A wrongful death lawsuit can never undo the loss of a loved one. By bringing a wrongful death lawsuit, however, compensation in the form of money damages may be recovered for the loss, holding negligent and careless and reckless individuals and companies accountable, and further enforcing a commitment that our community values the health and safety of its members. At Holder Susan Slusher, LLC, our Columbia wrongful death lawyers can help you and your family retain restitution for the emotional impact and financial burdens of your lost loved one.
In Missouri only certain individuals are allowed to pursue a lawsuit as a result of the wrongful death of another, and the lawsuit must be filed within three (3) years of the death. Missouri has specific laws as to the damages which may be recovered, and may include an award of additional sums if aggravating circumstances contributed to cause the wrongful death.
All wrongful death cases in Missouri are subject to final review and approval by a trial court. As such, even in the event of a settlement, a lawsuit must be filed and evidence presented to the court as to the appropriateness of not only the settlement but the distribution of the settlement among those entitled to participate under the law.
Whatever your specific circumstances are surrounding the loss of your loved one, our Columbia wrongful death law firm is ready to listen to you and to advise and assist you during this difficult time.
Compensation is usually determined by the immediate financial and emotional costs of the victim’s death, as well as any residual effects or impact the loss of the individual may incur. Many factors may impact the amount of compensation offered, including the role the victim played for his or her family, how the loss of the victim impacts the loved ones left behind, and much more.
If the deceased person was not employed full-time and was involved in taking care of another family member at least fifty percent of the time, Missouri law creates a rebuttable presumption that the value of the care provided was worth 110 percent of the state's average weekly wage at the time the death occurred. If the deceased was a child, the value of "lost wages" is based on the earnings of the child's parent. If both parents worked, their earnings are averaged.
Missouri has specific categories regarding who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The first category includes the surviving spouse, children or grandchildren, and the parents of the deceased. If the deceased has no surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, or parents, then the second category of individuals who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit includes the brother or sister of the deceased or their descendants.
The duty and responsibility of approving and apportioning any settlement or verdict in a wrongful death action lies within the sound discretion of the trial court. In this regard, the court must confirm that the proper parties are participating in the proceedings, that the settlement is fair and reasonable for the class members, and that there is a fair and just apportionment and distribution of the recovery, considering both pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses. In its discretion, the court may exclude members of a class entirely from a settlement or verdict.
If you would like to seek compensation for your lost loved one, contact the Columbia wrongful death attorneys at Holder Susan Slusher, LLC. Our dedicated and experienced law firm is passionate about serving those who need assistance and justice during such a difficult time in their lives.
Contact our office today at (573) 710-4716 and speak with a committed member of our legal team.