What Are Missouri’s Wrongful Death Laws?

By Chris Dixon


The State of Missouri is an at-fault state that allows for both parties involved in an accident to recover damages, but in wrongful death cases in Missouri, the only party that is eligible to recover damages are the surviving family members and designated heirs of the victim under the Missouri Wrongful Death Statute. If you lost someone close to you in an unexpected accident and need help understanding Missouri’s wrongful death laws, consulting an experienced lawyer about your case can explain Missouri’s wrongful death laws and how they apply to your wrongful death case.

Most Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Missouri

Wrongful death laws vary across the U.S., and in some states, there is a limit to the number of damages that can be awarded for wrongful death cases. In Missouri, there isn’t a damages cap for wrongful death settlements, unless medical malpractice is involved, in which case, the limit for non-catastrophic injuries is $427,901 and the cap for catastrophic injuries is $748,828.

The most common types of wrongful death cases in Missouri are medical malpractice, car accidents, and pedestrian accidents, with the leading causes being medication errors, speeding, and distracted driving. Wrongful death accidents often have more than one causation and include many different types of negligence, sometimes by both parties, which can make it difficult to figure out what type of damages can be recovered in wrongful death cases. Consulting a wrongful death lawyer about a family member’s fatal accident can display the strengths and weaknesses of your case, protect your rights to file a claim, and ensure that the maximum amount of damages are recovered for your wrongful death claim.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Missouri?

In Missouri, a wrongful death claim can be filed by close personal relations to the deceased, such as the victim’s spouse, parents, and children, but if no one from this category is available to file a suit, it continues to go down the line of relations to descendants. A wrongful death suit includes evidence from the accident such as:

  • Proof of death
  • Causation of the accident
  • Proof of negligence
  • Proof of injuries and damages

If a family member files a claim for a victim’s death, they are generally eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses caused before the victim’s death, pain and suffering, loss of income and affection, funeral and burial expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs caused in the accident. If you are confused about what types of damages you can recover with a wrongful death claim for someone close to you, an experienced lawyer can assess your case, create a personalized plan for recovering damages, and support you and your family during this trying time.

Missouri Wrongful Death Statute

Wrongful death statutes differ for each state in the U.S., which can make it difficult to determine if you are eligible to file a claim for the sudden death of a family member. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer to represent your case protects your right to file a claim and ensures that you are within your state’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Missouri for wrongful death cases is within three years of the accident happening, but in some states, the time frame is much less or more than this.

Understanding your state’s statute of limitations is essential if you are interested in recovering damages for your family member’s wrongful death case. If you aren’t aware of your state’s wrongful death statute, you run the risk of not recovering damages at all. If a victim or people close to them attempts to file a claim past a state’s statute of limitations, the claim is considered invalid, and all rights are forfeited to recover damages from the negligent party in the accident. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can make sure that you are eligible to recover damages, help gather evidence to support your case, and ensure that you are within your state’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims.

How Can a Lawyer Help with My Wrongful Death Case in Missouri?

There are many different ways that a fatal accident can occur, but in Missouri, medical malpractice is fairly common. In the U.S., medical errors are the third leading cause of death, with more than 90,000 people in the U.S. killed every year because of medical malpractice.

Losing someone you are close with because of another person’s negligence is a terrible experience, but an experienced wrongful death attorney can relieve some of the pain and stress of the situation by offering support and defending the victim’s case during this difficult time.

The Wrongful Death Attorneys at the Dixon Injury Firm are dedicated to helping personal injury victims and their families recover the maximum amount of compensation for their pain and suffering and will do everything possible to ensure that you and your family are taken care of while dealing with this terrible situation. For more information on Missouri’s wrongful death laws and how our experienced lawyers can help with your case, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your wrongful death case in Missouri.

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