All Questions

January 22, 2020 | Gary Burger

How is a Settlement Determined in a Wrongful Death Claim?

If you suddenly lost a spouse, parent, or child in a motor vehicle accident, or an accident involving workers compensation, medical malpractice, or nursing home negligence caused by another person, you can sue the negligent party for wrongful death. Wrongful death claims provide the surviving family members of victims with compensation for any expenses incurred because of a loved one's sudden death.

Settlements for wrongful death claims vary significantly, based on case-specific factors such as liability, the state's wrongful death statute, and other factors which often leave victims' families wondering, "what damages can I recover for my family's wrongful death case?", "how are settlements determined in wrongful death claims?" and "is there a limit to the number of damages that I can recover for my family member's wrongful death?"

In this FAQ, we'll discuss what factors affect the value of a wrongful death case, how wrongful death settlements are calculated, and limitations on wrongful death settlements. If you have questions about how settlements are determined for wrongful death claims, or other questions about your family's wrongful death case, call our wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. We don't charge any fees for our consultations, and we never ask for any attorney fees unless we win compensation for your case.

What Factors are Considered When Calculating Wrongful Death Cases?

When a family member's death is caused by a careless driver, negligent medical personnel, or a reckless employer, it can be challenging to determine your family's right to sue the negligent party. Under Missouri's wrongful death statute, the immediate family members of a victim can recover compensation for a victim's medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of the deceased's income, and other damages associated with a wrongful death case.

Wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of a victim's death caused by medical malpractice, and within two years of all other wrongful death accidents to recover compensation. Other factors that affect how settlements are determined for wrongful death claims include:

  • The victim's age
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Liability in the accident that caused the victim's death
  • Proof of the negligent party's fault
  • The victim's future earning capacity/income at the time of death
  • Medical bills that the victim incurred because of the negligent party
  • Funeral and burial expenses that the victim's family had to pay for out-of-pocket
  • Loss of other benefits, such as the deceased's pension, insurance, etc.

While most wrongful death settlements are reached outside of court, some wrongful death cases end up going to trial. Most commonly, wrongful death claims involving motor vehicle accidents, workers' compensation, and product liability.

Should I Take My Wrongful Death Claim to Court?

Taking your wrongful death case to court should only be done with guidance from a wrongful death lawyer in St. Louis, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the victim's death. An attorney understands the complex nature of wrongful death cases and can make sure that you recover the maximum amount of compensation for your loved one's wrongful death.

Burger Law provides the highest quality legal representation to the surviving family members of wrongful death victims in Missouri and Illinois. If your family member was killed because of another person’s negligence, and need help answering the question, "how is a settlement determined in a wrongful death claim?", call or contact our wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. We don't charge any fees for our consultations, and we never ask for attorney fees unless we win compensation for your claim.