When another person or business’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct caused your loved one’s death, then you and other family members may have the right to pursue compensation. However, an insurance settlement or court award may not be easy to come by on your own. You will need to pursue compensation, fight hard for your rights, and negotiate for a fair amount. Through all of this, you may have to go up against a business or insurer’s experienced legal team. To even the playing field, you need a skilled and aggressive St. Louis personal injury attorney by your side.
Call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use the online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Why You Need a St. Louis Wrongful Death Law Firm
When your spouse, parent, or child is killed in an accident, the claim and legal processes are far different than those you would deal with had you your loved one been non-fatally injured in an accident Illinois and Missouri’s wrongful death cases are very specific types of personal injury laws and each have different rules for determining who has a claim and the time limits that may apply. The compensation you may receive also differs. Additionally, Illinois’ wrongful death law is not the same as Missouri’s. You need to work with an attorney with an extensive background in wrongful death claims and extremely knowledgeable about your state’s laws and court procedures. At The Cagle Law Firm, we have substantial experience and a history of success in both Illinois and Missouri wrongful death claims.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims can arise in a variety of tragic situations. From car crashes (drunk driving) to construction accidents and medical malpractice, any fatal accident that arises from another person’s carelessness, recklessness, failure to act when they should, or intentional misconduct may offer you and your family the right to pursue wrongful death damages. To learn more about the types of wrongful death claims that may be relevant to your experience, contact a wrongful death attorney for St. Louis at The Cagle Law Firm right away.
Wrongful Death Compensation
The unexpected loss of a parent, spouse, or child is emotionally devastating. One day your loved one is there, the next they are gone. Beyond the psychological trauma of the situation is the financial loss. You may have relied on that person’s income to pay your normal bills. You may have expected their financial contributions or an inheritance from them in the future. To say the least, your life and financial health may never be the same. These reasons are why you should speak with a St. Louis wrongful death lawyer about pursuing compensation and what can be recovered, including:
- Medical costs
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial contributions
- Loss of care and support
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of inheritance that you would have received
By seeking compensation from the liable party, you have the opportunity to gain justice and the financial recovery you need to move forward without accumulating debt or drastically altering your budget and lifestyle. However, the compensation you are entitled to may differ depending on whether you brought your clam in Illinois or Missouri. Our St. Louis wrongful death attorneys can explain the differences between Illinois and Missouri’s wrongful death laws and how they may affect your recovery.
Who May Recover Wrongful Death Damages
Who can receive compensation in a wrongful death claim depends on state law. For example, under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, the compensation obtained through a wrongful death claim is for the surviving spouse and the next of kin, such as the parents or children of your relative. If your loved one does not have a surviving spouse, parent, or children, then other family members may obtain the compensation. The amount each person receives can be determined by your family members or by the court, which will consider your and each relative’s financial dependency on the deceased. Who may obtain compensation and how it is apportioned between multiple family members may differ in Missouri. To discuss wrongful death damages in Illinois or Missouri, contact The Cagle Law Firm today.
The Wrongful Death Claim & Legal Process
If you want to learn more about the wrongful death process in Illinois or Missouri, contact a St. Louis wrongful death lawyer right away. Illinois and Missouri have distinct wrongful death laws, which means you face a different legal process depending on where your case is filed. To begin with, The Cagle Law Firm will determine who has the right to file a wrongful death claim. In Illinois, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate files suit. The personal representative of the estate can be a close family member, but it does not have to be depending on the facts of the situation. In Missouri, a close surviving family member, such as a spouse, child, or parent, preferably files suit. If your relative did not leave behind a surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, or parent, then another relative, like a sibling, may file suit.
There are also critical deadlines to consider in wrongful death cases. In Illinois, you have two years following the date of your loved one’s death to file. In Missouri, you have three years from the date of your loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death suit. We will make sure that you do not miss an important deadline or let the statute of limitations run out.
Our attorneys will conduct an independent investigation into the case and engage in the discovery process after the suit is filed. This allows us to gather evidence that supports your claim that another party was negligent, causing your loved one’s death. From there, we will demand compensation. Most likely, insurers will make an initial settlement. If this offer is deemed inadequate for your needs, we will negotiate fiercely for one that does. If we cannot obtain an appropriate agreement at that point, then we are ready and fully capable of pursuing the maximum compensation possible in court. At The Cagle Law Firm, our wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis are not afraid to face major companies or insurers at trial.
They are professional, knowledgeable and they care. From the day I met Zane, I didn’t worry anymore about the outcome and it was a relief. They break the stereotypes of personal injury attorneys. When you’re hurt, you need someone who is knowledgeable and aggressive and is going to be on your side.
Comparative Fault in Wrongful Death Claims
Your or your family’s wrongful claim may be affected by the other party’s allegation of comparative fault. For instance, the liable party may claim that your family member contributed to the accident. If they can prove that your relative was more than 50 percent at fault for the accident that caused their death, then your family may be barred from receiving compensation. If a court finds your loved one was less than 50 percent responsible, then your recovery will be diminished by the proportion of your relative’s fault. To illustrate this, if the court decides the other party is 80 percent at fault, and your loved one was 20 percent responsible, then your financial recovery will be reduced by 20 percent. If the judge or jury determined your damages amounted to $100,000, then you will be rewarded $80,000.
We will strive to show that your loved one was not at fault for the accident. However, if they were partially responsible, then we will address the issue and attempt to minimize their percentage of responsibility.
Let a St. Louis Wrongful Death Law Firm Help You
It can be hard to think clearly after unexpectedly losing a loved one. How are you supposed to know what to do when your spouse, parent, or child is suddenly killed? You are not expected to know all of your next possible steps. We are. Our experienced legal team at The Cagle Law Firm is here to explain your rights after another person, or business causes your loved one’s death. If you have the right to pursue compensation, we will guide you through e very facet of the wrongful death legal and claims processes. We will advocate aggressively for a fair financial recovery for you and your family.
To learn more about wrongful death claims, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use the online form to schedule a free case consultation.