St. Charles Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing someone you love is heartbreaking. When you know the death could have been prevented if someone had only fulfilled their responsibilities, then the loss is even harder to bear. A St. Charles wrongful death lawyer can help you find answers and justice when a family member suffers an untimely death. You may be entitled to compensation to help offset your losses and provide for the future. A compassionate injury attorney familiar with wrongful death claims could fight to achieve a fair outcome for you and your family.

How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work?

In St. Charles, a wrongful death lawsuit operates similarly to a personal injury claim. However, since the deceased person cannot file a lawsuit on their own behalf, a family member files a claim. Mo. Rev. Stat. §537.080 states that a wrongful death claim may arise “whenever, the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance” that would have entitled the deceased person to recover damages if death had not prevented them from filing a legal action.

A wrongful death lawyer in St. Charles could investigate to determine whether the deceased person would have had a personal injury claim that can be brought by relatives in the form of a wrongful death action. Mo. Rev. Stat. §537.100 requires wrongful death claims to be filed within three years of the time the “cause of action accrues.” Therefore, the claim must be prepared and filed no later than three years of the date of death.

What is Unique About Wrongful Death Cases?

Wrongful death cases and personal injury cases, although handled similarly, greatly differ in many respects. One of the main differences is how insurance claims proceed in a wrongful death case, as the claim is not owned by the injured party but rather by the beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate. This also means that once a case is settled, it must be approved by a court, which is not required in other types of cases.

A wrongful death case focuses on establishing the negligence of another person, but any criminal charges associated with the death would be completely separate from the case. It does not generally include intentional torts. Murder and manslaughter are criminal causes of action that are handled by the state of Missouri, while a wrongful death action is handled as a civil case by the plaintiff’s lawyers who are suing at fault parties and/or their insurance companies.

Wrongful Death in St. Charles Mo.

Wrongful death is a death that occurs due to the negligence of another. There are many common situations that result in a wrongful death suit, including:

  • Car and truck accidents
  • Driving under the influence
  • Lack of maintenance on vehicles
  • Driver impairment

Regardless of what causes your loved one’s death, it is important to get in touch with a St. Charles wrongful death lawyer immediately to help you with your case. We understand that this is an extremely difficult time for you and your family. Therefore, we act with compassion and understanding, all while working tirelessly on behalf of your lost loved one.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Actions in St. Charles

In the state of Missouri, wrongful death actions must be brought within three years of the decedent’s death. This time frame differs from most other statutes of limitations, so it is important for a plaintiff to know the difference when deciding to submit a claim for the death of their loved one. Fortunately, a skilled wrongful death attorney in St. Charles County could ensure that a plaintiff files their case with all of the necessary information in a timely manner.

Who May File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The St. Charles wrongful death laws allow certain specified individuals to bring a claim in order of preference. The first preference is for:

  • Spouses
  • Children (natural or adopted)
  • Lineal descendants of deceased children
  • Parents (natural or adopted)

It does not matter for the purposes of a wrongful death claim whether a child is considered legitimate or illegitimate.  If there are no living relatives in the first preference category, then a St. Charles wrongful death attorney may bring a claim on behalf of any siblings of the deceased or any descendants of those siblings such as nieces and nephews. Finally, if there are no relatives in either of those categories, the court may appoint a plaintiff ad litem to file the claim.

st charles wrongful death lawyer

Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

The parties who file a wrongful death claim may be awarded damages that make up for “pecuniary losses” under Mo. Rev. Stat. §537.090 as well the “reasonable value” of intangible services such as companionship, instruction, guidance, training, comfort, and support.

Amounts for pecuniary losses could cover factors such as the value of wages the deceased person might have earned. Funeral and medical expenses are also included. Moreover, if time elapsed between the injury and the death, damages may be awarded for the harm suffered by the deceased person during that time.

Why Hire a St. Charles Wrongful Death Lawyer?

There are many benefits of hiring a St. Charles wrongful death lawyer, especially considering the legalities involved in your case. Your attorney will assemble compelling evidence, interview eyewitnesses, and consult experts to compile your case.

Your attorney in St. Charles will handle all the legalities of your case, including filing your claim, reviewing medical records, and evaluating evidence. Furthermore, your attorneys are adept at negotiating with insurance companies and will fight for the maximum compensation possible.

If we cannot settle outside of court, we will not hesitate to represent you before a judge, delivering a compelling argument on your behalf.

If your loved one has been involved in an accident, and you believe you could file suit for wrongful death, get in touch with our wrongful death attorneys in St. Charles today!

Contact a St. Charles Wrongful Death Attorney

No amount of compensation can bring back a loved one who has passed away. However, compensation from a wrongful death claim could provide for future needs for the family, and in a small way, make up for some of the services the deceased person would have provided.

Assistance from a St. Charles wrongful death lawyer can also help bring closure to your family’s ordeal. An attorney could investigate to learn how and why the death occurred and the parties who may be responsible. For more information about how a wrongful death lawyer could provide assistance to your family, call now for a free consultation.

St. Charles Wrongful Death Lawyer FAQ

When should I consider hiring a St. Charles wrongful death lawyer?

It is advisable to consult a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. Timely legal assistance can help gather evidence, assess liability, and initiate the legal process on behalf of the deceased’s family.

How can a lawyer help in a wrongful death case?

A St. Charles wrongful death lawyer can provide legal guidance, investigate the circumstances surrounding the death, identify responsible parties, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue a wrongful death claim or lawsuit to seek compensation for the surviving family members.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in St. Charles?

In St. Charles, the immediate family members, such as spouses, children, and parents, are typically eligible to file a wrongful death claim. In some cases, other dependents or beneficiaries may also have the right to pursue legal action.

What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death case?

Damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death case can include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and other economic and non-economic losses suffered by the surviving family members.

Is there a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in St. Charles?

Yes, there is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in St. Charles. It is crucial to consult with a lawyer promptly to ensure compliance with these time constraints, as the deadlines may vary based on the circumstances of the case.

How does the legal process work in a wrongful death case?

The legal process involves investigation, filing the lawsuit, discovery, negotiation, and, if necessary, trial. A skilled St. Charles wrongful death lawyer will guide you through each step, advocating for your rights and seeking a fair resolution.

Do I need to pay upfront for legal representation in a wrongful death case?

Many wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they successfully recover compensation for you. This allows families to seek justice without worrying about upfront legal fees.

Can a settlement be reached without going to court?

Yes, in many cases, settlements can be negotiated without going to court. A St. Charles wrongful death lawyer will work to reach a fair settlement, but if negotiations fail, they will be prepared to take the case to trial to secure the best possible outcome.

How can I find the right St. Charles wrongful death lawyer for my case?

Research and choose a lawyer with experience in wrongful death cases, a successful track record, and a commitment to understanding and addressing your specific needs. Consultations are often free, allowing you to discuss your case before making a decision.