St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorneys

Our St. Louis wrongful death attorneys are ready to help if you lost a loved one. If you did, we offer our condolences. If you want the best wrongful death attorney in Missouri that will fight for your family, we are here to help. We will relentlessly pursue justice for your family.

Types of cases our St. Louis Mo wrongful death attorneys handle:

Over the last decade, our attorneys have handled hundreds of wrongful death cases stemming from:

What qualifies as a “wrongful death”?

Under Missouri law a wrongful death is considered to be a death that has occurred through the wrongful act of another. A wrongful death may arise from someone’s negligence or intentional act. A wrongful death lawsuit is generally initiated by or on behalf of the spouse, children or family of the decedent. In Missouri, the wrongful death statute found at RSMo 537.080 determines who is legally entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

The spouse or children of the victim have priority in bringing a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri. If there is no person in this category, brothers or sisters of the victim or their descendants are allowed to file. As a last resort, if there are no people that are in those categories, the court will appoint a plaintiff ad litem to prosecute the case. It is important to have a wrongful death lawyer file your case before the statute of limitations.

Even if your case happens in Missouri, under the venue laws, that does not mean you can file your case within the City of St. Louis. In order to have venue within this court, the negligent act or omission must have occurred within the city limits.

What damages can I recover?

The wrongful death of a family member can be an extremely traumatic experience for the entire family. When this happens, the term “compensation” in a death case may sound very bizarre to many. How can you possibly compensate for the loss of a loved one in St. Louis? How can you put a price on someone’s life or the time you’ve spent with them? The simple and honest answer is you cannot. However, Missouri statute 537.090 provides for the following damages:

  • Any medical, doctor, or hospital bills incurred prior to death;
  • Funeral expenses;
  • Burial expenses;
  • The reasonable value of the services
  • Loss of consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, financial support;
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering the deceased may have experienced between the time of injury and the time of death; and
  • In some cases, punitive damages.

While no amount of money can take the place of a loved one, families should not have to suffer financially when a person is killed because of another’s negligence or intentional act. While this is a very emotional and difficult time for your family, ultimately you will want justice for your loss. During the grieving process, hiring a lawyer may not be the something on your mind. However, your family’s legal interests must be protected if you want the at-fault person held accountable for their actions.

What is the Missouri wrongful death statute of limitations?

The time limit to file a wrongful death claim in Missouri is three years. This means that you must hire a Missouri wrongful death lawyer to file your petition to recover damages with the proper court prior to the three year anniversary of the death. This statute of limitations is found in Missouri statute 537.100. Sometimes, problems arise when parties who lack legal standing file a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri under RSMO 537.080 within the three-year period and thereafter the proper party wishes to intervene in the suit. This is why it is very important to determine who is the preferred wrongful death class member under 537.090.

In the unusual circumstance where the the negligence causing the death was concealed or not known about there may be tolling arguments to make that extend the statute of limitations.  Damage is sustained and capable of ascertainment for purposes of the “statute of limitations” when it can be discovered or made known, even though the amount of the damages may not be fully known. The language “capable of ascertainment” is applicable to both the wrong committed and the loss or damages sustained. When either is incapable of ascertainment, the “statute of limitations” can be “tolled” or stopped from running.

How much money is a wrongful death case worth?

Our St. Louis wrongful death attorneys understand money can never fully compensate you for the loss of a loved one. However, we can assure you the financial and emotional losses will take their toll, especially when the decedent contributed to the household income. When families face the loss of that income, combined with unanticipated funeral expenses, things like college tuition, health care, food, and basic necessities of life can be compromised. These burdens can and will manifest themselves in your life if you do not take prompt action to protect your legal rights.

Assuming you hire the right legal team, the evidence is properly preserved, and you have a lawyer willing to dedicate the money, time and resources to win, your case could be worth many millions of dollars. Insurance companies fight wrongful death actions very hard to protect their financial interests. Our legal team understands there is far more at issue than money in these types cases. It is vital to have an experienced law firm protect you and your family during this difficult time.

Who gets the money from a wrongful death lawsuit? How are wrongful death settlements paid out?

In Missouri, after a tentative settlement or a verdict is reached with the defendant, a judge conducts a hearing to determine what losses each person has. The judge will then enter an order apportioning the lump sum payment among those according to their respective losses, as determined by the evidence. In some instances, one family member may not be entitled to as much as another if they were not dependent upon the deceased person or did not have a meaningful relationship. The Missouri wrongful death lawyers representing each party will put on evidence of their client’s losses. If you wish, you may ask for a structured settlement paid out over time.

We handle handle cases throughout Missouri

While our main office is located in downtown St. Louis, we routinely travel all over the country pursuing justice for families. We can represent your family in any county in Missouri, and in cities such as Columbia, Springfield, Independence and Kansas City. Hiring us costs no more than hiring a local wrongful death lawyer in your town.

Wrongful deaths at work

Under Missouri law, if a death happens at work, things become more complex. Some employees may be considered “statutory employees” which may prevent them from making a workplace wrongful death work claim. Missouri statute 287.040.1 usually protects employers in this scenario and requires compensation to be paid under the Workers Compensation Act. Proceeding with a workers compensation death claim severely limit most recoveries and is not the preferred option.

Looking for the best St. Louis wrongful death attorney near you?

Missouri Wrongful Death Lawyers

Ryan Bradley, Missouri Wrongful Death Lawyer

You should consider The Bradley Law Firm because we are the absolute best at what we do. I can confidently say there are probably 10 total attorneys in the State of Missouri that can claim the results our law firm obtains on a routine basis. Our experienced legal team is ready to stand by you and ensure your family’s legal interests are protected. When choosing a Missouri wrongful death lawyer consider this:

  • In 2010, we obtained the #1 car accident (wrongful death) trial result in Missouri;
  • In 2012, E. Ryan Bradley was named as having the “Most Reported Wins” by the Missouri Lawyers Weekly;
  • In 2014, we obtained the #1 car accident settlement in Missouri;
  • E. Ryan Bradley is ranked as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the U.S. according to The National Trial Lawyers Association;
  • We maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau; and
  • E. Ryan Bradley has the highest possible ranking by Martindale Hubbell for both ethics and legal ability (AV).

Ryan Bradley AV Rating

We are happy to provide references from others who hired us to pursue justice for their families. Simply call us for a free consultation and we will provide you with the names and phone numbers of people who expressly told us they would serve as references.

Do you work on wrongful death cases on a contingency fee?

Yes. We understand pursuing a wrongful death action requires special legal experience to help families receive proper compensation for their loss. Loved ones should never have to financially suffer when a family member is killed because of another’s negligence. Contact one of our Missouri wrongful death attorneys today.

Our lawyers will analyze the facts to determine if a traditional wrongful death claim may be made instead of a workers compensation claim. In the past few decades, numerous Missouri courts have interpreted what constitutes an employer’s “usual course of business.” This determination is very fact specific and must be thoroughly investigated in each wrongful death case. Because workers’ compensation claims severely limit settlements related to a workplace death, it is almost always advantageous for the family of a person killed at work to explore other avenues of recovery.

Contact us today for a free legal consultation with our St. Louis Mo wrongful death law firm on your specific case.

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St. Louis Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by The Bradley Law Firm, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee upon the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation. This site is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Missouri or Illinois. The Bradley Law Firm may co-counsel or associate with other law firms around the country at its discretion from initial intake through litigation when it deems appropriate.

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