When is a Missouri Work Comp case also a wrongful death case? Lebanon Workers Compensation Lawyers
In addition to the benefits the family is entitled to under the Missouri Workers Compensation law the family may be entitled to bring a Missouri Wrongful Death Action against some third party, other than the employer.
Typically to bring a wrongful death claim, there needs to be someone at fault who is not the employer. Examples would be the driver of the truck that struck your loved one. It is important to act as soon as possible as evidence may be lost or destroyed which may be vital to proving your claim. There are also very complex factors that need to be taken into account due to the fact that there was an employer involved in the claim.
Wrongful Death Damages in Missouri
In Missouri, all wrongful death damages need to be resolved in a single legal action with all possible persons entitled to make a claim. These damages include survival damages which are awarded to the victim’s estate on behalf of the pain and suffering experienced by the victim and damages awarded to the plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim. Survival damage awards may include the following:
- Expenses for last illness, including lost wages and medical bills
- Conscious pain and suffering felt by the deceased
- Additional wrongful death damages may include:
- Funeral or burial expenses
- Loss of wages and benefits the deceased likely would have earned had he or she lived
- The value of the services, companionship, comfort, guidance, counsel, training, and support the deceased would have provided had he or she lived
There are no limits on the dollar amount that may be recovered in Missouri for other wrongful death actions, except there is a cap of $350,000 in a medical malpractice cases.
Who Can Bring a Missouri Wrongful Death lawsuit?
In Missouri, wrongful death lawsuits may be brought by the spouse or children, the surviving descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate, or by the father or mother of the deceased family member. If there is no family member of the deceased as set forth in 537.080(1), the action for wrongful death may then be brought by a brother or sister of the deceased as set forth in 587.080(2).
Action for wrongful death–who may sue–limitation.
537.080. 1. Whenever the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof, the person or party who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, which damages may be sued for:
(1) By the spouse or children or the surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate, or by the father or mother of the deceased, natural or adoptive;
(2) If there be no persons in class (1) entitled to bring the action, then by the brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants, who can establish his or her right to those damages set out in section 537.090 because of the death;
(3) If there be no persons in class (1) or (2) entitled to bring the action, then by a plaintiff ad litem. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be appointed by the court having jurisdiction over the action for damages provided in this section upon application of some person entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be some suitable person competent to prosecute such action and whose appointment is requested on behalf of those persons entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. Such court may, in its discretion, require that such plaintiff ad litem give bond for the faithful performance of his duties.
2. Only one action may be brought under this section against any one defendant for the death of any one person.
Where do you file a Missouri Wrongful Death lawsuit?
508.010(11). In a wrongful death action, the plaintiff shall be considered first injured where the decedent was first injured by the wrongful acts or negligent conduct alleged in the action. In any spouse’s claim for loss of consortium, the plaintiff claiming consortium shall be considered first injured where the other spouse was first injured by the wrongful acts or negligent conduct alleged in the action.
How long do you have to file a Missouri Wrongful Death lawsuit?
All states have laws which govern the time limits in which a wrongful death suit must be brought. These laws are called statutes of limitations and these law vary substantially from state to state, the laws of Missouri provide that an action for wrongful death must be brought within three years. There is a two year statute of limitation for workers compensation claims
As with any personal injury lawsuit, time is of the essense not only for the statute of limitations issues but the facts and circumstances of your loved ones case need to be investigated immediately.
If a loved one is severely injured or killed on the job, call a Lebanon Workers Compensation Lawyer as soon as possible. The Krebs Law Firm LLC
If you would like more information about the Missouri Work Comp process, please request my FREE ebook report Understanding Your Missouri Workers Compensation Case.
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