We understand that the tragic death of a loved one cannot be resolved through legal action. However, through a lawsuit, the family may achieve some sense of closure and receive financial compensation to help fill the gap left by the loss of your loved one. Holding accountable a person or entity responsible for the death of your loved one is an important step in the process of grieving and can help prevent other families from experiencing similar losses by focusing attention on a safety issue. An experienced St. Louis wrongful death lawyer can help your family work through the difficult process of dealing with insurance companies, negligent hospitals, and others after the loss of a loved one.
Get Help From our Wrongful Death Attorney in St. Louis
The personal injury attorneys at Sansone & Lauber focus on helping families in Missouri and Illinois who have lost a relative as a result of the negligence of another person or at-fault party. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts in wrongful death cases. That compensation helps families move forward after life-changing losses. If your family has lost a relative as a result of another’s negligence, you need a strong advocate who understands what you are going through and can provide trusted guidance.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, call wrongful death attorney Benjamin Sansone to discuss your case. Call (314) 863-0500 or contact us online.
What Does Wrongful Death Mean?
Wrongful death is a legal term that describes a death caused by another’s actions, carelessness, misconduct, or omissions.
Common causes of wrongful death claims include:
Drunk driving accidents
Negligent medical care
Unsafe tools, machinery, and other products
Dangerous prescription drugs.
Whatever the specific circumstances are surrounding the loss of your loved one, our compassionate attorneys will answer your questions and offer guidance regarding your legal options. We are ready to advise and assist you during this difficult time.
What is a St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit filed by the close family of the deceased who have been killed as a result of negligence or misconduct on the part of another. A wrongful death claim may be appropriate in any accident in which the victim would have been entitled to file a personal injury claim if he or she had survived.
The wrongful death lawsuit is brought against the individual, business, or other entity that is liable for the individual’s death. A wrongful death claim can arise from almost any type of fatal accident.
For example, the survivors of a person killed in a car crash or any type of motor vehicle accident may seek compensation to cover their deceased loved one’s medical bills, funeral expenses and other losses. The at-fault driver’s insurance company should pay for the harm caused by the at-fault driver or other party.
Wrongful death lawsuits seek compensation for the various types of losses incurred such as unanticipated medical bills, funeral costs, loss of income and retirement benefits, and the pain and suffering of the survivors.
Under the law, certain relatives are entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Certain classes of relatives have priority over others.
Missouri law specifies the classes of relatives that can file a wrongful death injury lawsuit as follows:
- Children of the deceased;
- Father or mother of the deceased;
- Brother and sisters of the deceased;
- A plaintiff appointed by the court if none of the above pursue a lawsuit.
If there are multiple people in any class such as children of the deceased, they must bring a lawsuit together.
In Illinois, the court appoints a personal representative of the estate of the deceased to bring a wrongful death action. The court decides the amount of the wrongful death settlement or judgment to be distributed to the spouse and other next of kin based on their financial dependence on the person who died. Among the factors the court weighs is the degree of relation, age, and amount dependent on the deceased. It is important for the surviving spouse and next of kin to reach an agreement on a distribution method for any proceeds from a settlement or jury award. If the relatives are in agreement, the court is likely to approve the distribution method unless there is something clearly unfair about it.
Dealing with the legal issues after a tragic loss is confusing and made more difficult by the grief you are experiencing. Insurance companies may try to take advantage of your vulnerable state of grieving in order to get you to settle for a pittance. An experienced St. Louis wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate this difficult time and assist you in finding justice and closure for your lost loved one.
How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Assist
Wrongful death is always an unfortunate event compounded by loss, financial burden, and emotional pain.
“Many times, a family only learns the truth about a loved one’s death from medical negligence after enlisting the help of a knowledgeable lawyer to find the answers.”
Our personal injury lawyers will thoroughly investigate the circumstances leading to your loved one’s death and identify all the potentially liable parties. We may hire experts such as medical experts or traffic reconstruction experts to analyze contributing factors of death and provide expert testimony.
If the case involves a medical wrongful death caused by malpractice, we will have independent medical professionals review the medical records to determine if the doctor failed to follow the recognized standard of care and that failure resulted in your loved one’s wrongful death. Many times, a family only learns the truth about a loved one’s death from medical negligence after enlisting the help of a knowledgeable lawyer to find the answers.
After gathering evidence, we will submit a claim to the insurance company of the at-fault party reflecting the full value of your losses. We will negotiate vigorously on your behalf for a settlement that recognizes the extent of your family’s loss. If the insurer refuses to make a reasonable wrongful death settlement offer, we will be prepared to file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue justice. We are confident in our litigation skills if the case goes to trial.
We will keep you informed of our progress on your behalf and any settlement offers that are made. We will advise you of whether a wrongful death settlement offer represents fair value so that you can make an informed decision.
We will stand beside you through the entire process and handle your case on a contingency fee basis so that you do not pay any legal fee unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Saint Louis Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Sansone & Lauber handles wrongful death cases in both Missouri and Illinois. Both states have limits on the length of time allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Missouri, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed typically within three years of the date of death in Missouri. This is known as the statute of limitations. If a relative is killed in a car accident caused by another driver or as a result of medical negligence, for example, the family or the victim has three years to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Illinois, two years is allowed from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorney will Help you Seek Compensation
Damages or money recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit are as follows:
- Loss of future earnings the decedent would have provided;
- Lost benefits such as pension or other retirement benefits;
- Expenses related to death such as medical bills and burial costs;
- Pain, suffering, or mental anguish suffered by the survivors;
- Loss of companionship;
- Punitive damages if the wrongdoer’s actions were intentional or grossly negligent.
There are specific wrongful death statutes in Missouri and Illinois that affect who can bring a case and the types of damages that the survivors are entitled to receive.
St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlements
The selection of an experienced St. Louis personal injury attorney to handle your wrongful death claim is one of the most important decisions that you and your family make.
Attorney Benjamin Sansone has a strong record of obtaining significant verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients including:
Wrongful Death Settlement—St. Louis Medical Malpractice Case
Negligent Treatment of Gastric Bypass Complications Lead to Wrongful Death.
We are proud of the verdicts and settlements we have secured for clients because they helped people move forward with their lives after devastating accidents and wrongful deaths.
The attorneys at Sansone & Lauber are experienced in representing the families of loved ones who have passed away due to the negligence of another. We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for families in wrongful death cases. To get the best results possible, you need an experienced and proven wrongful death lawyer advocating on your behalf.