Wrongful Death Attorney in Lee's Summit
When an individual dies due to an act committed by someone else — whether that action is intentional or unintentional — it is defined as wrongful death under civil law. In these cases, the claim needs to be filed either by their estate or their surviving relatives. An attorney will have to demonstrate that the survivor has standing, meaning that the loss of the deceased person caused an undue hardship in their lives and that they have a legal right to file a claim. Damages can include medical bills, burial expenses, loss of companionship, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering. If you’ve lost a loved one due to the carelessness of another, contact Lourenco & Linville, P.C. today.
How difficult is it to prove wrongful death?
The main point that the plaintiff would have to prove is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim and failed in that duty. To do so, they must be able to prove four elements. These are:
The plaintiff must prove that the death happened due to carelessness, recklessness, negligence, or a criminal act carried out by the defendant.
2. Breach of Duty
The plaintiff has to establish that the person that caused the wrongful death owed a duty to the victim and that this duty was breached as a direct result of negligent actions on their part.
The plaintiff must also prove that negligence existed and that it was this negligence that caused the death.
Damages relate to such things as medical expenses, hospitalizations and other medical treatments, costs of burial and funeral expenses. They also include both loss of income and the loss of potential earnings that the person who died could have provided for their family now and in the future. Additionally, items such as pain and suffering, loss of guidance and protection, and inheritance can be added. Your personal injury lawyer in Summit, MO will help you put a quantifiable number next to all of the above items and add them to come up with the damages you will be seeking.
What are the most common causes of wrongful death?
No matter which one of the following actions resulted in wrongful death, the four elements stated above will have to be proven. Some common wrongful death causes might be:
- Accidents related to cars, motorcycles, or trucks
- Injuries at birth
- Medical malpractice
- Product defects
- Occupational hazards or exposure
- Premises accidents
- Accidents in supervised locations such as daycare or adult care
- Neglect and abuse within nursing homes or assisted living facilities
- Criminal acts such as shootings, stabbings, or other blatantly violent acts
How much time do you have to file a wrongful death claim?
The statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is three years from the moment the incident took place. Although in cases of medical malpractice this time frame may be extended to four years. Regardless of the cause of the wrongful death, it is important for you to seek legal help as soon as possible since putting together a strong case takes time, and taking too long to get started might mean the loss of some vital piece of evidence.
How can your lawyer in Summit, MO help you with a wrongful death case?
Wrongful death claims are civil actions and not criminal cases. And even though the burden of proof is lower than in criminal cases, you need the help of an experienced attorney to present the evidence in such a way as to ensure that the person that is accused of the wrongful death is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
These cases entail many steps. They begin by the development of a strategy and to do this your attorney needs to investigate your claims thoroughly. Also, it might be necessary for your lawyer to set up consultations with experts, meet with all witnesses and get their testimonies, and conduct research on tort law. These steps are hard to tackle on your own and not building and presenting a strong case is not a risk you want to take.
If your loved one has died due to the negligent actions of another individual, it is important that you set up an initial consultation with our wrongful death lawyers in Summit, MO. Our team of compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys will listen to your case and offer you the best option for a successful case. You and your family members deserve compensation for the emotional and financial consequences this wrongful death has caused. Call the wrongful death lawyers at Lourenco & Linville, P.C. today.