Countless damages can be caused by the sudden loss of a loved one. In addition to the loss of companionship and pain and suffering, a family can also experience the loss of significant financial support. In addition, an unexpected death caused by another’s negligence can bring forth tremendous costs, such as funeral expenses and medical bills. Following car accidents, fatal workplace incidents, and deadly industrial accidents, what can a family do?
A wrongful death suit has the potential to bring a grieving family much-needed financial relief. Recently, a jury awarded a Missouri woman $20 million after her husband was killed in an accident with a train. The incident happened in 2012 on a rural road in Stoddard County. A 53-year-old man was struck by a train at a crossing, which, according to court records, featured only a railroad crossing sign. In addition, the deceased man’s family argued that the crossing did not have lights, gates, adequate visibility, or a safe sight distance. Finally, they claimed that the crew of the train was negligent.
For their part, BNSF Railway issued a statement in which it claimed there was zero evidence for railroad negligence. In addition, according to the railway, the trial showed that the deceased failed to stop at the crossing. Missouri does recognize the doctrine of comparative negligence, in which each party may have a degree of fault for an accident or injuries. Still, it is not known if comparative negligence was an element in the BNSF wrongful death case.
An experienced wrongful death attorney can help a victim’s family understand their rights to recovery. When a family member dies, compensation can be a difficult topic to discuss and a complicated subject to bring to a jury. Still, the civil court system is a way for victimized families to be made whole again and receive some amount of relief amidst tragedy.
Source: FOX 2 St. Louis, “Missouri woman wins $20 million in train collision lawsuit,” April 30, 2015