victims whose lives were cut short because of another person’s negligence. Deputy and Mizell is here to explain what you need to know if you find yourself suspecting wrongful death of a loved one.
What to Do If You Suspect Wrongful Death
What is Wrongful Death?
According to Missouri Statute 537.080, whenever the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof, the person or party who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured.
In other words, a wrongful death claim is made when the death of a loved one was caused by the negligent behavior of someone else.
What Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
Missouri Statute 537.080 states:
(1) The spouse or children or the surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate, or by the father or mother of the deceased, natural or adoptive;
(2) If there be no persons in class (1) entitled to bring the action, then by the brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants, who can establish his or her right to those damages set out in section 537.090 because of the death;
(3) If there be no persons in class (1) or (2) entitled to bring the action, then by a plaintiff ad litem. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be appointed by the court having jurisdiction over the action for damages provided in this section upon application of some person entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be some suitable person competent to prosecute such action and whose appointment is requested on behalf of those persons entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. Such court may, in its discretion, require that such plaintiff ad litem give bond for the faithful performance of his duties.
Only one action may be brought under this section against any one defendant for the death of any one person.
In other words, the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased may sue for wrongful death. If the deceased didn’t have one of these parties, then their brother or sister may step in. If the deceased had no one fitting these descriptions, then the court may appoint someone to sue for damages.
If I Plan on Suing for Wrongful Death, How Much Time Do I Have Before I Need to File the Claim?
In the state of Missouri, a wrongful death claim must be filed within 3 years of your loved one passing away. If you try to file a claim after those 3 years have passed, then the court is likely not to hear your case at all.
If You Find Yourself Suspecting Wrongful Death of a Loved One, Seek Experienced Legal Help at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Deputy & Mizell has experience handling wrongful death lawsuits and we want to make sure your rights are protected. In a wrongful death case, surviving family members are allowed to seek damages for:
• Medical and funeral expenses
• Loss of benefits, such as medical insurance
• Loss of future inheritance
• Loss of future income
• Loss of care and companionship
• Pain and suffering
• Mental distress
We understand that the legal implications of your loved one’s death may be the farthest thing from your mind, so allow us to help you in your time of need. Our Lake of the Ozarks wrongful death attorneys have handled claims involving fatal injuries arising from all types of accidents, including auto accidents and many others. To set up a free consultation, call 417-344-8055.
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC to schedule your private (FREE) consultation today.
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