Wrongful death is when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. Wrongful death claims are typically brought by family members, as the deceased cannot bring a claim due to death. If someone you loved died due to someone else’s negligent actions, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death case in Missouri.
Missouri Revised Statute Section 537.080
Missouri Revised Statutes section 537.080 states that a “wrongful death” is the “the death of a person result[ing] from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof.”
Survivors of the person who died are able to step in and file a claim on their behalf and seek damages due to the negligent or intentional actions of someone else causing their loved one’s death.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The state of Missouri has specific rules with respect to who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Any surviving spouse, children, or grandchildren may bring a wrongful death claim. Additionally, parents of the deceased may also bring a wrongful death claim. If the claim involves the death of a child, the parents are typically the ones who will file a wrongful death claim. If none of the above persons are still alive, a surviving sibling may be allowed to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their brother or sister. Finally, if there are no surviving relatives, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may bring a claim.
Compensation for a Wrongful Death Claim
The entire purpose of a claim is to receive compensation for a victim’s death and hold the negligent person accountable for his or her actions. Some of the common types of damages that are available in a wrongful death claim include the following:
- Medical bills and therapy related to the injury that caused the loved one’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The value of lost wages in addition to the value of loss of future earnings of the loved one that died
- The value of the pain and suffering related to the injuries suffered from someone else’s negligence
- The value of elder care or child care provided by the victim prior to their death
- The value of the “services, consortium, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, and support” that was taken from family members due to the death of their loved one
Additionally, the state of Missouri has a rebuttable presumption that the value of the care provided over half of the time by the deceased with respect to another family member may be valued at 100% of the state’s average weekly wage at the time of death. If a child is the one who has died, the parents may take the value of lost wages based on their own earnings. Finally, the state of Missouri limits the amount of damages in medical malpractice cases to $350,000, therefore if your wrongful death lawsuit involved medical malpractice, your damages may be capped at that amount.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
You only have three years to file a wrongful death claim in the state of Missouri. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Griggs Injury Law at (816) 474-0202 to help you build a strong personal injury case. Call us today for your free consultation.