No matter the situation, losing a loved one can be devastating. An untimely death in a St. Louis nursing home can be even more overwhelming for family members, especially if it could have been avoided with proper care.
You may wonder if your elderly or disabled loved one was given the appropriate level of care or if a staff member acted in a negligent or reckless manner which resulted in your loved one’s death. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer could help investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one and, if needed, help you hold the nursing home legally accountable.
St. Louis Nursing Home Death Statute of Limitations
Missouri Revised Statutes §537.100 establishes that those who wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their deceased loved one have three years from the date of the death to do so. If this statute of limitations expires, you may never be able to recover damages for an untimely death in a St. Louis nursing home. Discussing the circumstances with a knowledgeable attorney may help ensure that you and your family are able to exercise your legal rights within the state-mandated time frame.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Missouri Revised Statutes §537.080 outlines the “class of wrongful death claimants” which provides who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in this order of priority:
- First class of wrongful death claimants: The decedent’s parents, spouse, children, or surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children, whether natural or adopted
- Second class of wrongful death claimants: If there is no one in the first class of claimants, then one or more siblings of the deceased or their descendants, if they can establish their right to damages
- Third class of wrongful death claimants: If there is no one in the first or second class of claimants, then a plaintiff ad litem or someone who is appointed by the court to act on behalf of the decedent’s estate is permitted to file the wrongful death claim.
Recoverable Damages from Untimely Death in Nursing Homes
MO Rev. Stat. §537.090 details the factors a St. Louis civil court may consider when determining a fair verdict for a case involving untimely death in a nursing home. The families of those who suffer untimely death in such facilities may be entitled to recover monetary damages for:
- Pain and suffering before death
- Funeral expenses and other related services
- Medical expenses prior to death but after the injury or event leading to the death
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss or deprivation of comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support
It is essential for families to note and review with their legal counsel that under state law, mitigating or aggravating circumstances surrounding the death can be taken into consideration by a court. However, damages related to grief and bereavement from the death are not typically compensable.
How an Attorney Can Help with Nursing Home Untimely Death in St. Louis
The untimely death in St. Louis nursing homes often results from negligent care. A committed nursing home abuse lawyer could review the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one and the care they received in their nursing home to determine if someone may be legally liable for what happened to them.
If so, you and other family members may be entitled to damages under the law. Reach out today to start discussing potentially effective legal strategies.