WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM? The law firm of WWF&G represents numerous families of victims that have sustained a wrongful death. A wrongful death claim may arise from an auto accident, railroad accident, barge accident, construction accident, a medical malpractice claim, nursing home neglect and other accidents where one party is liable for the death of another. The purpose of wrongful death cases are to provide compensation to the surviving spouse, children and other “ next of kin” for losses sustained due to a person’s death. In part, it is intended to provide a spouse and family with benefits that they would have received from the continued life of the decedent. It is also intended to provide compensation for the non-economic damages such as loss of relationship, companionship, love, affection, guidance and care.
WHO CAN BRING A WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT? Under both Illinois and Missouri law, there are a certain class of people who are entitled to bring a wrongful death case. Under Illinois law, the first class of people that can bring a claim are a spouse and children. In Missouri, this class also includes parents. If there are no survivors in this class, the next class of people that can recover may include parents, siblings and other relatives.
Obviously, there are many people who sustain damages when there is a wrongful death. However, the law must draw a line as to who may bring a claim. If this was not the case, there could be an infinite number of wrongful death claims related to one death.
WHAT TYPE OF DAMAGES CAN BE RECOVERED? The primary elements of damage are loss of support to a spouse and children. These damages are often proven from past wages and the assistance of an expert economist who can render an opinion as to the amount of lost support.
The most significant element of damage is the loss of society or relationship. Society is defined as the mutual benefits that each family member receives from the other’s continued existence, including love, affection, care, attention, companionship, comfort, guidance, and protection. This type of non-economic damage is difficult to predict. Ten different juries may give you ten different verdicts for the same situation.
Our firm has resources and a network to develop an idea of the value of these difficult cases. We use mock jurors and companies that provide upwards of 50 people to render opinions on the value of the case, as well as opinions as to difficult liability issues.
NEW ILLINOIS DAMAGE LAW OF SIGNIFICANCE. Recently, Illinois expanded the damages to include grief experienced by the next of kin. Unfortunately, Missouri has not adopted this approach at this time.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. Under both Illinois and Missouri law, there are statutes of limitations that apply in bringing a wrongful death claim. There is no reason to delay prompt attention to a wrongful death suit. Due to time limitations, the most important thing to do is to hire an attorney to explore your case and move forward with your claim.
OUR FIRM. The law firm of Williamson, Webster, Falb & Glisson aggressively prosecutes wrongful death claims on your behalf. We will handle the legal end of your claim while your family copes with the loss of loved ones. At WWF&G, we have prosecuted wrongful death claims for over 38 years. We deal with defendants and their insurance companies on a regular basis and we will maximize your recovery. Please review our verdicts and settlements page for some our results.
FREE CONSULTATION. Please contact us for a free consultation so we may discuss and review your case in greater detail at 618-462-1077..