St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorney
With more than 50 years of collective legal experience, the St. Louis wrongful death attorneys of Sumner Law Group, LLC, are ready to help your family during this difficult time. Our firm has a proven track record of securing millions of dollars in wrongful death compensation on behalf of our clients. We will fight tirelessly for justice for your loved one.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable St. Louis wrongful death lawyer. We can discuss your family’s claim and explain your legal options.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Missouri?
Missouri law specifies categories of people who may file a wrongful death claim following an individual’s passing. People eligible to bring a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- A surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving grandchildren, or surviving parents can file a claim.
- If there is no surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by a surviving sibling.
- If there are no surviving siblings, a lawsuit may be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.
If the decedent has no estate, the court can appoint a representative to file the claim as requested by those persons who are entitled to share in the proceeds from a successful wrongful death claim.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case?
Successfully pursuing a wrongful death case requires you to show that your loved one’s passing was caused by the negligent, reckless, intentional, or willful actions of another party.
Establishing that a party negligently caused your loved one’s death means proving:
- The at-fault party owed your deceased loved one a duty of care. That could, for example, be the duty owed by a motorist to others on the road or street, or the duty of a store owner to a shopper.
- The at-fault party breached that duty of care.
- This breach caused your loved one’s death.
- Your loved one or your family have suffered damages for which you can be financially compensated.
Proving recklessness requires you to establish that the at-fault party consciously disregarded a substantial risk that his or her actions or omissions would cause serious bodily injury or death. For example, you may be able to show recklessness in the case of a drunk driver with a history of DUI convictions who caused the motor vehicle accident that killed your loved one.
Proving that someone intentionally or willfully caused your family member’s death means you must show that the person intended for his or her actions to cause serious bodily injury or death. For example, you could show an intentional act if your loved one was killed in a violent assault.
In certain instances, you could hold a party strictly liable for your loved one’s passing, regardless of whether that party acted with recklessness or negligence. This most frequently occurs in wrongful death cases arising from defective products. Manufacturers could and should be held accountable for deaths caused by their defective products.
Compensation Available for Injury Victims
A premises liability accident can leave you with serious, potentially life-altering injuries. You may be entitled to seek compensation from the owner of the property or business for these damages:
- Ongoing and future medical treatment, including ER and hospital bills, surgeries, other medical procedures, doctor’s appointments, physical rehab, prescription medication, and medical or mobility equipment
- Costs of personal care when your injuries prevent you from performing daily living tasks for yourself, including home health care services and housekeeping services
- Lost income for the time missed from work while recovering from injuries
- Lost earning capacity, if you suffer debilitating injuries that prevent you from returning to your pre-injury work
- Lost quality of life
- Pain and suffering, or the physical and emotional distress caused by your accident and injuries
Never accept a quick payment from a property owner or insurance company without speaking to a lawyer first. You are likely entitled to much more than they are offering you. It is crucial that you understand your legal rights so you can pursue the full compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Any accident that can lead to a personal injury can turn into a wrongful death case when the accident results in fatal injuries to a victim. Common accidents that lead to wrongful death claims include:
- Car accidents, including Uber or Lyft accidents and drunk driving accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Tractor-trailer accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice, including surgical errors, medication errors, delayed diagnosis, emergency room errors, and adverse reactions or infections
- Negligent security
- Unsafe/defective conditions of a property
- Third-party crime premises liability incidents
- Nursing home abuse and neglect