All Questions

September 13, 2021 | Gary Burger

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

Losing anyone you love is unspeakably painful. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person or institution, you may be able to recover damages and hold them accountable by filing a wrongful death claim. Find out if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Missouri or Illinois or hire our talented wrongful death lawyers today by contacting Burger Law today. Our wrongful death lawyers are ready to speak to you about your case and help you and your family recover. Call us today at (314) 500-HURT or send us a message now.

Who can file a wrongful death suit for my loved one's death?

Civil law allows people who have lost a loved one because of another party's actions, whether intentional or accidental, a chance to collect damages and hold the responsible person accountable through a lawsuit called a wrongful death suit. When you file a wrongful death claim, you are pursuing a chance to receive financial compensation from the defendant, or the person you are filing your claim against. This gives you and your family a way to recover for the physical, emotional, and financial losses you and your family have experienced due to this person's behavior and forces them to pay for their irresponsible behavior.

Of course, in order to succeed in your Missouri or Illinois wrongful death claim, let alone find a wrongful death lawyer to represent you, you must meet certain legal requirements. For anyone to file a wrongful death suit, the situation in question must constitute a wrongful death. This means that the defendant had a duty to keep the victim safe, they breached this duty, and it was this breach that caused the victim's death. Finally, in order for you specifically to have a legitimate wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove that you have personally suffered damages due to the defendant's actions which led to the victim's death.

Any time someone loses their life, especially in a tragic and untimely preventable accident, countless people are affected. You have undoubtedly suffered a great deal of pain by losing someone you love, and that is undeniable. However, in order to file a wrongful death claim, you must be recognized by state law as someone who can make a wrongful death claim.

Who can file a wrongful death suit in Missouri?

Missouri law lays out a series of certain groups of people who may pursue a wrongful death suit after someone's death. These groups are listed in order of preference. In other words, if someone from the first group exists and has the capacity to file the claim, then they must do so. It is only if no one from the first group is available that someone from the second group can file. Likewise, someone from the third category can only file a wrongful death claim if nobody else from the first two groups is able to do so.

The groups of people who may file a wrongful death claim in Missouri are:

  1. The spouse, parent, or child of the decedent

    If the decedent has an able husband, wife, parent, or child, then they will have to file the wrongful death suit. If the decedent's children are deceased, then other direct descendants such as grandchildren may file.

  2. The siblings of the decedent

    If the decedent has no living parents, spouses, children, or grandchildren, then their sibling can file a wrongful death claim. As in the first category, if the siblings to the decedent have passed away but they have direct descendants such as children or grandchildren, then the descendants of the decedent's sibling may file.

  3. A court-appointed plaintiff ad litem

    If no family members are living or able to make the claim, Missouri courts may appoint a special individual to represent the estate of the decedent. This person must be requested by somebody who would be entitled to receive a share of the compensation awarded if they were to be successful in the wrongful death suit.

Who can file a wrongful death suit in Illinois?

Illinois law requires that the personal representative of the decedent's estate files the wrongful death claim. This person is often referred to as the executor. The decedent may have appointed the executor of their estate in their will prior to their death. If they did not appoint an executor, Illinois courts can appoint a personal representative on behalf of the decedent's estate. This person is in charge of handling the decedent's estate as a whole in addition to pursuing the wrongful death claim.

Filing a Wrongful Death Suit | Burger Law

For your best chance of success in the wrongful death claim of a loved one who was killed, you need a compassionate and successful wrongful death attorney representing you. The wrongful death lawyers of Burger Law are experienced in a wide variety of wrongful death cases and are prepared to fight for you and your family, negotiating for your interests and taking the fight to trial if necessary. We have recovered over 100 million dollars for our deserving clients and can help you recover damages in your wrongful death case. If you are not sure whether you are able to file a wrongful death claim in Missouri or Illinois or you need help getting the most from your wrongful death claim and making the responsible party pay, we can help. Speak to a qualified St. Louis wrongful death lawyer today at (314) 500-HURT or online.