Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, particularly if their death was caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else. In these cases, it may be possible for loved ones to file a lawsuit against the negligent party to recover compensation for their losses. There are several elements of a wrongful death case that need to be in place to successfully recover compensation. At Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C., our Kansas City wrongful death attorneys want to discuss the elements in these cases.
Elements of a wrongful death case in Missouri
There are various groups of people that can file wrongful death claims in Missouri after losing a loved one. However, there are some elements that need to be proven in order for a wrongful death claim to be successful.
- Duty. The plaintiff (family suing for wrongful death) must prove that there was a duty of care owed to their loved one by the person accused of causing their death. This duty of care will differ depending on what kind of case this is. For example, a duty of care could be established as a doctor-patient relationship. Drivers on the roadway also have a duty to others around them to operate their vehicles safely.
- Breach. Once a duty of care has been established, it needs to be shown that there was a breach of duty. For example, an impaired driver has likely breached their duty if they hit somebody else and cause their death. If a healthcare professional fails to treat a patient, they may have breached their duty of care.
- Causation. When a breach of duty is established, it also needs to be shown at the breach directly caused the person’s death.
What is the statute of limitations?
In general, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought in Missouri within three years from the date of a person’s death. Failure to file within the statute of limitations will likely result in the court dismissing the case.
Who can file a wrongful death case in Missouri?
There are various groups of people that can file wrongful death claims in Missouri. This includes any surviving children or parents of the deceased. If there are no surviving children or parents, the deceased’s siblings may file the claim. If none of those individuals are able to file a claim, the court may appoint someone to pursue the lawsuit.
We can help you get through this today
If you have lost a loved one due to the careless or negligent actions of another person, organization, company, contact an attorney immediately. The team at Mayer & Rosenberg, P.C. has extensive experience handling these cases, and we are ready to get to work securing the following compensation on your behalf:
- Mental anguish damages
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Cost of pre-death medical care
- Loss of future income and benefits of the deceased
- Loss of consortium or companionship damages
- Possible punitive damages against any negligent party