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4 Myths About Wrongful Death Lawsuits in St. Louis

It’s hard to imagine going through the pain of losing a loved one. It’s a time filled with grief and frustration that they’re no longer there.

If their death did not occur naturally but was the direct result of someone’s negligence on the road, then many surviving family members consider the option of filing a wrongful death suit.

However, there are many myths surrounding these lawsuits, and believing them may end up hurting your case.


Myth 1: I Have Time

After a loved one dies, nobody likes to think about legal proceedings, hiring a St. Louis car accident lawyer or gathering evidence. People need time to mourn their loss, and some may think they have all the time in the world to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

However, the law in Missouri has a time limit for filing these suits in court set at within three years from the date of the death. If the suit is not filed within three years, it’s unlikely the proceedings will move on to court.

Myth 2: You Have to Be Blood-Related to the Deceased

Missouri law clearly states that the direct descendants of the deceased (spouse, children, grandchildren) or parents have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and collect damages. However, in cases where the deceased has no direct descendants, Missouri courts can appoint a plaintiff ad item to file the lawsuit and collect the damages.

Myth 3: If I’m Liable in a Wrongful Death Suit, I Am Going to Jail

Wrongful death lawsuits are resolved in civil court and do not carry criminal punishments. If you are liable and the judge decides you are responsible for another person’s death, they will establish a certain amount of damages to pay to the surviving family of the deceased.

If the death was just an accident, you don’t have to worry about criminal sentencing. This is generally only applicable in cases where someone intentionally killed a person. The family member would have to file a police report first, and then the death would be investigated to see whether the person is guilty or not.

Myth 4: It Makes Me Seem Greedy

Many people believe that going after a wrongful death suit puts them in a negative light as if the suit would completely annul the grief they are feeling.

You are not greedy for filing a wrongful death suit. In cases where the police cannot intervene because there was no criminal action, wrongful death suits are a way you can hold the person responsible for a loved one’s death accountable and get the compensation you need to move forward.

St. Louis Wrongful Death Lawyer

Are you thinking about filing a wrongful death suit following a car accident? The best thing to do right now is to get in touch with a St. Louis auto accident lawyer to discuss your case and see what steps you need to take to hold the responsible party accountable. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: July 18, 2019