A legendary Blues defensive hockey player tragically died of a cardiac event in a Missouri car accident in 2021. When he played for the blues, he helped them reach the Stanley Cup finals in three seasons between 1968 and 1970. The 78-year-old died from his injuries at the car accident scene, which occurred on Interstate 64.
The other party involved in the car accident was taken to the hospital after suffering minor injuries. Unfortunately, these types of deadly highway accidents are far too common in Missouri. We will discuss the process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one dies in a car accident below.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Missouri
Discovering that a loved one has passed away in a preventable accident is devastating. What options do surviving family members have to hold the negligent or reckless person who caused their loved one’s death accountable? In Missouri, surviving family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person whose action or inaction caused their loved one’s death. In other words, surviving family members can hold the person whose reckless, intentional, or negligent acts caused the accident that resulted in their loved one’s death.
Essentially, wrongful death lawsuits are like personal injury lawsuits. Had the individual not died, he or she would be able to bring action in court. Since the victim passed away, the survivors will need to seek monetary compensation connected with their loved one’s death.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Car Accident?
Under Missouri law, the deceased individual’s surviving spouse, children, parents, or grandchildren can bring a wrongful death claim. If there are no living relatives in these categories, the deceased’s estate representative can bring a wrongful death claim. If there is no estate or personal representative, any individual can petition a Missouri court to appoint a plaintiff ad litem to file the claim.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Missouri or Kansas
Successful plaintiffs are entitled to the following types of damages:
- Expenses related to the burial, cremation, or funeral of the deceased
- The cost of medical care the deceased received after the injury
- Compensation for future lost benefits that the deceased individual would have earned if he or she had lived
- The value of services that the deceased individual would have provided their family, such as household chores and childcare
- Additional punitive damages may be available when the defendant acted egregiously
- Non-economic damages include loss of support and guidance, services, companionship, comfort, instruction, counsel, and training. Keep in mind that in Kansas, non-economic damages are capped.
Contact a Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one in a devastating car accident, it is worth taking the time to consult with a personal injury lawyer. You may be able to bring a wrongful death claim and hold the defendant accountable. Contact Griggs Injury Law today to schedule your free initial consultation.