You would do anything to have your loved one back, but you know it isn’t possible. You just want to stay locked away in your room, but you have responsibilities: your children need to get to school, you have to go back to work—and on top of it all, the hospital is demanding that you pay for the costs of your loved one’s hospital stay.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Spouse Dies in a Semi Truck Crash
Spouses are entitled to many benefits after the death of a husband or wife, all of which are payable through a wrongful death claim. By filing a claim against the trucking company that was responsible for the accident, you and your family could receive compensation for:
- Death expenses. The first thing your wrongful death suit may cover are burial and funeral arrangements for your loved one, allowing him or her to rest peacefully without increasing the burden on you and your family.
- Injury costs. In many crash cases, the victim is taken to the hospital and receives days or even weeks of care before he or she succumbs to injuries. The hospital then turns to the spouse for payment of medical bills, sometimes totaling tens of thousands of dollars. Wrongful death claims may award “survivor damages” for amounts of money spent on medical care between the time of injury and the time of death.
- Pain and suffering. If your loved one was hospitalized for a long period of time, the jury may award you an additional amount for any conscious pain and suffering that your spouse suffered after the accident. Most pre-death pain and suffering claims require significant evidence of the spouse’s conscious knowledge of his or her pain and circumstances, usually through medical records or testimony from medical professionals.
- Lost income. The loss of a spouse often means the loss of all or part of the family’s much-needed income. When determining how much to award a widowed spouse, the court should determine how much income was lost over the course of the accident period, but also how much the deceased spouse could have earned if he or she had continued living until retirement age. The court should also consider the deceased’s earning capacity with respect to raises, inflation, and missed business opportunities.
- Value of lost services. A spouse is more than just a breadwinner to a family; a loss of a spouse may also mean the loss of a parent, son, daughter, or friend. In the state of Missouri, families have a right to sue for an additional amount to compensate for the loss of physical and emotional services performed by the deceased, such as companionship, instruction, guidance, and support. While other states place a cap on this benefit, there is currently no maximum amount a spouse may receive for a wrongful death claim in Missouri.
We Provide Experienced and Compassionate Representation for Wrongful Death Claimants
When a loved one is taken away, it is vital to allow the family time to grieve and come to terms with the loss. That is why we encourage our clients to share as much information about the deceased as they are comfortable with, allowing their claim to play a central role in the healing process. By taking the people responsible to court, families get both the closure they need and the justice they deserve—and the negligent party is compelled to compensate them for causing so much pain.
Our attorneys can investigate the facts of your case and explain your legal options at no cost to you. Click the contact link on this page to get started.