• Kenneth Powell

Understanding a Wrongful Death Claim with a Florissant Wrongful Death Lawyer

There’s no easy way to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, especially if the circumstances around the cause of death could be preventable. People grieve differently, and grief from the loss of a loved one can become overwhelming. It can affect the remaining relatives in various ways, particularly when this wrongful death causes financial chaos.




The expenses emanating from the final send-off are usually challenging for most people in Florissant, MO. Moreover, if a loved one depends on the deceased family member financially, they can find themselves in dire financial strains. Fortunately, all state laws provide safety nets for such people in the form of wrongful death lawsuits. The lawsuit allows the affected party to seek compensation from the negligent party.


Therefore, affected loved ones in Florissant, MO, must seek help from a wrongful death attorney at Powell Law Firms. A free consultation with such attorneys will go a long way in determining if they really have a strong case and, if so, what options they can take.


What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?


To better understand what a wrongful death claim is one must learn what it’s not. Wrongful death claims don’t result in conviction of the negligent parties or fines with convictions since this is not a criminal persecution. It’s a civil lawsuit granting plaintiff’s compensation upon winning the case from the at-fault party. These wrongful claims spring up when death occurs due to negligence from a person or entity.

Wrongful deaths result from various types of negligent acts. Common examples include; car accidents, medical malpractice, sporting accidents, motorcycle accidents, and violent crime accidents, among others. More often than not, personal injury claims usually lead to lawsuits. These lawsuits are filed against the at-fault party, but they’re not the only ones who’ll take a keen interest in the lawsuit. The defendant’s insurance company will want to know if there was a policy in place to cover the unexpected death.


How a Wrongful Death Claim Works


Even though different states use different criteria to handle wrongful death, it works the same across all jurisdictions. Only certain people are allowed to file this personal injury case. Moreover, the personal injury case can vary in different states. This means that a personal injury case may appear similar in terms of facts, but in reality, they differ depending on jurisdictions.


When a wrongful death attorney in Florissant, MO, ascertains that the plaintiff has a case during a free consultation, he’ll conduct an immediate investigation to find out the cause of wrongful death and who was responsible. After the investigation is completed, the plaintiff and MO wrongful death attorney will place a demand on the at-fault party. This is done to seek compensation instead of filing for a wrongful death case.


Some personal injury cases are settled this way, but others require legal action. The process is quite tedious and long, which can’t be done without the help of a wrongful death attorney in Florissant, MO. Therefore, plaintiffs around Florissant, MO, should schedule a free consultation with wrongful death lawyers at Powell Law Firm to start their financial recovery journey.


An Overview of Wrongful Death


Basically, any negligent acts or violent crime that causes death constitutes a personal injury claim. They emanate from wanton, reckless, and careless actions that have fatal consequences. This claim is a civil action to get financial recovery from the at-fault party.

The wrongful death claim fills two roles; it acts as a personal injury case for the deceased.


Two, it’s a form of cover compensating for the loss's impact on the loved ones. The family member can, therefore, be entitled to compensation for loss of companionship and financial support. Wrongful death claims are usually complex and are a trying time for most plaintiffs. Therefore, they must seek refuge from wrongful death lawyers in Florissant, MO. Plaintiffs can call Powell Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation to relieve some of this burden.


Criteria Qualifying Wrongful Death


Even though its definition varies from state to state, the cases are quite similar and qualify as wrongful death nationwide. Generally, when death occurs due to negligence of an individual or entity, it's definitely written off as wrongful death. The resultant death can be accidental, but even so, it will be viable for a wrongful death claim.


Intentional acts, on the other hand, will also result in a personal injury case, whether or not the intentional act is a crime. When the wrongful death of a loved one is not clear, a plaintiff should seek advice from wrongful death lawyers in Florissant, MO. These experts can help the plaintiff determine if they have grounds to seek compensation. Therefore, the plaintiff should schedule a free consultation with Powell Law Firm in Florissant, MO, to discuss their potential compensation for their personal injury claim.


Is Wrongful Death a Crime?


Wrongful Death is not considered a crime, but there are circumstances around how a particular death occurred that can spawn a criminal investigation and prosecution. The two cases are quite different from each other. However, it’s possible that a crime like homicide can lead to a potential personal injury claim. Moreover, not all wrongful death acts involve criminal acts. Since a personal injury claim of wrongful death is a civil lawsuit, it’s brought into court by private MO wrongful death lawyers.


On the other hand, criminal offenses require a district prosecutor to decide whether to bring charges against the at-fault party. If the state wins against the defendant, it can result in fines or jail time. Additionally, the two cases can happen at the same time, as there’s no correlation between these two cases. However, some states require the at-fault party to put all his cases on hold until his criminal charges are addressed.


Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Wrongful Death


All wrongful death cases are civil lawsuits, but not everyone is guaranteed a right to file this lawsuit in various states. It depends entirely on the state where the wrongful death occurred. Various states usually take different approaches to the right to file, but most states, including Florissant, MO, will grant the affected party this right if they are the deceased's spouse or child. Different states grant this right to other extended family members like siblings and parents to pursue this lawsuit if there are no immediate relatives.


Other states forbid everyone from the deceased family to file for this claim, arguing that the right to file a personal injury lawsuit lies with the deceased. In this case, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate has the right to file this personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.


Who Has the Mandate to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?


As stated earlier, individuals granted the right to file for this personal injury lawsuit vary from state to state. A skilled wrongful death attorney in St Louis will be aware of the laws in Missouri. Every jurisdiction has its wrongful death laws, therefore, they would approach them differently. Here are some parties that have a right to file for this wrongful death lawsuit.


Spouses


The wife or husband of the deceased has the first right to file this lawsuit. Generally, spouses can bring a suit to every state that allows a relative to file a wrongful death lawsuit.


Children


The children of the deceased have as many rights as the surviving parent. In some states, they allow the children of the deceased to file this suit if the surviving parent is unwilling to do so.


Parents and Siblings


Most states give parents and siblings fewer rights to file for this lawsuit, while others allow them under limited circumstances. Others prevent such parties from ever filing this lawsuit.


Estate Representative


In other circumstances, the state can grant the estate representative of the deceased to file this lawsuit. The right to file a wrongful death lies on the estate representative only. This individual will file for a personal injury lawsuit, but all compensations will go to the decedent’s heirs.


Depending on the state a plaintiff resides in, wrongful death lawyers in Florissant, MO, can explicitly help plaintiffs understand whether or not they have a right to file for wrongful death. The plaintiff must. therefore. Schedule the initial consultation with MO wrongful death lawyers from Powell Law Firm to get insights on their case.


Is It Hard to Prove Wrongful Death Cases?


Proving wrongful death cases is challenging but not impossible. With the help of proficient wrongful death lawyers in Florissant, MO, on the claimant’s side, the recovery of claims is possible. There are four elements claimants must establish to prove wrongful death, they include:


Duty of Care


The personal injury lawyers of the claimant must prove that the at-fault party owed the deceased duty of care. If the cause of death was due to car accidents, then one can say that the defendant had a duty to drive on the road safely.


Breach of Duty


Wrongful death lawyers don’t stop at establishing the duty of care alone; they also need to prove there was a breach of this particular duty. They must show that the defendant violated their duty through reckless actions.


Causation


Personal injury lawyers will help the plaintiff prove the damage caused by the untimely death of a loved one. This is referred to as causation. Failure to link the losses and breach of duty may lead to the plaintiff losing the case altogether.


Damages


The plaintiff’s wrongful death attorneys must finally demonstrate how the untimely death of the deceased has erupted damages; real, measurable damages because of this wrongful death.


How Long Will It Take to Settle a Wrongful Death Case?


There’s no specific timeframe in such a case. However, how fast the settlement will take place will depend on different factors. In some cases-the best scenario, the two parties can reach an agreement even before the case is filed. However, the lawsuit is filed if the two parties can’t settle outside the court.


The process can take months or even years before a settlement is reached; other cases don’t end up with a settlement. Cases that don’t have liability disputes can easily end after a few months as negotiations usually take center stage on the fair compensation for settlement.


In cases where there’s a liability dispute, the process will take longer to resolve. Typically, if it boils down to filing the lawsuit, the case will stretch out the period it will take to resolve it. Considering the workload of a particular court and the period it’ll take to complete the discovery, the settlement time can take years to resolve.


What Compensations can a Plaintiff Get from a Wrongful Death Case?

What Compensations can a Plaintiff Get from a Wrongful Death Case?


The compensation for damages will fall into two categories; compensations the deceased accrue before his untimely death and losses the loved ones of the deceased suffered. In the first category, it's typically what the deceased would have claimed had he survived the incident. They usually include compensation for pain and suffering and medical bills.


Conversely, the second category involves compensations for losses that the loved ones will experience due to the untimely death of the deceased. These compensations come in to provide financial support for them. Wrongful death attorneys serving Florissant, MO, are better placed to provide the needed information regarding compensation. A plaintiff should, therefore, seek consultations with Powell Law Firm to get information about their case.


Other Florissant Practice Areas


Winning Wrongful Death Cases with Powell Law Firm Attorneys


The winning process of a wrongful death case takes the same approach as any personal injury lawsuit. More importantly, the plaintiff’s wrongful death lawyers must prove that someone else’s negligence caused the untimely death of the deceased. The lawyer must prove all the four elements: the duty of care, causation, damages, and breach of duty.


Failing to prove one element may be fatal to the plaintiff’s claims. Therefore, plaintiffs should seek advice and services from reputable wrongful death lawyers serving Florissant, MO. They’ll have the expertise and experience to put plaintiffs in a position to win their cases. Plaintiffs must never handle such a situation alone, as the Powell Law Firm in Florissant, MO, has the best wrongful death lawyers to help them during such a difficult time.


It’s never too late for a claimant to seek compensation for a wrongful death case; they can easily schedule a free consultation with a law firm today and ease their burdens.