Nobody lives forever. But when a life is cut short because of a careless truck driver, a texting motorist, a defective product or nursing home abuse, there is no greater tragedy. Nothing can replace a loved one. Nothing can compensate for what was lost.
If you are reading this website because you recently lost a loved one, please accept our sincere condolences. You are probably experiencing sorrow, rage, and helplessness. At Ortwerth Law LLC, our wrongful death lawyers understand the anguish that comes from the wrongful death of a loved one. We provide families with compassion as they go through this difficult time while fighting for the justice the families deserve. Our lawyers have a long history of successfully resolving wrongful death cases.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal action taken by the estate of a deceased person when another party’s negligence or intentional misconduct causes the death of that person. The details and circumstances of these cases can vary widely, but they all have one thing in common — monetary compensation to the family members of the deceased victim.
A wrongful death claim is usually brought by a parent, spouse, child, brother, sister, or loved one of the deceased victim. The primary goals of a wrongful death lawsuit include: providing financial support to survivors and holding the negligent party or parties accountable for their negligent (or deliberate) actions that caused the death.
The family members of a deceased person can file a wrongful death lawsuit in many jurisdictions. The most common plaintiffs in wrongful death actions are the deceased person’s surviving spouse and children. In some cases, parents of a deceased minor child can bring suit on behalf of their child. The family members who can file a wrongful death claim will differ depending on the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is being filed. For example, in some states, parents can only file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their child if the child is a minor.
Like every other personal injury case, there are many different scenarios that may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death can be brought on by negligence or an accident, and in some cases, a deliberate action. Some common types of negligence cases that lead to wrongful death lawsuits include:
A misdiagnosis of a health problem, an incorrect treatment, or a negligent decision by a doctor or other medical professional leads to the death of a patient. One example of a medical malpractice scenario that may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit is an error by an anesthesiologist. Anesthesia errors are a common cause of death, and many anesthesia deaths go unrecognized as malpractice cases. Some medical mistakes committed by medical personnel during surgery can also cause death.
One of the most common wrongful death lawsuits involves car accidents. A car accident that results in death may result in a wrongful death lawsuit. If an individual is driving negligently, driving drunk, or any other reckless behavior and their actions lead to the death of a loved one, not only can they be prosecuted criminally, but you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation.
Craig Ortwerth can help you find the answers you deserve. We have a team of experienced wrongful death attorneys, investigators, and experts who have the skill and resources to determine how and why your loved one died. Determining who is at fault is critically important. In some cases, the fault may be distributed among several different parties. For example, in a truck accident case, a truck driver may be at fault for falling asleep at the wheel while the trucking company is also to blame for pushing the driver to work when he is tired. Likewise, in a medical malpractice case, a surgeon may be at fault when he is negligent, while the hospital is also to blame for allowing him to perform a surgery he was unqualified to perform.
Contractors and construction workers who fail to follow safety protocols in the construction industry may cause death by negligence. Not only can a workers’ compensation for construction workers lawsuit be filed, but if a workplace incident resulted in the death of a loved one, you might also be entitled to additional compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit.
A defect in the design or manufacturing process of a product leads to the death of a user and may lead to wrongful death lawsuits. A wrongful death attorney will be able to investigate the case and determine whether or not your loved one’s death was a direct result of the manufacturer and / or the seller of the product’s behavior.
Malicious acts that cause death may also be considered wrongful death in some jurisdictions. As stated before, even if someone is being charged criminally for their actions that led to a death, the loved ones of the deceased may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit as well.
Think about it. When an innocent person dies because somebody else is negligent, the wrongdoer knows how and why the tragedy occurred, but the victim’s family knows nothing. When a commercial truck driver falls asleep at the wheel and kills a 35-year-old family man, the truck driver knows why the tragedy occurred, but the victim’s wife and kids know nothing. When a surgeon makes a catastrophic mistake during surgery and his patient dies on the operating table, the surgeon knows how and why the tragedy occurred, but the victim’s children and grandchildren know nothing. When a wrongful death occurs, the victim’s family often has no idea that it was a wrongful death. Grieving survivors are routinely led to believe that it was an innocent accident or an act of God.
Wrongful death claims are governed by statutes in Missouri, Illinois, and other states. The value of a wrongful death case depends on where the case is filed. Wrongful death cases are worth more money in some states than others. Within each state, wrongful death cases may be worth more money in some counties than others. And in some cases, special experts must be retained in order to fully establish the damages caused by the death of the family member. Calculations must be made as to the future economic benefit the deceased person would have brought to his or her family. We also seek financial compensation for medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and non-economic damages for loss of care, companionship, advice and the comfort of your loved one.
In Missouri and Illinois, wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against any person or any entity that is legally at fault for your family member’s death. Defendants may be individuals, medical institutions, governmental entities and/or companies.
While no financial recovery can ever compensate for the loss of a loved one, we have given our clients exceptional results under very difficult circumstances. Because every case has special considerations, we are prepared to help as soon as possible.