When a person's death is the result of another person's recklessness, the surviving family members of the victim can bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. The statute of limitations, or time limit, to file a wrongful death claim is different in each state, as are rules for who can bring a claim on behalf of the deceased. If your family member was killed because of another person's negligence, or a company's carelessness, and you are thinking, "can I sue for wrongful death?" or "how long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?" you need to talk to the attorneys at Burger Law.
In this FAQ, we'll discuss Missouri's wrongful death statute, the elements of a wrongful death claim, and who is eligible to sue for wrongful death in the state of Missouri. If you lost a family member because of someone else's negligence, and need our wrongful death lawyers in St. Louis to fight for your case, call 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 your wrongful death claim.
Missouri Wrongful Death Statute
The wrongful death statute is different in all 50 states in the U.S., but most time limits for wrongful death claims are between 2-3 years after the accident. In Missouri, if someone is killed because of another person or by a defective product, the time limit for bringing a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of the victim's death, and claims must be brought by an immediate family member.
What family members are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in Missouri, you ask? Spouses, siblings, parents, and designated heirs of a victim can sue the party responsible for their loved one's death as long as the following elements are present:
- Proof of Death - death certificate, police report of the accident
- Causation - proof that the other person is responsible for the victim's death - a police report, autopsy, witness reports, and other evidence from the scene of the accident can help prove the negligent party's liability
- Immediate Family's Suffering - loss of income, loss of affection, and other losses that the deceased's immediate family has struggled with because of the victim's death
- Personal Representative - a designated personal representative of the person's estate, often the victim's spouse or parents, that can help make the process of allocating the deceased's estate to the correct people as hassle-free as possible
Compensation for wrongful death claims varies for each case, based on factors such as the cause of the victim's death, the number of damages associated with the accident, and if the state has a cap for wrongful death damages. Some states have caps on the number of damages that wrongful death claims can recover, but Missouri only has a limit on medical malpractice settlements.
Can I Sue for Wrongful Death?
If you have lost a close family member because of another person's carelessness, you are going to need the help of a wrongful death lawyer in St. Louis. An attorney can make sure that the elements of your claim are in place, and demand economic and non-economic damages for your claim. In some wrongful death cases, if the judge rules the at-fault party's actions as particularly malicious, punitive damages might be awarded.
The wrongful death attorneys at Burger Law provide the highest quality legal representation to the surviving family members of wrongful death victims in Missouri and Illinois. If your family member was killed because of another person's negligence, and you are wondering, "how long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?", or have other questions about the wrongful death process, 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.