Wrongful Death Cases
It is a difficult time in your life when a loved one passes away. It can be even more difficult to cope with when the cause was the fault of someone or something else and has an effect on the lives of your family, friends and the community.
As trial lawyers doing wrongful death cases, we can help you. We’re here to fight hard for your legal rights and to get the best verdict or settlement for you, while being compassionate and understanding to you and your loved ones.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits are brought against a defendant who caused someone’s death through intention or negligence. A wrongful death claim may arise out of a number of circumstances, they may include:
- Automobile or airplane accidents;
- Bicycle accidents;
- Criminal acts (i.e. battery and murder);
- Death during a supervised activity;
- Defective products;
- Dog attacks;
- Medical malpractice;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents;
- Premises liability (Slip and Fall);
- Truck accidents;
- Violent or intentional acts;
- Many others.
The elements of a wrongful death lawsuit.
In order to prove wrongful death, you must have facts to show certain legal elements. Surviving members filing a lawsuit must prove each element to win a case for financial recompense.
In a wrongful death case you must have enough evidence to meet the required burden of proof. The burden of proof is enough evidence to determine whether it is "more likely than not" that the Defendant caused the deceased's death. In a wrongful death case you are not required to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" you will only need to prove it is at least 51% likely the death was wrongful.
The elements of wrongful death cases are:
- Breach of Duty
Who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Missouri has specific rules regarding who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in the state's civil courts.
If there are none the court will proceed down the list. In order they are:
- 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 brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants, who can establish his or her right to those damages;
- 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.
Damages a family may seek in a wrongful death action.
Actual or financial damages a family may seek in a wrongful death action.
- Medical expenses incurred by the deceased between date of injury and death.
- Funeral, cremation, and/or burial expenses.
- Loss of the deceased future income.
- Loss of companionship, counsel and guidance that the deceased would have provided to family members
Non-financial damages include the suffering the deceased would have endured between the date of the injury and the date of death.
Working with the Krupp Law Firm.
No amount of money will ease your pain or undo the terrible wrong that has been done to your family. However, the only civil recourse the justice system offers for a wrongful death is a monetary award for the family. At the Krupp Law Firm we have more than 30 years experience serving St. Louis and St. Charles county residents. Schedule a consultation with our St. Louis wrongful death lawyers.