When a person dies as a result of another person or business’s negligence, recklessness, carelessness, misconduct or even deliberate wrongdoing, the victim’s family may have a wrongful death claim. If you have had a loved one who has died in Southwest Missouri as a result of another’s negligence, you will need a Missouri Wrongful Death Attorney to represent you. Every state’s laws and courts are different, and your lawyer must be licensed by the Missouri bar to represent you in court here.
Families who have lost a loved one in a car accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle or truck-car collision may have a wrongful death claim. The claim may also be asserted if a person is killed by a dangerous premises, a defective product, dangerous drug or medical malpractice.
Who Can Bring a Missouri Wrongful Death lawsuit?
In Missouri, wrongful death lawsuits may be brought by the spouse or children, the surviving descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate, or by the father or mother of the deceased family member. If there is no family member of the deceased as set forth in 537.080(1), the action for wrongful death may then be brought by a brother or sister of the deceased as set forth in 587.080(2).
Action for wrongful death–who may sue–limitation.
537.080. 1. Whenever the death of a person results from any act, conduct, occurrence, transaction, or circumstance which, if death had not ensued, would have entitled such person to recover damages in respect thereof, the person or party who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable in an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, which damages may be sued for:
(1) By the spouse or children or the surviving lineal descendants of any deceased children, natural or adopted, legitimate or illegitimate, or by the father or mother of the deceased, natural or adoptive;
(2) If there be no persons in class (1) entitled to bring the action, then by the brother or sister of the deceased, or their descendants, who can establish his or her right to those damages set out in section 537.090 because of the death;
(3) If there be no persons in class (1) or (2) entitled to bring the action, then by a plaintiff ad litem. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be appointed by the court having jurisdiction over the action for damages provided in this section upon application of some person entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. Such plaintiff ad litem shall be some suitable person competent to prosecute such action and whose appointment is requested on behalf of those persons entitled to share in the proceeds of such action. Such court may, in its discretion, require that such plaintiff ad litem give bond for the faithful performance of his duties.
2. Only one action may be brought under this section against any one defendant for the death of any one person.
Where do you file a Missouri Wrongful Death lawsuit?
508.010(11). In a wrongful death action, the plaintiff shall be considered first injured where the decedent was first injured by the wrongful acts or negligent conduct alleged in the action. In any spouse’s claim for loss of consortium, the plaintiff claiming consortium shall be considered first injured where the other spouse was first injured by the wrongful acts or negligent conduct alleged in the action.
How long do you have to file a Missouri Wrongful Death lawsuit?
All states have laws which govern the time limits in which a wrongful death suit must be brought. These laws are called statutes of limitations and these law vary substantially from state to state, the laws of Missouri provide that an action for wrongful death must be brought within three years.
As with any personal injury lawsuit, time is of the essense not only for the statute of limitations issues but the facts and circumstances of your loved ones case need to be investigated immediately.
If you are concerned about a wrongful death due to medical malpractice or pharmacy malpractice, ask for an autopsy. Do not throw away or otherwise discard such items as prescriptions and prescription bottles or drug samples.
My office often works with attorneys in other states to represent their clients or their families who were injured or killed in Springfield, Missouri or Branson Missouri. I represent injured individuals and their families throughout Southwest Missouri, including Marshfield, Buffalo, Republic, Rogersville, Lebanon, Strafford, Willard, Battlefield and Highlandville; Mount Vernon, Aurora, Osage Beach, Camdenton and in Greene County, Christian County, Polk County, Dallas County, Webster County, Taney County, Stone County, Lawrence County, Camden County and Laclede County.