Jefferson County Wrongful Death Lawyers
Representation for Families of Fatal Accident Victims
The family of someone wrongfully killed may pursue financial compensation for their loss by filing a wrongful death claim. In such cases, compensation may be available for losses such as medical bills, funeral expenses and even lost future wages. Anyone who has lost a loved one in a fatal injury accident would be well advised to speak with a skilled Missouri wrongful death attorney right away to discuss his or her legal rights and options.
Missouri Wrongful Death Law
According to Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 537 Section 537.081: “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 other words, had the victim survived, he or she would have been able to pursue compensation for the injury accident from the at-fault party. Since the victim did not survive, the victim’s family may pursue compensation for their loss.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in Jefferson County
Missouri law defines who may file a wrongful death claim. Potential claimants include “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.” The claimant must be able to prove that the death was wrongful and that the claimant suffered a loss either financially or emotionally because of the death. Financial dependency is a key factor in determining who can file a wrongful death claim.
Types of Wrongful Deaths
Parties that may be held liable for a wrongful death include:
- Drunk drivers: Motorists determined to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of a fatal collision may be held liable for their actions.
- Defective product manufacturers: The makers of dangerous or defective products may be held liable for the death of a consumer. The victim’s family will have to prove that the product was defective, the victim died from an injury and that the fatal injury was caused by the defect.
- Speeding drivers: Jefferson County drivers that exceed the speed limit have an increased chance of being involved in a fatal crash.
- Property owners: Properties that are dangerous to visitors may result in fatal slip-and-fall accidents. The victim’s family will have to prove that the property owner was aware of the dangerous conditions and failed to repair the location or warn visitors of the dangers.
- Negligent drivers: When a motorist violates a traffic law and that act of negligence results in a fatal car collision, the victim’s family may pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. Common examples of driver negligence includes: failure to yield right-of-way, running a stop sign, following too closely behind a vehicle and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Our dedicated Jefferson County injury attorneys serve the families of fatally injured victims. We understand the severe financial and emotional consequences of an unforeseen and sudden death in the family. While no amount of money can truly compensate the loss of a beloved family member, we believe that wrongful death lawsuits help families gain some degree of financial stability and help hold wrongdoers accountable for their actions. If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence, please contact us at (314) 322-8515 for a free, comprehensive and completely confidential consultation.