In Missouri, Wrongful Death cases may only be brought once against any one defendant and whenever damages are recovered it is the job of the Court to apportion the damages throughout the class of parties able to recover damages for the Wrongful Death. Due to the nature of this it is always advisable to have a Personal Injury Attorney ready to work on your behalf.
When the Court receives notice that damages have been agreed upon in a Wrongful Death case it will then break up the total amount of damages and spread those to the parties entitled to recover, as set forth by the classes in the Missouri Wrongful Death statute, this is apportionment. The way the Court performs this function is by holding a hearing on the issue of damages and their apportionment, this is where the aid of a Personal Injury Attorney can mean the difference between receiving a significant portion of the damages and little to no portion.
At the hearing the parties within the class will be able to present evidence as to how the loss caused by the Wrongful Death has impacted them. Your Personal Injury Attorney will present evidence in the form of documents and testimony that illustrate this loss; this can include funeral expenses, loss of income and in some instances the nature of the relationship between you and the person that was lost in the Wrongful Death will need to be shown to the court to make the best case possible for a greater proportion of the Wrongful Death damages. Without a Personal Injury Attorney there to guide you it will be difficult to present the best picture possible to the Court.
The information provided is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created by this post. The choice of an attorney is an important one and should not be based on advertising alone.