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Who files Missouri wrongful death lawsuits and for what losses?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Personal Injury

State laws in Missouri help protect people against the misconduct and poor decisions of others. There are numerous criminal statutes that prohibit dangerous behaviors, like driving drunk. There are also civil statutes that allow people to pursue litigation against those who cause injury to others.

Wrongful death lawsuits are a special type of personal injury claim in which those affected by someone’s premature death can ask the courts for compensation and closure. The average individual doesn’t know much about wrongful death lawsuits and will therefore find themselves at a disadvantage when considering their options when a loved one passes unexpectedly.

Those who understand who has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and what losses they can seek to recover may have a better chance of making use of the legal protections afforded by Missouri state statutes.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Missouri’s wrongful death statutes outline the rights of dependent family members, and those with the closest relationship to the deceased will have the strongest legal rights after someone dies unexpectedly. Spouses and children have the highest priority consideration for the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri.

State statute allows other family members to initiate a lawsuit if someone dies without a spouse or any progeny. Parents, siblings and even the executor of an estate could also potentially file a lawsuit when someone has not married and does not have children.

What can someone seek in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Missouri has rules about the compensation available in a wrongful death lawsuit. People can seek the economic impact of someone’s premature death, including recovery for their lost wages and future earning potential, as well as any medical expenses generated before their death and any funeral or burial cloth incurred after they’re passing.

Additionally, Missouri law allows the individuals filing the claim to seek financial compensation for the loss of someone’s household services and companionship and compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering before their death. Punitive damages may be possible in cases involving serious misconduct or flagrant disregard for the safety of others.

Learning about the rules that apply to Missouri wrongful death lawsuits can help people seek and secure appropriate compensation when a loved one dies prematurely due to another’s conduct.