Under a state's laws, certain categories of relatives can sue for a loved one's wrongful death. The wrongful death statute allows the family members of victims killed because of another person's negligence to recover compensation for all expenses associated with a relative's death. However, with wrongful death rules varying in each state, this can leave some confusion in regards to which relatives can sue for wrongful death.
In this FAQ, we'll discuss the different categories of relatives, what family members can sue for wrongful death in Missouri, and what your family will need to sue for a loved one's wrongful death. If another person's negligence is responsible for your family member's death, and you are struggling with the question, "Do you have to be a family member to sue for wrongful death?" the wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis at Burger Law can help. Our attorneys are passionate about helping the surviving family members of wrongful death victims sue on behalf of a loved one and can make sure that you recover the most compensation for your family's wrongful death case.
If you have questions about suing for a loved one's wrongful death, or want to know more about our firm, call our wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. We don't charge any fees for our consultations, and we never ask for any attorney fees unless we win compensation for your family's wrongful death case.
What Family Members Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
If your family member's death is the result of another person's carelessness, you are likely thinking of filing a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims can be brought by the surviving family members of victims to recover compensation for a victim's death. Eligibility for filing a wrongful death claim is based on a state's wrongful death statute, which generally ranges between 2-3 years from the date of the victim's death, and includes restrictions for the following categories of family members:
- Immediate Family - most states allow a victim's spouse, children, parents, and designated heirs to sue for wrongful death
- Life Partners - in some states, the deceased's domestic partner can recover wrongful death damages if they were dependant on the victim's income
- Distant Relatives - some statute of limitations allow siblings and grandparents of victims to sue for wrongful death if the victim doesn't have a spouse, children, or parents that can bring a claim
- Non-Blood Dependants - though rare, in some states, if the victim had a close friend that was dependant upon their income, some non-blood and non-marriage parties can sue for wrongful death
- Death of a Fetus - some state wrongful death laws acknowledge the death of a fetus, specifically, in cases involving medical malpractice
Missouri's wrongful death statute lets the spouse, children, and parents of a victim killed as the result of another person's negligence to sue for wrongful death within three years of cases involving medical malpractice, and two years for all other cases. If the victim doesn't have any immediate family members that can bring a claim, the state of Missouri acknowledge's the brother or sister of a victim as an eligible party.
How Can I Sue for a Loved One's Wrongful Death?
The death of a family member is never easy, but it can be particularly challenging to lose a spouse, parent, or another relative in a wrongful death accident. The last thing your family needs to worry about during this challenging time is how to sue the negligent party for damages.
Hiring a wrongful death lawyer in St. Louis to represent your family's case lets you focus on grieving the loss of your family member and ensures that you'll recover the most compensation for your family's harm and losses associated with the accident. Most wrongful death cases, with aggressive legal guidance, can recover the following types of wrongful death damages:
- Medical expenses that the victim incurred before their death because of the accident
- Pain and suffering that the victim experienced
- Lost wages that the victim's family suffered because of their relative's death
- Property damage that was caused during the accident, such as damage to vehicles, clothing, etc
- Funeral and burial expenses that the victim paid for out-of-pocket
- Loss of companionship and loss of affection the victim's spouse/immediate relatives have struggled with because of the victim's death
Wrongful Death Lawyers in St. Louis
If your loved one was killed in a motor vehicle accident, because of medical malpractice, or in another accident that someone else is to blame for, you are going to need a wrongful death lawyer in St. Louis to handle your family's case. Burger Law can make sure that you are eligible to sue for your family member's wrongful death, and ensure that you recover full compensation for your family's wrongful death case. Call or contact our wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222. We don't charge any fees for our consultations, and we never ask for attorney fees unless we win compensation for your claim.