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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Missouri?

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Categorized as Legal Updates

There is nothing more devastating in life than experiencing the sudden and untimely death of a loved one. Especially if their death is the result of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, you are filled with overwhelming feelings of shock, sadness, grief, and anger. In the aftermath of losing a loved one, the surviving family members are often left with financial and emotional burdens.

While no monetary value can replace your loved one’s life, filing a wrongful death suit can bring closure and help ease the stress of any financial burdens caused by their death. A wrongful death action can arise from several situations, including, as a result of a car accident, other personal injuries, and work-related accidents, to name just a few. When grieving your loved one’s death, we understand the last thing you want to think about is legal and insurance matters. However, don’t wait until the stress is overwhelming.

Contacting a trusted Kansas City wrongful death attorney can help with these important matters and will assess your claim and the damages you may be entitled to so that you can grieve without the added financial pressures.

What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In Kansas City, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action brought by someone who has lost a loved one caused by another person’s negligent or reckless actions. The person bringing the lawsuit is seeking compensation for the loss of their loved one. Unlike in criminal law, a civil action is not meant to punish the wrongdoer, but rather to compensate the surviving family for their loss. In order to be awarded compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, the person bringing the claim needs to prove the following things:

  • Their family member has died
  • Their family member’s death was caused by the negligent actions of another person
  • They have suffered a financial loss as a result of the wrongful death, which can include:
    • Medical expenses incurred by the deceased between the time of their accident and before their death
    • Funeral expenses or burial expenses
    • Lost future income and benefits of the deceased relied upon by the surviving family members
    • Mental Distress as a result of your loss
    • Loss of companionship and support

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Missouri?

Wrongful death suits are different from other types of lawsuits in that they are limited as to who may file the claim. In most lawsuits, the person who has been harmed files the lawsuit. However, in wrongful death suits, someone else brings the claim on their behalf. Each state defines who is allowed to bring this lawsuit. In Missouri, the law defines who is eligible to bring a claim as a “statutory beneficiary” which means someone who had one of the following types of relationships in relation to the deceased individual:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Sibling

However, if you were not a relative in one of these categories, but you were financially dependent upon the deceased person, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you can prove this dependence.

The legal team at Peterson & Associates, P.C. can help you from the start, will evaluate your claim, and will walk you through the process to get you the compensation you deserve for your suffering.

Kansas City Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you’ve lost someone you love in an accident that was not their fault you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Contact Peterson & Associates, P.C. by calling (816) 578-0580 to talk to a Kansas City wrongful death attorney for a free consultation. Our team of lawyers is standing by to help you.