Following a loved one’s wrongful death, you may feel unprepared for the unexpected emotional and financial challenges. While the process of grieving may be at the forefront of your mind, the financial hardships of untimely death are often unavoidable.
Our compassionate legal team at the A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C. are ready to help your case. With the help of a dedicated attorney, you could hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. These claims can recover the cost of your loved one’s funeral and burial, as well as any medical bills that accumulated from their final injury or illness. Speak to a Fulton wrongful death lawyer to discuss your case and legal options.
State law defines wrongful death as one that results from an act that would have resulted in a personal injury claim had the victim survived. This allows for a wrongful death lawsuit under any circumstance where a person’s negligence or intentional act resulted in death. A knowledgeable Fulton attorney can advise the family of the deceased on whether their death is wrongful under state law.
While there are often countless people impacted by an unexpected death, there are important limits on who can file a wrongful death case. While some states require the personal representative of a decedent’s estate to file suit, Missouri law grants certain family members the right to bring a claim.
When it comes to filing a wrongful death suit in Fulton, family members are split into three classes. Class one has the first right to file suit this includes the decedent’s spouse, parents, or children. A member of class two may only file suit if there are no surviving family members. Class two includes the deceased person’s siblings or their descendants. Also, class three members can only file suit if there are no living members of the first two classes.
If there are no surviving family members in the first two classes, the court must then appoint a plaintiff ad litem. This person retains the right to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of the family members in line to recover compensation.
The damages available in a Fulton wrongful death claim are similar to those in a personal injury case in many ways. A plaintiff could seek compensation for a deceased person’s medical bills, diminished future earnings, and pain and suffering. Additionally, a plaintiff could also recover monetary damages to cover the deceased person’s funeral costs and burial expenses.
There is a deadline to file a wrongful death suit in Fulton, and the courts strictly enforce it. While plaintiffs in a negligence claim typically have much longer to file, a Fulton wrongful death attorney must bring their lawsuit within three years of the date the decedent’s passing. If a plaintiff fails to file their claim on time, the court has the power to dismiss it with prejudice. This can occur regardless of how compelling a plaintiff’s underlying claim is.
There is no easy way to deal with the passing of a loved one. Additionally, dealing with the financial ramifications of an untimely death could be burdensome. Our compassionate legal team at A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C., could help you seek the compensation you need.
Let a Fulton wrongful death lawyer handle the legal elements of your case while you and your family grieve. A dedicated attorney could advocate on your behalf and help you seek justice for your loved one. Whenever you are ready, we are here to help.