Losing a loved one is a devastating experience in anyone’s life, particularly when the death is unexpected. If your loved one was killed in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Columbia wrongful death attorney Dan Pingelton can explore the circumstances of your case and help you determine if you may have grounds to proceed with a lawsuit. With over 30 years of experience as a personal injury lawyer, he will make every effort to seek justice and compensation on your behalf.Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim Following a Fatal Accident
In Missouri, a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate when the death of a victim is a result of an “act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance” following which the victim, had they not been killed, would have been entitled to recover damages. In short, wrongful death damages are available when a personal injury claim would have been appropriate.
Unfortunately, many types of accidents may have fatal consequences, such as car crashes, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and incidents involving defective products. Most wrongful death claims are rooted in the theory of negligence. This means that the victim died because someone else failed to use the proper care in the circumstances, either by acting carelessly or by failing to take the appropriate precautions. A knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer can help Columbia families and others build a claim to establish liability.
Under Missouri Statute 537.080, the following surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The spouse of the victim;
- The children of the victim;
- A parent of the victim;
- Brothers and sisters of the victim; or
- If none of the above exist or pursue a claim, a plaintiff appointed by the court.
Only one wrongful death lawsuit may be filed for each victim. If there are multiple family members who pursue such a claim, their cases must be brought together.
Missouri law allows family members to collect damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, companionship, comfort, and support from the deceased person, medical expenses incurred prior to death, and pain and suffering prior to death. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, monetary compensation may help ease the financial burden that often arises after such a tragic loss.
In Missouri, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed in civil court within three years from the date of the victim’s death. Failing to comply with this deadline usually means that the victim’s loved ones lose the right to have their case heard.Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in the Columbia Area
There are few things in life that are more painful than losing a loved one. If your loved one was killed as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is important to reach out to an experienced Columbia wrongful death lawyer who can give your case the careful attention that it deserves. Dan Pingelton understands the emotional, psychological, and financial toll that a loved one’s untimely death may take on a family. He also serves people in Jefferson City, Boonville, Fulton, and Moberly, among other cities. Call us at 573-449-5091 or contact us online to set up a free appointment with a car accident attorney or seek guidance with another type of personal injury claim.