According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, over 1,000 people were killed in Missouri motor vehicle accidents in 2021. The families of these deceased victims may struggle to recover emotionally and financially after the loss of their loved one. Filing a wrongful death suit is one way to hold the negligent parties who caused your loved one’s accident accountable for the death of your loved one.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Under RSMo Sec. 537.080, only certain parties are legally allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The surviving spouse, parents, children, and children’s descendants (if children have passed away) of the deceased are first in line to file a wrongful death claim.
If none of these parties exist/are alive, siblings or the siblings’ descendants are next in line to file a claim.
Finally, if none of the above parties exist/are alive, a plaintiff ad litem appointed by the court or the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may bring the claim.
Proving your wrongful death claim
If you decide to file a wrongful death claim, you must bring your claim three years of the decedent’s death. You must show that the defendant, or the person you are suing:
- Owed a duty of care of the deceased.
- Breached the duty owed to the deceased (acted negligent or reckless).
- Caused the death of the deceased by breaching the duty owed to the deceased.
- Survivors of deceased suffered financial losses as a result of the death.
Moving forward with your life after the loss of a loved one can feel impossible, especially if you do not have the financial support you need. A personal injury attorney in the Kansas City area can help you file your claim and recover the compensation you deserve after an accident.