What can I do if I lost a loved one in an auto accident?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2021 | Car Accidents

This past Labor Day weekend was a time to celebrate the unofficial end of summer, with backyard barbecues, camping or boating on one of Missouri’s many rivers and lakes. After all, everyone wants to enjoy a pleasant three-day weekend with their family and friends.

Unfortunately, anytime there is a holiday, some people may take the celebration too far and consumed way too much alcohol to drive safely. In some cases, poor decisions can lead to a drunk driving accident that results in the death of a loved one. If this unthinkable situation happens to you, you may want to learn more about your options for compensation, including the possibility of pursuing a wrongful death claim.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Missouri law on wrongful death claims outlines who is entitled to file one following the death of a loved one. A wrongful death claim can be filed when a person dies due to the act of a another that, if the death not ensued, the victim would have had the right to sue for damages themselves.

A wrongful death claim can be filed by the spouse, children or living lineal descendants of a deceased child. A wrongful death claim can also be filed by a parent of the deceased. If the deceased left no spouse, children, lineal descendants or parents, then a sibling of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death claim. However, only one wrongful death lawsuit may be brought based on the facts surrounding the deceased’s passing.

What damages can be sought in a wrongful death claim?

Under Missouri law, the following damages can be pursued through a wrongful death claim. Monetary damages, also known as pecuniary losses, can be pursued through a wrongful death claim.

Some examples of pecuniary damages include funeral costs and the reasonable value for the loss of services, consortium, companionship, guidance, counsel and support. Also, a person can seek damages for the suffering the deceased experienced from the time of their injury and the time of their death that, had the deceased lived, could have been recovered through a negligence claim.

Did you lose a loved one in a fatal accident?

Labor time is a time for relaxation and celebration. Unfortunately, it is also a time ripe with drunk drivers, reckless drivers, diving accidents and drowning accidents. If you lose a loved one due to the negligence of another, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. Doing so may provide you with the compensation you need to make ends meet following your loved one’s death and can also be a way to hold a negligent person responsible for their actions.