The unexpected death of a loved one is a difficult time no one can prepare for. The effects of that loss are even greater when another person or entity is responsible. In addition to the emotional toll, families may face financial challenges without the support of the deceased person, as well as medical bills and funeral expenses.
Although no amount of money can take away your emotional pain, compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit may help ease the financial burden–and hold the responsible party accountable.
The experienced wrongful death lawyers of Brown & Crouppen are here to help. Since 1979, we have recovered over $1 billion in compensation for our clients. We earn the trust of our clients through the compassion, understanding, and individual attention we provide, as well as our proven record of success in personal injury lawsuits.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death is recognized as the wrongdoing, negligent act, or default of a party that caused the victim to die. Every year, families grieve the loss of a loved one who dies at the recklessness of another person or entity.
Many unfortunate circumstances can cause wrongful death, including:
- Auto accident
- Workplace injury
- Nursing home abuse
- Defective products
- Dangerous drugs
- Medical malpractice
How does a wrongful death lawsuit work?
After losing a loved one, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the party who knowingly or negligently caused the death.
A wrongful death lawsuit works the same as a personal injury lawsuit in that the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s wrongful or negligent actions caused the death or the injuries that ultimately led to the death.
Your attorney will file a claim against the responsible party, present the facts and evidence, and attempt to negotiate a wrongful death settlement. Your attorney is prepared to take your case to trial if a fair settlement cannot be agreed upon. We believe the victims’ families deserve just compensation for the loss of a loved one, and we will work hard to ensure that.
How to Prove Fault
To hold another party liable in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff must be able to prove duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
The at-fault party owed the deceased a duty of care. This is a duty to keep another person safe or refrain from doing something or acting in a way that could harm another person.
Breach of Duty
The at-fault party violated that duty and failed to provide the same level of care a reasonable person would.
The at-fault party’s breach directly led to the victim’s death. If it weren’t for these actions, your loved one would not have died.
The surviving estate or family members of the deceased suffered financial or personal losses due to the victim’s death.
Who can file a lawsuit for wrongful death?
The person eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit typically depends on the state. In each state, however, the claim can be filed by immediate family members. This can include the surviving spouse, child, parent, siblings, or grandparents.
Who can be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit?
In the event of wrongful death, the surviving family members are eligible to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Depending on the cause of death, this could include:
- At-fault driver
- Employer or co-worker
- Government agency
- Health care provider
- Product manufacturer
Is there a time limit on filing a wrongful death lawsuit?
The Missouri statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is three years from the date of the death. Kansas and Illinois have a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the death under Kansas Statute 60-513 and the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, respectively.
Once this deadline passes, you will no longer be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Certain exceptions may apply; your attorney will discuss any applicable exceptions with you.
Compensation Available in a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death
A wrongful death lawsuit is intended to provide the surviving family members with financial support for economic and non-economic damages. You may be eligible to receive compensation for the following:
- Medical bills and related expenses
- Funeral/burial costs
- Loss of expected income and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of guidance and instruction
In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may seek punitive damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide legal advice regarding your wrongful death claim.
The amount of compensation awarded varies from case to case, but several factors influence it: the deceased person’s age, income, and earning capacity, the age of the plaintiff and the relationship with the deceased person, and the state’s specific wrongful death laws.
Brown & Crouppen Wrongful Death Case Results
Our team has successfully handled wrongful death cases involving car accidents, medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, and workers’ compensation accidents.
- We collected $40 million for the families of patients who took a dangerous drug. The company knew the drug was defective but aggressively marketed it to physicians. Patients who took this dangerous drug suffered from heart failure, stroke, and death.
- We recovered $2 million for the family of a boat mechanic who died of suffocation after being trapped by an outboard motor that shifted position without warning.
- We negotiated $3 million in compensation for a family devastated by the death of their young child due to a defective product.
What can a personal injury law firm do for me?
Often, our clients believe they can get a fair settlement and a considerable amount of compensation if they work directly with the insurance company.
Unfortunately, the insurance company’s first responsibility is to its shareholders, not its victims. An experienced wrongful death attorney at Brown & Crouppen can provide critical legal representation to ensure that your wrongful death claim is handled fairly.
Brown & Crouppen’s wrongful death lawyers help in various ways:
- Assessing your wrongful death claim (we offer a free case evaluation)
- Providing ongoing legal advice about your wrongful death case to ensure you understand the legal issues
- Helping you gather medical records and other documentation
- Questioning witnesses and working with medical experts to support your wrongful death action
- Negotiating with the insurance company and evaluating settlement offers so you can concentrate on getting the emotional support you need
Our experienced lawyers have a track record of successfully settling claims with insurance companies. In some cases, however, the insurance company chooses to fight. If that happens, our trial lawyers bring the full weight of Brown & Crouppen’s extensive experience and resources to get the best outcome for you.
How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
The wrongful death attorneys at Brown & Crouppen work on a contingency basis. This means our fee is contingent, or dependent, on winning your case. We don’t charge an hourly rate like many law firms — we only get paid if we win.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Today
If a loved one has suffered a wrongful death, you may have the right to financial compensation. Getting started is easy. Contact us today for a free consultation. There is no upfront cost to you — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.
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