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Losing a loved one is always an emotionally crippling experience, especially when their death was caused by negligence or was on purpose. Filing a wrongful death claim can help families get revenge and financial compensation. Understanding how the process works in Missouri is crucial to making sure your rights are protected. 

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims

A “wrongful death” in Missouri is defined as “the death of a person” that results “from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death has not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof” per Missouri Revised Statute 537.080. 

Common causes of wrongful death include medical malpractice, car accidents, workplace accidents, and defective products. Wrongful death law is a bit different in every state, but in Missouri, specific family members like the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents can file a wrongful death claim. A sibling or the personal representative of the deceased, estate can also be eligible if nobody else is available.

Establishing Grounds for a Wrongful Death Claim

To successfully file a wrongful death claim, some things need to be proven. First, it must be established that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased and failed to do so. Next, there must be proof that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. You also need to prove that failure to act caused the untimely death. Finally, you need to demonstrate that damages like lost wages, medical expenses, and emotional suffering were the result of the death. Evidence like medical records, witness statements, and accident reports is essential in proving these elements.

Steps to File a Wrongful Death Claim

Filing a wrongful death claim takes several steps. First, gather the death certificate, proof of relationship, and any evidence supporting the claim. Hiring a wrongful death attorney is highly recommended to help walk you through all the steps and provide guidance. After compiling the documents needed, we can finally file a complaint with an appropriate court. This document outlines your case and any damages you seek. After filing the complaint, the defendant must be served with the legal papers, officially beginning the legal process. 

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

A wrongful death attorney from Springfield will be invaluable in navigating the complexities of the legal system. They can help you every step of the way and will provide legal representation in court. Having an experienced legal team to present your case and argue on your behalf could easily put you ahead of the defendant. In addition to that, they can negotiate settlements with insurance companies for fair compensation. Having an experienced lawyer by your side can significantly increase your chances of a successful case.

Court Proceedings and Potential Outcomes

In the case your wrongful death claim proceeds to court, it will involve several stages, including pre-trial motions, the exchanging of evidence, and the trial itself. Both sides will present their evidence and arguments during the trial. Some possible outcomes include a settlement, where the defendant agrees to pay a certain amount, or a court verdict, where a judge or jury determines the outcome. If the initial verdict is unfavorable, there may be an opportunity to appeal the decision. Understanding the litigation process(when legal disputes are resolved) can help you prepare for is to come. 

Filing a wrongful death claim in Missouri involves navigating a complex legal process, but understanding the steps and hiring an attorney can help you seek justice and compensation for your loss. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, consulting with a skilled wrongful death attorney can prove invaluable.

By hao

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