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Columbia, MO Wrongful Death Damages

As defined by Missouri law, damages in a wrongful death action refer to the losses that a family incurs due to a preventable death. This is because the person that passed is no longer able to supply financial or emotional services to their heirs. The most common types of damages sought in a wrongful death action are loss of support, loss of services, loss of companionship, and any type of funeral and burial expenses.

Following an accident, it is best to reach out to a compassionate wrongful death attorney. They could help you and your family understand which Columbia, MO wrongful death damages you may be eligible to recover. Speak to our skilled legal team at the A.W. Smith Law Firm to learn about your legal options.

Who could file a Wrongful Death Action?

Who could file for a wrongful death action is governed by Missouri law. It is Section 537.080. There are levels of beneficiaries that could file for wrongful death. The first level is the spouse or the children, whether natural or adopted of the deceased individual, or the deceased individual’s parents. If the person who passed does not have any children, a spouse, or parents because they have predeceased them, then the siblings of the deceased could bring suit.

If there are no eligible family members, a “plaintiff ad litem” could bring suit. That is an individual who is a suitable person competent to prosecute such action and whose appointment is requested on behalf of those persons entitled to share in the proceeds of such action.

Quantifying Damages Following a Death

Some of the different factors that are determined when calculating Columbia wrongful death damages are loss of affection, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, loss of income, parental responsibilities, and being involved with that individual on a day-to-day basis. They look at a person and their daily interactions with their loved ones, but it is always difficult to quantify the loss of a loved one.

Loss of Future Income

The factors that play into how the loss of future income is calculated are a person’s age, whether or not they have a number of years to provide for their families, and their education. When it comes to their education, it may show a different variety of job paths that they could possibly take. One also looks at a person’s salary and their potential upward mobility within their occupation. Oftentimes, an experienced litigator would discuss these matters with an economist to properly evaluate and determine what the loss of future income is.

Loss of Companionship

Whenever a loved one passes, it can be challenging to determine the loss of a companion. When quantifying damages, a wrongful death attorney will evaluate the familial relationship like whether they have a spouse, children, and siblings. In so doing, they will also look at the family dynamic, who contributed a lot to the household activities, such as laundry, mowing the yard, cleaning the house, and primarily overseeing the children. They look at the domestic responsibilities of the person that has passed as well as what their absence means now that that individual is no longer with them.

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Could Help

An experienced wrongful death attorney help clients calculate non-economic damages in a wrongful death case. It is always difficult to calculate non-economic damages in a wrongful death case. For the economic damages, one could look at a person’s financial status, tax returns, and things of that nature to be able to determine the loss of services.

When it comes to the loss of society, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship, an experienced wrongful death attorney could discuss with the surviving members the role that the deceased played in their lives and how much joy and how much happiness that they may have brought. Through in-depth discussions, they try to evaluate that role and present that to the jury. Wrongful death attorneys also have experts who help determine the overall financial impact caused to the family members by the wrongful death. It is best to speak to an experienced attorney to learn about the various types of Columbia wrongful death damages. Our compassionate team at the A.W. Smith Law Firm is ready to help your case.