Like all other US states, Missouri has specific laws about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
879 people died on Missouri roads in 2019. If one of your loved ones or relatives has recently died in a car accident in St. Louis, it’s important to understand your rights based on your relationship with the deceased person. This can help you or their immediate family pursue the responsible party for monetary damages and compensation.
You may be wondering: Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Missouri and St. Louis?
Understanding Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit Under Missouri Law
Like all other US states, Missouri has specific laws about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. The individuals who are the first in line to bring a claim to court include:
- The spouse of the deceased person
- The children or grandchildren of the deceased person
- The parents of the deceased person. This is the most common situation if the claim involves the death of a child
If a deceased individual has no living spouse, parents, children, or grandchildren, a sibling may bring the case to court. If there are no siblings, the “personal representative” of the deceased person’s estate will be allowed to file the claim.
Finally, a “plaintiff ad litem” can be appointed by the court if none of the above situations apply. This person may pursue the case as requested by a person who is “entitled to share in the proceeds” of a wrongful death claim. For example, this could be a cousin or other extended familial relative named in the will of the deceased but may not be able to bring a claim to court under Missouri law.
What Damages Can Be Recovered With a Wrongful Death Suit?
A few different factors affect the damages that you and your family can recover if you file a wrongful death suit after a car accident in St. Louis or Missouri.
If the ruling is in your favor, you may receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, burial and funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and the value of the services provided to you by the deceased, such as a grandparent who may have provided childcare.
Each case is different, so it’s important to work closely with a team of experienced St. Louis wrongful death lawyers to pursue full and fair compensation and ensure the best possible outcome for your wrongful death suit.
St. Louis Wrongful Death Attorneys
If a loved one has died in a car accident and you wish to pursue a wrongful death suit against the responsible party, The Hoffmann Law Firm is here for you. Our car accident attorneys can help ensure your legal rights are protected after a tragic accident. Contact us now for a case review and consultation.